Cow Dung Mind


At Jinshan Temple Su Dungpo debated Chan Master Foyin with the resulting outcome:

The Chan Master’s mind is like the Buddha’s.
Therefore, he saw you as a Buddha.
But your mind is like cow dung.
Therefore, you saw the Chan Master as cow dung!
(Quote from Venerable master Hsing Yun’s “Chan heart, Chan Art”.)

Wanting every collection,
in 2011,
I paid hardback prices
for Billy Collins’ latest:
“Horoscopes for the Dead”.

I’d read an Amazon review:
“..cynical bordering on bitter..”
I thought “no way, I know better –
mind like cow dung,
sees cow dung!”

I read my way eagerly
into disappointment
“..demanding to know the name
of this latest whore.”
I saw a string of infidelities,
an exasperated, put upon wife.

Then came 2013,
time passed in between
leaving me with hope
and paying hardback prices
for his “Aimless love”.

Finding joy on the pages
I examined myself,
returning to his horoscopes
to find celestial transformation:
how funny that “latest whore”,
seeing now a close, committed,
contented couple giggling at his
drawing inability.

Like Su Dunpo had to bow
to Chan Master Foyin,
I see my cow dung mind –
thanks Billy Collins!

Billy Collins quotation taken from his poem “Drawing you from memory”.


2 thoughts on “Cow Dung Mind

    • Hee hee! Well, they say stepping on it brings luck, but I’m not sure there are any old wives tales about a mind on it bringing strange poetry, but, hey Mike, whatever acts as inspiration 💩💩💩

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