hidden in the tall grass…

a young man
from
a neighboring village
came
to ask
bapa dola
how it was
that strangers
to his village
could see
the solution
to problems
that had
confronted the elders
for years
surely
the young man
said
the visitors
must be
wise men
full
of knowledge
bapa dola
said
perhaps
it is not
knowledge
but
the willingness
to
see what is really there
and
to not deny the truth
for
often we hear
but
do not listen
see
but
do not
perceive

homecoming…

bapa dola said
after years
of pursuing
wealth
and
fame
an old man
returned
to his childhood village
to
boast
of his accomplishments
only
to find it empty
all the huts
were
in shambles
the statue
of his protector
was but dust
and
tarnished metal
nothing was there
but
memories
and
so it is
with
all
seeking the past
he said

uncut diamonds…

uncut diamonds

as bapa dola
stood near
the water’s edge
a student of his
said that
he had heard
in the village
from a war lord
about
the honor
and
glory
of dying
for one’s land
bapa dola
tossed a stone
into the water
and said
fools
see the rings
that move away
as the stone
enters the water
the rings
pull the eyes away
from
the tragedy
of the stone’s death
a stone
that
could have held
a diamond’s beauty
inside

breaking the code…

breaking the code

one day
two men
entered our village
seeking counsel
from bapa dola
as they sat
outside his hut
they could hear
mumbled words
quite
incomprehensible
when each
sat alone
with the teacher
he asked
what they had heard outside
one was
certain
he heard words
on how to plan
war
while
the other
was
certain
he had heard
kind words
on how to handle
the pain
of loneliness
after they had left
the village
bapa dola’s students
asked
how can such
diverse things be heard
bapa dola
said
in confusion
what is in the heart
is mirrored by
what the ear
hears

untold treasures…

untold treasures

when a warring tribe
stole the bone inlaid
village treasure box
bapa dola
instructed his students
to construct a new one
when they asked why
given that the treasures
were all gone
he said
each person in the village
has known for many years
that the box was empty
it held only their faith
in tomorrow’s fortune
with
the size of their
personal treasure
according
to that faith

a closed hole in the wall…

a closed hole in the wall

bapa dola
said
upon death
better to have
one mourner
whose tears
flow from the depths
of love
than
a thousand
whose tears flow
from
their own fears