Monasteries of the Heart

Old Monk 2

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Through the night
cars prowl Old Monk’s street for drugs or sex,
chained Rottweiler’s rage at shadows,
and in daylight not a single flower on the block
save a circus of crocus that surround her hut.
Old Monk picks an empty gin bottle from the sidewalk.
She sweeps three small plastic bags, remnants of last night’s “crack.”
And in her study what does Old Monk have?
Only an ink-filled pen and an empty notebook.

For years I lived on a block devoid of anything beautiful. Then I decided to do something about it. People came together and lots of flowers got planted, homes were doused in paint, vegetables sprouted, a new park filled with children. And, suddenly, in my notebook appeared Old Monk poems. I was becoming as dead as my surrounding until I stretched for the creative and beautiful. As Yoda said, “Do or do not. There is no try.”