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Afternoon Meditation
by Charlie Becker

The Buddha, legs crossed like lotus on a frozen pond,
whispers prayers from steepled fingers
into the emptiness of a winter forest.
Will someone hear if he is pushed too far by questions
and falls, the sound of his mantra
leaves his lips, falters through air
filters through centuries
and hits the ground

the gentle lover, arms crossed like ivy around his chest,
voices a promise from clasped hands
into the winter of an empty bed.
Will someone hear if he is pushed too far by silence
and solitude,
the sigh of longing leaves his throat, fumbles through blankets
fans across the room
and hits a wall

we walk quiet among the redwoods
one tree, branches pushed away from its trunk,
roots stretched out of the soil
groans forward and tumbles over its heavy old age.
It wills itself down ring by ring
and with a subtle heart watches the earth prepare
for its arrival.
Will someone hear
if the dust of its life's work leaves its body
flies above the updraft
hits our consciousness
and we smile?


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