The Perfect Guest


When we went to meet you, you were already there.

And when we arrived, they said you had left.


You were the traveler, who had met all our grandfathers.


When we begged you for stories, you played with the sounds of the words.

When we stared, you made kabuki faces till we laughed.

When we showed you a picture, you turned the mirror so we could see.

When we poured you water, you divined a spring.

When we asked you to dinner, you prepared the meal.

When we folded down your bed, you helped us try on your robes.  

When we opened your window, you built us a mountain shrine.

When you lit your pipe, the stars sparkled back.

When we knocked on your door, we found you down by the river.


Not remembering, you had endless time for us.

Not knowing, you blessed us with our own wisdom.

Not hesitating, you calmed our fears.


Being helpless, we found the possibilities in each moment.

Being defeated, we learned to rest in solitude.


You were the great joy in a child’s life.

The gentle monster, at our side,

The ancient book that never needed to be opened,

The karmic magician hardly noticed.


We sat silently in your lap and fell peacefully awake,

Now we find you floating, eternally in our hearts.