Photo: Kanenori. CC0/Public Domain license.

He slept in the wilderness
near the pool of brackish water

where the bittern knit its fortress
moment by moment

sometimes blundering like a story line….

There he tore off his fingered garments,
his linen bondage

that fluttered and wound around him….

Here in the mud and thunder roar scavengers
like withered spirits

congregated above the carcass of a lamb
stuck, forgotten

in the thorn bush, while the pummeling scent
of calamus and oozing resin

rose; there he stayed naked displaced hungry
humiliated, his hands and feet

a staunched season of cuts and bruises,
(smudge of adulation and obloquy).

Here he thirsted in the winter-silent pain
of the body alone.

No, an easy refuge was not his
in this bright darkness where they had

descended pushing him fold upon fold
into the gemmy shallows,

men with lanterns, stumbling in heavy bedclothes,
and their women too who had no

patience, upbraiding him with anger rigged
upon their homely faces.

Exhilarated they all were (as mortals often are
who cannot reason)

to form from their nature weakened
by long boredom and malcontent

that much of a living god….

Mung Being.

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