Poem – What Makes The Dalai Lama Lovable? – Alice Walker

His posture From so many years 

Holding his robe with one hand 

Is odd. 
His gait 

Also. 
One’s own body 

Aches 

Witnessing 

The sloping 

Shoulders 

& Angled 

Neck; 
One hopes 

He 

Attends 

Yoga class 

Or does Yoga 

On his own 

As part 

Of prayer. 
He smiles 

As he bows 

To Everything: 

Accepting 

The heavy 

Burdens 

Of 

This earth; 
It’s 

Toxic 

Evils 

& Prolific 

Insults. 
Even so, 

He sleeps 

Through 

The night 

Like a child 

Because 

Thank goodness 

That is something 

Else 

Daylong 

Meditation 

Assures. 
You could cry 

Yourself to sleep 

On his behalf 

& He 

Has done that 

Too. 
Life 

Has been 

A great 

Endless 

Tearing away 

For 

Him. 
From 

Mother, Father, Siblings, Country, Home. 

And yet 

Clearly 

His mother 

Loved him; 

His brother & sister 

Too: 

Even his 

Not so constant father, 

Who 

When Tenzin was 

A boy 

Shared 

With him 

Delicious 

Scraps 

Of 

Succulent 

Pork. 
He laughs 

Telling this 

Story 

Over half a century 

Later 

To who knows 

How many 

Puzzled 

Vegetarians: 

About 

The way he sat 

Behind 

His father’s chair 

Like a dog, 

Relishing 

Each juicy 

Greasy 

Bite. 
Whenever I see 

The Dalai Lama 

My first impulse 

Is to laugh 

I am so happy 

To 

Lay eyes 

On 

One 

So effortlessly 

Beautiful. 
That balding head 

That holds 

A shine; 

Those wire framed 

Glasses 

That might 

Have come 

From 

Anywhere. 
His look of having given 

All he has. 
He is my teacher; 

Just staying alive. 
Other teachers 

I have had 

Resemble him 

In some way; 
They too 

Were 

Are 

Smart 

And Humble; 

Fascinated 

By Science & things like 

Time, 

Eternity, 

Cause & Effect; 

The Evolution 

Of the Soul. 
A soul 

That 

Might 

Or might not 

Exist. 
They too 

See all of us 

-Banker, murderer, gardener, thief – 

When they look 

Out across 

The world: 
But that is not all 

They see. 
They see our suffering; 

Our striving 

To find 

The right path; 

The one with heart 

We may only 

Have heard 

About. 
The Dalai Lama is Cool 

A modern word 

For 

“Divine” 

Because he wants 

Only 

Our collective 

Health 

& Happiness. 
That’s it! 
What makes 

Him 

Lovable 

Is 

His holiness.

Poem – Torture – Alice Walker 

When they torture your mother plant a tree 

When they torture your father 

plant a tree 

When they torture your brother 

and your sister 

plant a tree 

When they assassinate 

your leaders 

and lovers 

plant a tree 

Whey they torture you 

too bad 

to talk 

plant a tree. 

When they begin to torture 

the trees 

and cut down the forest 

they have made 

start another.

Poem – Desire – Alice Walker

My desire

 is always the same; wherever Life 

deposits me: 

I want to stick my toe 

& soon my whole body 

into the water. 

I want to shake out a fat broom 

& sweep dried leaves 

bruised blossoms 

dead insects 

& dust. 

I want to grow 

something. 

It seems impossible that desire 

can sometimes transform into devotion; 

but this has happened. 

And that is how I’ve survived: 

how the hole 

I carefully tended 

in the garden of my heart 

grew a heart 

to fill it.

Poem – Farewell To London – Alexander Pope

Dear, damn’d distracting town, farewell! 

Thy fools no more I’ll tease: 

This year in peace, ye critics, dwell, 

Ye harlots, sleep at ease! 
Soft B– and rough C–s adieu, 

Earl Warwick made your moan, 

The lively H–k and you 

May knock up whores alone. 
To drink and droll be Rowe allow’d 

Till the third watchman’s toll; 

Let Jervas gratis paint, and Frowde 

Save three-pence and his soul. 
Farewell, Arbuthnot’s raillery 

On every learned sot; 

And Garth, the best good Christian he, 

Although he knows it not. 
Lintot, farewell! thy bard must go; 

Farewell, unhappy Tonson! 

Heaven gives thee for thy loss of Rowe, 

Lean Philips, and fat Johnson. 
Why should I stay? Both parties rage; 

My vixen mistress squalls; 

The wits in envious feuds engage: 

And Homer (damn him!) calls. 
The love of arts lies cold and dead 

In Halifax’s urn: 

And not one Muse of all he fed 

Has yet the grace to mourn. 
My friends, by turns, my friends confound, 

Betray, and are betrayed: 

Poor Y–r’s sold for fifty pound, 

And B–ll is a jade. 
Why make I friendships with the great, 

When I no favour seek? 

Or follow girls, seven hours in eight? 

I us’d but once a week. 
Still idle, with a busy air, 

Deep whimsies to contrive; 

The gayest valetudinaire, 

Most thinking rake, alive. 
Solicitous for others’ ends, 

Though fond of dear repose; 

Careless or drowsy with my friends, 

And frolic with my foes. 
Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell, 

For sober, studious days! 

And Burlington’s delicious meal, 

For salads, tarts, and pease! 
Adieu to all, but Gay alone, 

Whose soul, sincere and free, 

Loves all mankind, but flatters none, 

And so may starve with me.

Poem – Chorus Of Youths And Virgins – Alexander Pope

Semichorus. 

Oh Tyrant Love! hast thou possest 

The prudent, learn’d, and virtuous breast? 

Wisdom and wit in vain reclaim, 

And Arts but soften us to feel thy flame. 

Love, soft intruder, enters here, 

But ent’ring learns to be sincere. 

Marcus with blushes owns he loves, 

And Brutus tenderly reproves. 

Why, Virtue, dost thou blame desire, 

Which Nature has imprest? 

Why, Nature, dost thou soonest fire 

The mild and gen’rous breast? 
Chorus. 

Love’s purer flames the Gods approve; 

The Gods and Brutus bent to love: 

Brutus for absent Portia sighs, 

And sterner Cassius melts at Junia’s eyes. 

What is loose love? a transient gust, 

Spent in a sudden storm of lust, 

A vapour fed from wild desire, 

A wand’ring, self-consuming fire, 

But Hymen’s kinder flames unite; 

And burn for ever one; 

Chaste as cold Cynthia’s virgin light, 

Productive as the Sun. 
Semichorus. 

Oh source of ev’ry social tie, 

United wish, and mutual joy! 

What various joys on one attend, 

As son, as father, brother husband, friend? 

Whether his hoary sire he spies, 

While thousand grateful thoughts arise; 

Or meets his spouse’s fonder eye; 

Or views his smiling progeny; 

What tender passions take their turns, 

What home-felt raptures move? 

His heart now melts, now leaps, now burns, 

With rev’rence, hope, and love. 
Chorus. 

Hence guilty joys, distastes, surmises, 

Hence false tears, deceits, disguises, 

Dangers, doubts, delays, surprises; 

Fires that scorch, yet dare not shine 

Purest love’s unwasting treasure, 

Constant faith, fair hope, long leisure, 

Days of ease, and nights of pleasure; 

Sacred Hymen! these are thine.