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Life Arts    H4'ed 3/17/22

What Has Buddha Done For Me Lately?

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What Has Buddha Done For Me Lately?

by John Kendall Hawkins


I always wanted to know

the real story of the Buddha

who suffered for our sins

mine at least


always laughing

always spreading the rays

always making love to sunfilled days

always quaffing milk and honey

like it was going out of style

in the land of funny money


no one ever saw his when he was angry

no one ever saw him when he was teary-eyed

and wept for the excesses of the world

that had made even him a blissfully obese f*ck

no one ever saw when he replaced Santa one year

and replaced the coal with 'nothing'

little brats in the morning sending evil email north

telling him to stuff his honeyed koan


no one ever saw him the one time he kicked the black cat

I mean he put some record book into it

and that cat sailed through the uprights

and that was the end of bad luck, for that fat cat,

who'd been destined for a first violin

on an historically bad orchestra playing John Cage silences

crickets replaced with metronomes



Mr B wasn't around for the hound

who came to interview him about the nuke

named after his brilliant smile

no, he'd gone poof by then, proof

that what goes around comes around

and you can't nuke yourself into nirvana

you could come back as an intestinal fart

that blows off the doors of the barn forever


it was a blackness that had crossed his path

a feeling that desire was all wrong

and he suffered for this feeling

because at the time he was in the vicinity

of a lemon meringue pie stand that had eat me fat f*ck

written all over them -- literally

at least that's what was read to him

from the Tibetan Book of the Dead

as he streamed out of his body an astral projection

Sara Lee calling him back for more pie

but by then he was already deeply lost

in the all-interpenetrating sky


next thing he knew he was

in what Katherine Anne Porter called so beautifully

the downward path to wisdom

known as reincarnation

that we all must endure, fire and cleanse

if we want a piece of our Beatrice in the end

which for the Buddha means no Beatrice at all

the poof is in the buddhin

outta here sayonara auf wieder sehen nicht adios mis amigos bye bye


all because he kicked a cat, a black cat called


so, the motto is

if you see a black cat in the road

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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