The Last Thread
When the Buddha was almost ripe,
filled with the warmth of the sun
and sweetening like an autumn fruit,
he was called
by Sujata's golden bowl
to the Bo Tree.
There the great Lord Kama-Mara
attacked him with his thousand arms
and with his armies of warriors,
pernicious like fumes assaulting the air.
But the Buddha differentiated
between victory and liberation
and was not disturbed.
Then the great Lord Kama-Mara
called his three daughters
Desire, Pining, and Lust,
each one more enticing
than all the perfumes of the gods,
but the Buddha discerned
the difference between relief and release
and was not aroused.
Furious, the great Lord Kama-Mara
challenged the Buddha's right to be
and the Buddha, who understood
the dependence of all life on the Earth,
gently placed his fingertips onto her skin,
asking her to be his witness.
Supported by the goddess' joyous affirmation,
the great Lord Buddha,
now perfect like a golden pear,