Bearing the world upon your back,
when you shrug, the earth quakes
and breaks into the ten stages
in which we find enlightenment.
One of the first we meet
at the moment of death, you
escort us into the underworld
to await our next incarnation.
Philosophically, we ride astride
you to prove our intellects have
conquered our bodies’ physical urges,
but we are nothing more than children.
The dense fog you exhale
obscures the sun to ensnare
our Emperor upon this field
requiring a demon to escape.
For millennia, our household utensils
have been made from your hide
and bones, our fertilizer, a fuel
scorching the grass upon which you feed.
As you journey to the West,
you lose yourself to the King
who blackened his name in death
and revealed his immortality.
You are the butcher, the butchered,
a visual double, the beta of
the horned goat presiding over
both the sea and Heaven.
Amid the global marketplace,
your caged equivalence to nine
elephants and monkeys has influenced
our silence and images of nothingness.
There is yet another hell
that still remains undiscovered
amid the lines and bindings
of this Sutra of the World Arising.
The more complex your duality,
with a spectrum difficult to interpret,
the simpler one is studied as
the power of God’s messenger.