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Brigitte Goetze

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,

let go.