the angry buddhist
Anger is a primary color.
Skeletal bliss behind my breath.
Rearing for a fight.
Forever pacing for the line.
Pawing the soil in fits and starts.
A sweat slickened, thoroughbred.
A turtle in a box.
These are not good pets.
When I came here.
No white in my beard.
Time was not etched so wildly upon my face.
I was still an old man on the inside.
Now I am transformed.
Just like you, I will sit on my bench.
Feed the birds.
I will scowl and condemn all that
surpasses me and beat my drum of lament,
the greatest instrument for expressing rage
I hope it is a very small and quiet drum.
I would like it to sound like drifting snow.
Please don’t say it again.
I hear him around me.
I see him in a taxi.
I eat him with rice.
He is the rising steam that warms my face.
William Reyland is a religious philosophy researcher and the author of Sons of Isan. His published work includes cultural observations, human interest articles and Buddhist research related to the environment. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand.