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Wandering one gathers honey.

                   — Sanskrit Proverb




the new Tibetan temple in Dehra Dun

gateway to the Himalayas

and refuge to many Tibetan refugees

had been consecrated just recently

by that old Cheshire cat himself

His Holiness the Dali Lama

his photo sits to the left of the altar

he is wearing a pink pointy party hat

and his bodhisattva smile


you know how Buddhists love big Buddhas

the bigger the Buddha the better

and there was a really big one

bigger than a billboard

more like a missile by an interstate exit

standing sentinel on a hillock

just beside the temple



the temple had a big seated Buddha

on the inside, all golden and serene

and one up on the second story outside

that looked funny to me

not quite symmetrical

and you know how Buddhists

love symmetry

there was something over

its left eye

dark, an amber shadow

very very odd indeed


well being Sunday

wouldn’t you know

the second story was open

so I got to go up

and take a closer look

that dark thing hanging

over the left eye

was a honeycombed hive

full of bees a buzzing

and honey

lots of dark amber honey


I wondered if I stood just below

with my tongue stuck out as far as it could go

and my patience keeping me still as a stone

if I waited and waited

would one drop fall

and when I taste it sweet

will a golden light

turn on


my soul?


my friend Phyllis

tells a story about

her mother Pearl

they were part of a wedding party

at the Ritz Carlton

a swanky affair

they did not know

that who but that old

Cheshire cat

His Holiness

the Dali Lama

was staying there too


security was tight

when they met

the Dali Lama

at the elevator

he was the very same size

as Pearl who was at the time

a little old Jewish lady


Phyllis said he smiled

took Pearl’s hand

and led her into the elevator

no words were exchanged

before they got off

one floor up


you see Pearl did

not know who

the Dali Lama was

anymore than

he knew who was she


the moral of this story?

be sweet

you never know

who you are about

to meet.



Franklin Abbott

13 May 2007

Stone Mountain




One comment on “BE SWEET

  1. What a great story about Pearl and that ol’ Cheshire cat.

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