"Between Buddha and Pan" - Eugene C. Bianchi

"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)

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