One spring day, I was walking in the 40 acre wood.
One never knows what is hiding amongst the trees, the fallen leaves.
Deer bones are not treasures of the usual sort,
like antique playground equipment or a teacup.
Deer bones are reminders.
This creature no longer walks amidst the trees.
Not seen as she passed by,
I prepared my morning tea.
I will never see her graze the meadow.
Her fawn was close behind.
A ribcage. Brown fur. A front leg bone. One hoof.
All slowly sinking into a forest floor.
The single certainty in life is death.
All living beings share the path of suffering.
It is the lama’s whack upside my head.
The master’s thin stick if my koan has no answer.
My heart knows as my small mind stops beating.
Bones… Fur… One tiny hoof.
Realization if you are wise.
You are not what you appear to be.
I receive many whacks.
I am stubborn as a mule.
226 images of my jagged spine is my lama’s shoe.
Those shadowy bones are inside of me.
Someday my skin bag will disappear.
I will sink into a forest floor.
Thus I tread my well-worn path.
Seeking my heart treasure within,
This skin bag holds no purpose alone.
One day the seeker appears.
In a mirror I glimpse the moon.
The moon is not there.
My heart sees the sky and the moon is shining.