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July 2018, vol 14 no 2

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Matthew Caretti

A Different Word For It

I finish my porridge. Offer a prayer of thanks. Raise my head. Smile.

temple kitchen
nourished by the Dharma
a wayward monkey

Wash my bowl. Dry my hands. Enter the forest. Exit into the light.

stupa sutra
each day
my new voice

Descend into the valley. Pause often. Turn. Observe. Smile again and again.

wild dagga
on each flower the sun
then a sunbird

Farther toward the trickling brook. Along one fold of steep meadow. Onto another. The sound rising, falling with each turn of the trail.

Zulu cowherd
between the whistles
the clicks

The sun warms the herd. My back. Past the docile beasts to the climb. The dam. The little jetty of my meditation.

the duck the pond

Something mystical. Yet that not quite the word for it. Returning again and again. I dilate my lexicon. Seek the expression. Instead learn to express the seeking.

evening ridge
a sangoma speaks
with the wind

Note: “Wild dagga,” also known as Lion’s Tail, is a flowering shrub native to South Africa with possible medicinal qualities. “Sangoma” is a Zulu word commonly used in South Africa when referring to traditional healers.