"Between Buddha and Pan" - Eugene C. Bianchi
(A conversation overheard while doing tai chi)
A solitary dance of tai chi
across bluestone porch
sun rises over myrtle and begonias
water sings down a chalice fountain
as I move between Buddha and Pan.
He puts down his flute, shifts a cloven foot.
“Over there, you with funny hair ball and droopy ears,
why do you sleep sitting?”
I grasp bird's tail breathing out.
“We meditate awake for compassion and peace.”
Pan laughs: “Give it up. We're on a binge
red in tooth and claw
haven't you heard?”
I wave hands like clouds breathing out.
Buddha smiles craning around me.
“Mind aware does not bleed or bloody.”
I lean into double punch and kick.
“Silly in your saffron dress and naïve ideas
I've been around longer than you
as goat and man I know the fullness.”
I sweep into single whip and reach for needle at sea bottom.
Buddha adjusts his robe:
“I honor your double self and sense of suffering.
You keep my seat on the soil.
So I send you calm breath.
May your music lead you to tranquil heart.”
Pan folds hairy legs, puts his flute to his lips and winks:
“Will you ever learn both lessons?”
I lift my hands in a wide arc bringing them down to my dantian.
(photo by Michelle Castleberry)