MarsEarth

Old world wisdom, new world insight – poems, poetry, philosophy, dreams, commentary, ideas

Clouds of snow

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by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

“Clouds . . .
of snow
lying on the ground,”
the old man with a white beard
shivered,
recounting his childhood.

“I had wandered too far
from my uncle’s home
and found myself
in the middle
of fighting men.”

“Son? Take my coat,
said the blue eyed one.
You can’t be more than ten,
this zhun-deenh insisted.”

“My son is about your size.”

Son? Adbin?

The old man had never heard
the sound of that name
spoken with such pride or gentleness.

Ten? Ten what?

His uncle had demanded
constant care of the delicate flowers
in the row plots.
No time for birthday discussions.

The fighters crowned him
with his accidental name, ‘Son.’

First, meals were shared.
Next, Son showed the soldiers
where to get water.
Afterwards he guided them with
mountain landmarks of the rising sun.

“Suddenly one morning they left,
after only a few years.
I hastened my way to Jalalabad.
There traveling warriors
hired me as a scout,” Son sighed heavily.

“I have often wondered
if the elzhun-wydooh had stayed
where my nibbana might have taken me?”

An ivory miniature of Buddha
clutched in his rough and wrinkled hands.

With a struggle,
his lungs
in a final release 
set free the powerful memory.

“Clouds of snow lying on the ground,”
he shivered.
“I wandered too far.”

Copyright © 1960-2017 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

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