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Gary Gach


        tourists, passing by
the shore, pose, trying to seem

        the beggar stops to
        go & pet the dog

        the child stops to
consider a shell, before
        the next wave breaks

        congas tattoo a pulse as
        pelicans glide as a wedge


My buddy stopped
sat down alongside
the houseless beggar
& giving him some
small change they talked

– whereupon the battered guy
said Thank you for stopping,
man !  I mean, the money's
great but I thought I was gonna
like lose my mind ! Nobody's even

looked at me all week!  I was like
starting to feel like I was on
Mars !! – whereupon my buddy
smiled and thought Thank you, man –
for giving me an opportunity to practice


Gary Gach is author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buddhism; editor of What Book!? – Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop; and co-translator of Flowers of a Moment, Songs for Tomorrow, and Ten Thousand Lives, by Ko Un SSN. Visit him at :