The mornings began at 4am
bleary eyed with bamboo staff
I headed up the hill to the house
turned on the lights and set my
eyes on my first caffeine hit.
I was always the first in for I was
the one that prepared the bowls
filling them with water just below
the rim as I go.
After I would light the candles, and incense,
draw the drapes back, put the
heater on and sit on my seat
It was Tara's time in the morning
as I read the prayers quietly
to our lady of hope.
The prayers are chanted in Tibetan
and I never got the hang of that
language so I just mumbled away
trying to keep pace.
After the prayers, chants, mudras,
and twenty one prostrations
we bow to each other respecting the
Jampal asks me would I mind painting
Vera's cabin. I know her and probably
some of you know her too.
She's a poet and a damn good one,
and she is in the cabin next to mine,
I know her through her friend
She is smart as as a whip and her laugh
makes you feel good even if you feel shit.
I left Melbourne to get away from the scene
and memories and there she is another poet
whose friend we both know.
Looking at her day after day for
eighteen months was hard for she began
to look like that friend I tried to forget.
Karma is a real bitch.
The days rolled on and on,
retreats came and went,
and the monitors were giving
the poor chooks hell.
The day I left I gave Vera
my Burmese Buddha.
She calls it KB after me,