Dharma Poem: Had I Been the Dragon

Even before Buddha became Buddha
A dragon stood guard
Magnificent creature
Unnecessary precaution

Intent on austerities
Danger comes from within
Stiffening of will
Nothing dragons can do
Except wait with sad eyes
Until the mind-propelled
Whirlwind blows over

What use a dragon’s roar
That rattles the heavens
Scuttles the clouds
Pours rain?

Even Mara ignores outlying protectors
Using seduction
As arrows (invisible)
That whiz by
Any green, scaly hide

Angulimala, multi-murderer
Side-stepping the dragon
Tripped over his own feet
& fell into You-Know-Whose arms

Fears & craving alone
Tore our Buddha apart
Too much too little
Holding tight
Dragons love us but
Their heads on our laps
Offer no safety 
From the familiar-smelling enemies
We let in the door

Had I been the dragon
Perhaps I could have dropped
My claws, my fire-destroying exhalation
& at the master’s feet 
Sat with compassion

© January 17, 2016 | Carolyn White


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