dear bhikkhu: a eulogy

by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

what will you will to endure, bhikkhu?

what will you remember, twenty lake days
saffron robe to keep out the cold, keep out the stares
keep off the wax moths and blinding light?

watering hole no lodging, jeta’s grove like amber

did it too keep out the cold, keep out the stares
keep at bay the thronging, night winds and downing sun?
head above water, swimming internal sounds

what feeling, of quiet acceptance and hope?

morsel against the drowning, the hungering
the putting up, creeping creatureliness that doubts
fetter of views behind the banyan trees

what conveniences after that?

a nice long bath, then their soft rice and milk?
did the sintered glass beads hurl themselves upstream
like tiny grayling, as you would have liked?

which headlong direction, gulp and dip?

did the two fishermen reel you in and upward
gold-leafed statue in another bluing river
thousand miles away, east of thousand faces later?

what blessings surface?

what trouble you go to, to care for the dying
that, glad at heart, other bhikkhus
may too remember the rescue, this refraction

Solstice Literary Magazine

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé's picture

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books. The titles span the genres of ethnography, journalism, creative nonfiction, and poetry, several edited pro bono for non-profit organizations including Sok Sabay Cambodia, Riding for the Disabled Association, and the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre. Previously an entertainment and lifestyle journalist, Desmond has traveled to Australia, France, Hong Kong and Spain for his stories, culminating in the authorship of the limited edition Top Ten TCS Stars for Caldecott Publishing. Trained in book publishing at Stanford University, with a theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame, he is the recipient of the Hiew Siew Nam Academic Award, and Singapore Internationale Grant, with his poetry and fiction appearing in nine chapbooks, various anthologies, and over 140 literary journals. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his ceramic works housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, the UK and the US.

Last updated May 31, 2011