GENESIS

Cain slew Abel
in a moment of anger,
a crime of passion
would be his defense today.
We can only imagine
what Isaac might have done
to Ishmael, had Hagar
not been sent off by Abraham,
after all he was a child
who saw the knife first hand
and helped sacrifice
the thicketed ram.
Joseph tasted the pit
at his brothers’ hands
mourned by his father
only to emerge and forgive.
It is little wonder
we Semites can’t get along,
Jew and Jew, Israeli
and Palestinian, we’ve
been rehearsing this act
for millennia.


First published in Children,Churches & Daddies vol. 141 (2004) and later in The Right To Depart (Plain View Press, 2008).

DHARMA

Buddha was asked, once,
to describe all the dharmas
while standing on one foot.
“Hillel could do it,”
the crowd said, “so you
too should be so able.”
Buddha smiled and said,
“Hillel was a good friend,
as was Jesus and Ishmael.”
Buddha then gently sat
beneath the Bodhi tree
and was completely silent.