Namo Tassa: Poetry from Philip Kienholz

I’m happy to introduce a new contributor to Engage!, Philip Kienholz, a poet from Peterborough, Ontario. His book of poetry, Display: Poems, will be available on Amazon.ca later this month.

Namo Tassa Extempore

                             for Dale Jacobson

    1.

I am sitting here watching my ego.
I am sitting here watching my ego.
I’m sitting here watching my ego.
I ‘ve been watching my ego for ten days.
I’ve been watching my ego non-stop twenty hours a day.
I go to sleep watching my ego. I wake up watching my ego.

Sometimes in my sleep I watch my ego.
I watch my ego while I eat, and when I go to the bathroom.
I sit and walk watching my ego.
I’m watching my ego to learn of it.
I’m watching my ego to learn how it works,

to be uncompelled by my ego,
what it’s like, how it moves, what it wants me to do,
how to keep sitting watching my ego

As a warrior watching an enemy
I’m watching my ego, as a warrior watching an enemy
to know how the enemy acts.
I’m watching my ego as a warrior watching an enemy
to learn how to live with an enemy,
make friends with the enemy, make peace with the enemy,
learn ego is not my enemy, how to welcome it in the world

Still sitting watching ego
Sense a small gap, tiny break, what it takes
to be
ordinarily

    2.

Through that gap pour ten thousand eloquently delivering news:
empires’ malevolent quagmires, delusions of perpetual news.

In the crowd at market this morning a dog peed on my feet.
No meaning I conjured, just dried off from the wet spray of news.

If the false talk of the town is bandied about — contests and winners,
here’s fame’s unwecome surprise saying now, you’re the news.

From a far country where fain I would go, in the mind’s eye
an instant comes travelling. I query, wayfarer, what news?

You’re no one, no thing, a pattern for process in flight.
Transient view leaving plain love for rapture surely will rupture — the news.

Stuffed back into void, down into the gap, whirlwind of nights,
tornados of days, shrink to sitting with ego’s      newer news.

Sat in silence      earth’s great pulse.
Faintly distant bird’s small chirp brought unembroidered news.

Wrestling thoughts to crafty poems, phrases signifying all things,
clever Phil’s thefted play words sound woo-woo never-never news

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