Barry Spacks


The Lesson for Today

Roshi asks us please to hold
a tangerine in the palm of our hand,
feel its weight, its rough smoothness,
observe its color, an amazement.

He tells us to puncture by fingernail
the cunning shell, releasing the scent
of tangerine that comes drifting out
like a soul on leave from Paradise.

We'll marvel then at the toes and toes
of tangerine, taste with each bite
the depth-charge of the color orange
(for which exist no rhymes in English).

Aware then of one tangerine,
fully aware of one tangible thing,
imagine Aware-Ones by the billions
moving on from fruit at hand

to consciousness of the cancer wards,
the hungry homeless, the roadside bombs,
the killing fields,
the mutilated children.

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