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Roadhead: Thoughts of a Traveling Bodhisattva, Vol. 2 (2002)

Two Potheads from B.C.

They descend upon me like angels,
smiling, cracked foreheads mapping
their age, with youthful energy
matching the strength of the ocean.
I share the Dharma,
like the good traveling bodhisattva
I pretend to be,
and they respond with news
of love, Canada and dope.
The angel with red hair,
built like Bobby Hull,
says he knows Bobby Hull,
talks in a Toronto accent,
Chicago dialect shot in for effect,
and praises me for finding the vibe,
mentions British Columbia’s pot and chokes
on his cigarette. The beautiful
angel with chestnut hair slaps
his petrified back and laughs
in harmony with the sea.
They notice my black book
stuffed in my shirt pocket
and mention the Bible
and I say “poems”
and the angel with flaming bush hair
“You should write bout us, A,
two pot heads from B.C.”


The Hitchhiker

If Jesus were hitchhiking
Across America
I would pick him up.
We would talk about all things:
Women, the trouble we’ve had
with women,
Politics, farming, anything really,
But certainly not religion.
We would have no use
For dogma and liars
And oppressors.
If Jesus and I
Are love and love
Is the Way and the Way
Is all things,
Then Jesus and I too must be
All things and we’d know
This sitting in my car.
When I’d drop him off
I’d make sure he’d see my
Bumper sticker,
“Jesus is Great
but Buddha is Better,”
And he’d laugh.


Rear View

Flap, Flap
Goes the tarp in slack
Flickering tongues
Of devils at my back.
Angels in trucks
And cars pass
With their own
Demons following fast.


The Jerk

Happy Buddha, plump
As a pig, sits in the sty
Of my room
where I cry myself to sleep
in spite of his laughter.
No amount of rubbing
His belly will make me come
To the conclusion
That solitude is bliss.


Water Washing Over Stones

a rushing river,
splendid silver
wash over your feet
like stones.
We carry
each other
like two children
splash through streams,
but what dream
is this
that makes me think
I’m human?
My river is swift
and you, like stones,
move only so much.


A Fascination of Me

I am intense
like a flash of lightening
frightening horses
or young women
who at first
find the glitter attractive
but then feel
the heat
and sense a burn.

I am also
the ground my lightening
a ground zero
an unwilling hero
always yielding to my own
but unable
to find cover.

Am I more aroma
than taste?
Which cup of tea
would you
prefer me to be?
The kind that sooths
or burns
the tongue.
No one likes a burnt tongue
but almost everyone
drinks from my
too fast.