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
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
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