By a muddy river in Borneo, a plump bearded pig
wanders too close to the embankment’s edge —
the stalking crocodile prepares to lunge.
Everything feeds on everything else,
no desire will go unrequited.
When we weigh our choices, hesitate,
the crocodile may go hungry.
If they’ve been around for 100 million years,
perhaps they are doing something right.
This realm is not a place without sorrow,
though in sorrow there’s a secret joy.
Some are haunted by sorrows they’ve known,
others will do anything to reclaim a lost joy.
But listen now: the Samba music is calling you
to get up and dance to those scintillating rhythms.
When it comes to Latin dance music, I like it
far better than the lame chanting of drowsy monks.
When I hear mating birds celebrating in the trees,
I like it better than the promises of lying politicians.
The extravagant nakedness of the winged gods
is too immediate for any philosophy.
I prefer the wild ravings of the drunken poets
to the cold sobriety of the deadly drone operators.
I would rather see the great elephant clans grazing
in peace than stare at one more photo of a glad hunter
posed with their rifle, proudly exulting over the victim.
I don’t want to hear the preachers praising holy Jesus
while they hatefully condemn the very neighbors
Jesus said to love as if they were oneself.
Belief breeds a mob of sleep-walkers, even the ancestors
turn away from the battlements — they sadly drift off,
covering their eyes to hide their spirit tears.
Much sweeter is the howling of feral dogs at moonrise
than the monotonous prayers of the blinded priests.
I don’t care to hear that more technology is the answer
when I see how our air, water, and food have been
poisoned by the scientists for pieces of silver.
Nor do I put much stock in teachers who claim everything
is an illusion, but then systematically seduce their students.
When I read in the texts that I should abandon preferences,
I think whoever said that will return as a crocodile.
Don’t be fooled by the empty words of the liars,
just go your own way, right straight ahead!
The staggering beauty of one last fleeting sunset
at world’s end is better than a thousand sutras.
Yes, the world we know is ending right now,
it always is — if this is your last night
on earth, don’t sit out this dance!
There is a wild wave surging in your soul,
you came to let it ride, to drown in it
and rise again, to be changed by it,
by this dance of living water.
Why hold back now, when everything
depends on your jumping right in?
Even the bearded pig invites you.
It is waiting down by the river.