OF THE ANTS AND THE WIND THIS TIME OF YEAR
Have the ants taken over, or what?
Very hard to maintain vows of non-violence
what with so many ants underfoot and
in the cupboards and in the little plastic
basket of strawberries my dear Janet brought
home from the natural foods store.
Maybe it’s time for mankind to truly take
the next step?
Not only quit eating cheeseburgers and
buckets of fried chicken
but to quit stepping on ants and to quit
all this fighting and killing.
O, it’s easy for me to indulge the luxury
of non-violent philosophy, I don’t have an army
of thugs bivouac’d in the neighborhood raping
my sister, not unless
you count ants and their insistence upon
the virginity of my apricots?
And how many cow’s-worth of hamburger will
I have to atone for when it comes down to
the End of Days? Will the God of Life be on
his throne surrounded by as many cattle that
ever went up the Chisholm Trail staring at me,
witness to the horrors of my arrogance?
And this wind ! This New Mexico wind, criminy
sakes alive, om namah shivaya, blows and blows
this time of year, but this year seems to be
more than ever. Todd used to say it was going
to blow us off the map. I tried to sit in the midst
of a strong gale the other afternoon and meditate
but the energy is too strong for my feeble mind,
as well, I kept worrying that a branch from my
bodhi tree (mulberry, actually) was going to fall
on me. Alas, I am but a poor meat-eating bhikku
who should know better but doesn’t.
And all of the gasoline fumes I have pumped out
into the atmosphere in a lifetime of driving cars
and mowing lawns. How absurd that those blind
judges locked me up for merely partaking
in the soma rituals, the heroin reveries, when before
them stood a man guilty of larger depredations.
But think of each one of those little ants —
each one has an immortal soul
each one imbued with life spirit
each one an expression of this breathing planet
expanding & contracting
expiring and becoming again
each one holding onto a flower stalk lest
they be blown away by this blasted wind.
Mark Weber, June 21, 2o11