All summer long I’d thought about the gentle ways
Of followers of Buddha’s Path.
I took to peaceful, kindly deeds,
Leaving spider webs intact, moving crickets out of doors;
I felt ennobled by these simple acts.
Until in late, late summer,
To prune a patch of rampant marjoram,
I waded in with fearsome shears a-clicking.
Out sprang some buzzing flying thing
That stung me on the chin!
I waved my shears and shouted;
Undaunted it took up the fray
And stung me on the cheek!
I swung my hat and shouted;
It zeroed in again.
I whipped my hat once more at it,
Then buzzing still and valiant, off it flew.
I had not murdered it: but not for want of trying.
So there I stood, knee deep in marjoram,
My Buddhist aspirations dying.
Went to town for the Gypsy Market: it rained,
no swirling skirts or bright music.
Disappointed, we sat in a street side cafe;
I ordered, “Tarte des Almandes, espresso.”
He scoffed, ordered, “coffee.”
The rain blew in through the café awnings.
Shivering, we huddled together
‘till the pastry and coffee came;
He took “just a taste,” ate more than half.
Suddenly the rain stopped, the sun came out.
Refreshed and comforted, holding hands,
fingers entwined, we rode the bus back
along the winding road through almond orchards
to the shimmering Portuguese seashore.
Reveling in the warm caress of sand and waves
on liberated feet and thighs,
laughing in the glorious sunshine,
we made our own gypsy music.