In As You Like It to a Buddhist Beat
In AS YOU LIKE IT — to a Buddhist beat
The great bard said that all the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players -
No matter what their stature, rank or age:
The brand new babe of countless little wrinkles,
The cry that’s pacified at tender breast,
And crone who’s like a prune that’s past its prime
Oozing regrets crying for her rest -
The maudlin maiden pining for her lover
Who, full of ambition, would rather seek
The bubble reputation than her kiss
That passed instead to melancholy’s cheek -
The bonded bitch, her body but a bag
Of bones, of blood, of bastard bearing skin;
Her master, with a hungry whip, no friend
To kindness, mercy, all their kith and kin -
The tyrant king but ever faithful husband
To cruel caprice, lacking sense and reason;
The guiltless traitor, victim of the envies
Framed by friends to deadly charge of treason.
But him, I’m not, and them I’d never be.
With all anxieties ashed in tranquil peace
I see the play unfold although I’m there -
A puppet with my name and pledge to please.
My mind’s full clear of fear and every care
It’s spared those searing looks from jealous eyes;
By being not an actor but spectator
It dodges caustic pens of savage slice.
I have no feet and yet I skip and dance
I have no mouth, but still I speak and sing.
I loudly hear and clearly see and am
Sans ears, sans eyes, sans head, sans everything.
PS. Please share this if you can. In memory of the lovely and beautiful Charity Fields (1979, Dublin — 2015, Kathmandu) who taught The Importance of Being Earnest.