Thursday, May 28, 2015

Buddha and the Cat

The cat looked at Buddha
and said, "You are like me.
I like quiet things.
Do you eat meat?"

Buddha said, "You are like me.
I am a quiet thing.
Once I ate meat,
but now I sit without eating."

The cat said, "Do you get hungry?"
Buddha said, "Not now.
Once I wanted. I pined.
Now I just am."

The cat said, "I like mice
and small birds.
My owner feeds me
a mix of meats."

Buddha said, "What do you wish?"
The cat said, "To play
in the woods and fight
with other cats,"

Buddha said, "If you could play
without fighting?"
The cat said, "I would get bored.
Catness demands fighting."

Buddha said, "Being does not
demand fighting.
One day you will see."

The cat said, "I like watching birds.
When I see them, I chirp.
But they don't believe me."

Buddha said, "You are not
a bird thing. They know."

The cat said, "I will go now
and scare up some small things.
I may eat them. Or not."

Buddha said, "I am a small thing
and a big thing.  Like the world."

The cat said, "The world
is not enough unless it holds
tasty creatures
I can sink my teeth into."

Buddha said, "The world
holds so many creatures
that you cannot imagine."

The cat said, "I don't
want to imagine them.
I just want to eat them
and drink water."

Buddha said, "One day
you may see that life
is more than eating and water."

The cat said, "As a cat,
I am happy with chasing,
eating and water."

Buddha said, "Happy
does not last."

The cat said, "One happy
does not last. The next happy
does not last. But if you
keep finding small happies,
they happy into each other."

Buddha said, "I must
contemplate this."

The cat said, "Happy trails,
sitting one," and left.

A dog came to Buddha
and said, "Ruff."
Buddha said, "The cat is over there."
The dog said, "He wants to fight,
And I just want to play."

Buddha said, "Good luck,"
and sat silent once more.

The dog ran off.

Buddha thought, "At least
 the cat wanted to talk."
He went back
to being a quiet thing.
The dog barked
and the cat hissed.

Buddha thought,
"The world is like a dog,
always wanting.
The world is like a cat,
always fighting.
If it stops wanting and  fighting,
then it will be a quiet thing,
like me.
I will like that.
A quiet world."

He yawned.
The day grew quiet.
The world grew quiet.
There was no more wanting
or fighting.

There was only being.

Buddha sat.
He was.

Things were.

The world was.
Quietness was.

All became
and became,
then was.

And then


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  2. Frannie, this is one of the best poems I have ever read. It involves cats and dogs, which doesn't hurt. Also, and I'm not going to lie -- one of my cats is named Buddha. :) But its such a rich and provocative study of hedonism, of being-ness. I find it a brilliant meditative piece.

  3. Thanks, Elle! And big hugs to Buddha! :)