Photo by Jack Skinner on Unsplash

The Wayward Path

2 min readJun 15, 2023


The monk chuckled to himself,

He had walked back uphill

to his cabin in search of his hat,

Then, catching his reflection in the window,

And seeing the hat on his head,

He returned to the downward track

Only to hear the wind remark:

“You try to control your thoughts monk,

But your mind is chaos

Your memory is all but lost

Isn’t it time you gave up?”

The monk chuckled again and replied:

“I control nothing, save the kite I built out of discarded silk found in the Temple waste;

Or my old fishing line, made from taffeta glands

and guided by these elephant skin hands.

I control nothing…

Save my dreams from time to time…”

At this the monk looked sad for a while

Despite his ever present smile.

He looked at the mountain stream

Tumbling amid the turmoil of attraction.

“Age is like the stablehand

who paddocks your aspirations,”

Taunted the wind,

“Age reigns in your desires,

Teaches you to douse each and every fire,”

The old man nodded,

Then shrugged at what he heard,

for he knew how the wind always needed to have the last word.

By then he was in the market square

Where the monastery gong clanged for prayer.

He purchased potatoes and grapes

Colombian coffee,

Peruvian chocolate.

He sat outside a bar

Watching people come and go

With their prayer flag smiles and

Oddities in tow.

“You are a fraud,” the wind rejoined

Irritably flapping the parasols.

“You are but a kite

To your own whimsical needs

Your efforts of mindfulness

Are pitiful.

Your emotions are false

And reciprocal only to your muse

Dancing through the bamboo culms

And lattice walls.”

The monk considered these words

As he returned to his isolation.

Crows barked gibes

Either side of the road

And the weight of the sun heaved on his back like a sack of hot coal.

He was about to respond:

“You are resentful not of me

But of the sky that imprisons your soul”

But then, a gentle zephyr

Cooled his chest

Like a pleasant memory

With nowhere to rest,

And he remained silent

Save for a little laugh

As he glimpsed the shadow of his hat

On the wayward path





Local poet/writer. ‘There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.’ E. Hemingway. All ©️DMM