Images of the Staff

dPress 2002 Sebastopol

Cover collage by Jampa Dorje



Surrounded by fire
circled by bears
metallic hell beings
screeching in my ears

I'm an old dog with long hair
in a pair of old shorts
taking a pee
in a SoBe bottle

On the inside of the cap, it says
"Who's lizard are you?"
I'm waking up—
who's lizard, indeed!

It's dark out there—
patterns consume me, so
I rest my attention
on my breath

In the gompa
with the altar
of the twenty-one Taras
I built to Tsultrim's specs
Silence pervades
except for the creaking
of supports and the cackling
of candle wax

I relax
but the woman next to me
is into heavy vajra breathing—
I make the best of this situation

Images of the staff arise in my mindstream

Paloma and I eat pancakes
in the Dove Café along 666
the Highway of the Beast


Claire weeps in the garden—
searches for the sacred feminine
rolfing her fingers
into the soil of my shoulders


Brian performs a TV commercial
a senile farmer selling discounted qi—
"If I can do it, you can do it."
qi is his cosmic buddy


Mitzi, a bit scitzi
after what she's set in motion
goes askew— still
she serves with metta


Brett searches for form
in content, content in form—
a tarp is refuge from the rain
a yawp is refuge from the pain


Marta parades on the path
in her mantram pedal pushers—
an OM swinging behind
her swinging behind


Reuben, blond Adonis
grounded, I'm glad
we're all connected—
he breaks down my tent


Frances builds a batch
of brownies from the ground up—
chocolate oozing into candy
candy smoozing into kisses


Aja writes in my notebook
Loving you
Loving me
Loving Tara
Loving we


Tracie writes haiku
with the dementia of a drug fiend—
her shitmonk series, in the tradition
of Gary's bearshit on the trail poems


I pass the torch to Josh
who's already on the job—
loading rock into his pickup
he's Mila's nynkypoo

as the singing bowl rings
I experience an expression
of emptiness and bliss—

An image of Jack
on the porch of his yurt
blowing the morning conch
stark naked

Happy Birthday, Jack!

                                                                                  Tara Mandala
                                                                                  June 31, 2002

To Volume 5, Book 8