What would the Buddha say
if he discovered his teenage son
had an internet addiction? Would he storm
into his room and pull by the wire
every electronic gadget snaking from the wall
outlets, cast them out of the garden of innocent
childhood transformed overnight into a landscape
charged with hormones and other such land mines
and say You, you are grounded for all eternity?
How would he sit on the sage-green cushions
to deliver with utmost patience
that famous lecture on how everything—
despite the shimmer of advertising—
is illusion, if the young acolyte
had earphones on and the music drowned out
his father’s even, reasonable tones?
The thing I am trying to concentrate on
is that the Buddha was also human—
except perhaps with an extraordinary
capacity for understanding I do not yet
but would so dearly like to have. The other thing
I wonder about is how long it would take
to arrive at the doorstep of such
unwavering equanimity even when it seems
it is either the day of the great deluge
or the hour just after the waters
have finally receded, but there,
at the horizon, is a glimpse
of yet another rising wave?
In response to Via Negativa: The dying ocean.