POEM: Proper Preying

This poem is based on a traditional Zen story of two very different perspectives on what was seemingly a straightforward thing, revealing the importance of our inner lives. The story pits two Zen monks, one who is a monk smoking, and another Zen monk who is anti-smoking…

Proper Preying

Fore seasons unend
At the break of daze
Two monks sat in the courtyard
One with his cigar
Resting in hand
And rhythm inhaling
For seaming eternity
The other more well versed
In mourning prayer
Wrested his mine
With thoughts of smoke
Desiring to clear the heir
By weigh of their mutual master
With separate metings
The master showed compassion
Toward the complainant and his perspective
Giving him satisfaction
Then taken aback
As the one monk peered
As well
With parent satisfaction
The one monk said to the other
Seeing his dis affection
Pray tell, what was your quest in
Which was razed?
The other pro claimed
“Is it proper to smoke while praying?”
To which the master replied, “no.”
Did you not take such a rebuke to heart?!
Well for me, that was not my quest in
I inquired, “Is it proper to pray while smoking?”

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