Monk on the Ridge

“At midnight we raise their wine to tomorrow” — W. S. Merwin

a caftan shirt made of powder
smells of cinders and bergamot

leaving the city tunnel at noon

the ridge goes where I go
of old wool and garage blossoms
make me a pallet

on older snow the sun passes away

monarch butterflies
drift upwards
bubbles in older wine

monks walk like credit cards
making betrayal a thing of calendars

in the abandoned hours
after solstice

4 responses to “Monk on the Ridge

  1. I like this poem. It challenges the reader/monk. “leaving the city tunnel at noon / the ridge goes where I go”…

    We are the journey and the land of journeys. “monks walk like credit cards / making betrayal a thing of calendars…”

    If unreflective living is a kind of betrayal, is reflective life another kind of betrayal, with an entirely different meaning?

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Craig Brandis (aka Burl Whitman)

    Thanks bro. Wow, that is a fabulous question! Maybe different types of betrayal, including the one you suggest, are built into all our calendars.

    Like

  3. I was thinking of the three natures, see Vasubandhu #20-25. Your monk’s ‘betrayal’ is like the second and third natures, which see through the first nature. This can feel like betrayal, but isn’t.

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    Liked by 1 person

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