Saturday, February 26, 2011

Therese Becker: "Lunch With the Dalai Lama"

In a dream he is standing in line
in a busy high school cafeteria
blending in, (even with his shaved head,
prayer beads, red robe and sandals)
waiting as if he were just another student.

When he asks me to have lunch with him,
I begin to excitedly invite everyone else to join us,
but we are invisible inside the hungry crowd
rushing to their place in the food line,
and so we sit alone at a long wooden table
where he proposes no mantra, no meditation or prayer;

instead, he reaches inside his robe and brings out
an old radio which he places on the table
as if it were the cafeteria's main selection of the day.
He begins to show me how to work the dials
and I feel like a child just beginning to walk
or a bird about to sing its first song.

As he works the dials, he looks toward me
to be sure I'm paying attention.
His hands appear brilliant as the sun,
his eyes like water in a still pond
that holds an endless wave of being
transmitted and received.

He reaches out, holds
my trembling hand, places it
so gently on the radio's dials
where I begin to feel the song inside
of everyone awakening, a song of hope
I've always known, but yet forgotten,
that is now right here as I awake
inside the middle of the night singing.

(previous credit to Oberon Magazine)