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Monika John

Dependent Co-Arising and Spilled Coffee


Last minute rush - here I am again

late for the morning’s teachings.

Time crept imperceptibly

then suddenly galloped at demon speed,

depositing me in the midst of confusion.

In the Tibetan language confusion and illusion

are one and the same word.

I place my cushion in an open space

when the man behind me comments

about my occupying ‘prime real estate.’

He seems to claim the open gap

as his personal easement

for a better view of Rinpoche.

I offer to change places with him

but compromise does not appeal to him-

subtle complaints suit him better.

Naturally I spill my coffee

creating a further flurry.

A personal query arises:

when will I learn to manage

my time and when will I learn

that I have the right to be where I am

right here this very moment?

The questions are very familiar.

There is no point in blaming myself

nor the fellow with the land baron spirit.

Two of us splashed on both sides of the pond

creating a cresting wave in the middle,

and together we ride the tides

of disturbing emotions in the sea of samsara.



Poem by Monika John, a writer, attorney and world traveler. She lives in Washington State. Her writings have appeared in various journals and magazines in the USA and UK: most recently Urthona Magazine, UK, Penwood Review, Presence International Magazine, Anthology on Tagore, UK, Fungi and Quiet Shorts Magazine, Buddhist Poetry Review, Sathya Sai Newsletters, Scheherazade’s Bequest, 2014 poetry to appear in Lalitamba, New York and Light of Consciousness, CO.