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Stephen Rozwenc

POEM # 1

one of the many dogs
Buddha serene
in the temple's cool palm tree shade
suddenly twists his head
to snap at an itchy flea bite
and begins to fulfill
a harmless karma

hunched  birdlike
while they sit on a shiny marble  bench
two white haired old men
with shrinking teeth
quietly remind one another
greed and obsession
are poisonous shoes
never to be worn or acted from

if they wish their next life
will merit a happy death

POEM # 2

when they autopsied the mother dolphin
they dragged three dented tin cans
and  some ragged styrofoam packaging
out of her stomach

her esophagus
was slashed
probably by a jagged edge
on one of the cans

how or why
she ingested such squalid trash
none of us knew
maybe she was disoriented from a virus
causing a sonar failure
or stunned by Navy bomb testing
maybe she was having problems reminding herself
to breath
or thought  the trash
was shiny fish
she did only have two teeth left in her mouth

at least after she became stranded
bottlenose beak first
on the finger thin sandbar
in our palm sheltered cove
we were able to massage her body
deeply enough
to unblock its most vital Chi
so she could swim off
on the tide
and releasing pleasure bubbles
with her daughter
one more time
before she died

POEM # 3
the unbelievable luck
of hummingbirds
has flown with me
halfway around the world
to Thailand
like a lucid lotus petal
my dear Thai friend
overflows with gentle advice
to optimize choices
and the Emerald Buddha gazes
restores reverence

sadly though
this land
like everywhere else
seethes with ferocious dichotomies

all along the sidewalks of the Bangkok road
to the Emerald Buddha's temple
streaming torrents of childlike girls
sell sex with contaminated genitals
their smiling managers
taxi drivers
who double their fares
and then drop them off
far from their destinations
so they too
will feel abandoned and desperate

if I could offer each one
purification's compassion
the spiritual condom
that protects
against such terrifying defilement
I most certainly would

Stephen A. Rozwenc currently resides in Muang, Phichit, Thailand. He also maintains a home in Haydenville, MA. He has published 4 collections of poetry and his work has appeared in various print journals, ezines, and spontaneous oral performances. He has been awarded 2 Massachusetts Cultural Council Grants.