The Curse of Devotion

The curse of devotion is the ungraspable imprint of an empty heart

Trungpa Rinpoche with Yumtso (under his chair), Kalapa Court, Boulder, circa 1982; Photo by Walter Fordham


The curse of devotion
is the ungraspable imprint
of an empty heart

Bereft of floral poetry
sharper than indifferent philosophizing
that truth is without barter

In the best of times
drunk on empty pleasures
we forget you

In the worst of times
the oasis of samsara turns barren
so we cry your name

The reality is
there is no way to go forward
without you

The non-reality is
there is no way to go back
because of you

The security of comforting thoughts
naked moments cloaked
in presumption

Are the playthings of concept
you relieved from our grasp
wielding rage and love

Mirroring your sky like mind
is the difference between
ease and suffering

I should be braver, stand tall
continually unfold the gifts
of awareness you left

Believe everything’s all right
that chaos is good news and
gentle coconuts aren’t as hard as I fear

The truth is it’s relentlessly
difficult to navigate the territory
of harsh thoughts without your guidance

Like fun house mirrors
my projections appear
real warped and unknowable

The lament of true Kagyu
is we finally see mind-gem
in its simplicity

At the moment it slips from our hand
disappearing traceless
into the reflection of thought

Once you touch a flower
even the truest poem about one
suffers by comparison

So then, choiceless we go onward
sideways, backwards
all at once

The riddle of pain as joyful reminder
becomes plain truth and the
roar of an inescapable goodbye

Rings true, loud,
an echoless sound
like calling the guru from afar