Vesak 2

Buddhist monks at Tissa

The branches in foliar dressings,
The bright yellow mangos,
On a tree, that remained elusive
To the passers by, while a little monk looks at the sky,
As moonbeams fall on mangoes,
Like lanterns on tips of branches, waiting
To be plucked by hand, or pole, or perhaps,
A greedy peck of a bird. How man and animal converge
On a mango fruit, without realizing
How far apart in evolution they are. One bipedal and one
Bi-winged, and in the center, a reservoir of unheralded sweetness.
Mangifera zeylanica, a fruit that was spawned 350 million
Years ago, each a flesh yellow pulp,
The same yellow tone that beautifies the moon,
The saffron-colored robes,
And a spice made of the stigma and style of a flower.
How they all come together on Vesak day,
In a shared meal, lit by dhal and potato curry.
How yellow seems the order of Vesak,
A yellow dwarf to a yellow moon, to a little
Monk in a yellow robe. How yellow is,
A lesson in renunciation, of all worldly things,
Which gets forgotten to the temptation,
Of a mango in the front yard,
How a little monk, is still a lad in early teens,
Whose sweet tooth, enfeebles,
In mea culpa.