Drugstore Buddha


Passing the beauty counter,
gold and maroon,
Drugstore Buddha.

One hand clapping,
lipstick swatched wrist,
sprayed with perfume.

Zen rituals, Zen koans,
Drugstore Buddha,
beauty counter wisdom:

“Laughter is the best cosmetic – so grin and wear it.”

“Bringing the best to everyone we touch.”

“Believe in beauty.”

“Glamorous everyday. Fabulous everyway.”

“Give us 5 minutes, we’ll make you pretty powerful.”

“For All. All ages, all races, all sexes.”

“Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”

“Get the London look.”

“Because I’m worth it”

Vanity of vanities,
searching for meaning,
mind open, mind accepting.

Now! I understand:
brown lipstick – actually does –
work for me.

A reflection on seeing Khadro-la (a female Tibetan Lama) walking through the beauty counter section of a local department store. Acknowledgements to the following beauty companies for their persuasive slogans (in order of appearance: Benefit, Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Wet n Wild, Bobbi Brown, MAC, Maybelline, Rimmel, L’Oreal)


8 thoughts on “Drugstore Buddha

  1. I’m going to be thinking about this poem for a while and searching for the zen in advertising. Cool write.

    • Good to hear from you Heidi! 😊
      How quickly the spiritual can fade back to the mundane, but then again if it allowed even a moment for changing perspectives (even if just lipstick colour) then perhaps it is something…

  2. Well it IS a ritual of sorts really but yes, it clashes with the image of holiness – looking without instead of looking within. The quotations were an inspired inclusion – nicely done H.

  3. Just love the perspective on this.
    Thoughtful, measured with a little sideways smile and lots of understanding peppered with questions.
    Subversive poetry. What it is meant to be.
    Thank you for sharing.

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