Why I Am Not A Buddhist

This is one of my favorite contemporary poems. It’s by a woman who calls herself Molly Peacock. I promised it recently, and now it is here…along with a photo I found/made.

WHY I AM NOT A BUDDHIST

I love desire, the state of want and thought
of how to get; building a kingdom in a soul
requires desire. I love the things I’ve sought-
you in your beltless bathrobe, tongues of cash that loll
from my billfold- and love what I want: clothes,
houses, redemption. Can a new mauve suit
equal God? Oh no, desire is ranked. To lose
a loved pen is not like losing faith. Acute
desire for nut gateau is driven out by death,
but the cake on its plate has meaning,
even when love is endangered and nothing matters.
For my mother, health; for my sister, bereft,
wholeness. But why is desire suffering?
Because want leaves a world in tatters?
How else but in tatters should a world be?
A columned porch set high above a lake.
Here, take my money. A loved face in agony,
the spirit gone. Here, use my rags of love
.


You can visit Ms. Peacock’s site here.

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2 Responses to Why I Am Not A Buddhist

  1. shawn says:

    I’m pretty sure she doesn’t understand buddhism

    • While willing to be enlightened by one more educated than I, I’m going to defend the poet. The Buddhist’s goal is to rid himself of desire – desire, according to Buddhism, leads to suffering (because suffering is essentially when our desires go unfulfilled). So when one rids oneself of desire, one removes oneself from the ability to suffer. Nirvana.
      The poet says she can’t be a Buddhist because she desires things, and likes that she desires them.

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