Kill the Buddha

The Buddhists have a saying:
“If the Buddha approaches you
on the road,
Kill him.
Because you are seeing the
you have made
in your own image.”

When the Christ
approaches us 
on the road,
we have three

We can run away
as the disciples
in the garden.

We can maim
and waylay
Him on the 
side of the road,
as in the traveler story
He told.

Or we can
discern who He is,
the path we’re on,
Follow Him.


The First Pentecost

On this spring Sabbath,
we wear the red,
feel the breeze,
and imagine 
the Spirit
blowing through
the house
setting us afire
as it happened
to the followers
in Jerusalem.

But didn't the 
first Pentecost 
the Advocate
on a
carpenter's son
to reveal
what it means
to walk 
in the



Richard Blanco

She scratches the oranges then smells the peel,
presses an avocado just enough to judge its ripeness,
polishes the Macintoshes searching for bruises.

She selects with hands that have thickened, fingers
that have swollen with history around the white gold
of a wedding ring she now wears as a widow.

Unlike the archived photos of young, slender digits
captive around black and white orange blossoms,
her spotted hands now reaching into the colors.

I see all the folklore of her childhood, the fields,
the fruit she once picked from the very tree,
the wiry roots she pulled out of the very ground.

And now, among the collapsed boxes of yucca,
through crumbling pyramids of golden mangos,
she moves with the same instinct and skill.

This is how she survives death and her son,
on these humble duties that will never change,
on those habits of living which keep a life a life.

She holds up red grapes to ask me what I think,
and what I think is this, a new poem about her--
the grapes look like dusty rubies in her hands,

what I say is this: they look sweet, very sweet.

Eyes Wide Shut

How could he miss it?

The miracles.
The teachings.
The answers He gave.

How could he not recognize
who was in his midst?

As we drive by the homeless.
Criticize the poor.
Fill our prisons to excess.


A Short Meditation on Giving

I understand
the motive
of keeping
the left hand
in the dark
of what the
right hand is doing.

All things done
for the glory of God
and all that good
Sunday School stuff.

But there is 
one more point
to be made 
of what happens
if silence is broken
on one's charity.

Half the assholes 
in the world 
will scream,
"Why did you give it to them?"

And the rest 
will whine
"Why didn't you give it to me?"