Buddha Birds

You want to talk about Buddha consciousness?

Check out birds. They live entirely in the moment.

Have to. Surviving in the natural world requires

constant vigilance. Get distracted and something

eats you or you fly into a window or a wave

crashes over you. Yet birds take time to meditate.

I see hawks just being here now all the time on

telephone polls and tree branches, and I see fat

little birds like jovial roly-poly Buddha statues

sitting perfectly still amidst anti-hawk anti-cat

branches grooving on the concept of nothingness

or who knows what? I suppose birds have to

deal with mind chatter when they meditate

just like we do. Food food gotta get food! When’s

that gopher gonna come out of his hole so I can swoop

down and tear him to shreds and eat my fill before I

take the bloody remains back to the shrieking hawklets?

When are those grasses gonna flower and when are

those flowers gonna make seeds so me and my gang

can get fat for the winter? And what about lust

and the ever nearness of death?

Oh maybe I’ve glorified birds because they can fly

and go from perfect stillness to blurring speed in

the blink of an eye. Maybe that’s why I think

birds are Buddhas. I do. I think when a person gets

fully hip to the lay of reality and is reflexively

kind to others, when she dies she doesn’t come

back human, not right away. First she is reborn

a bird and gets to fly around and contemplate

the earth from on high for a few lifetimes before

she has another go at being human. Why do

I think this? Because all the kindest people

I’ve ever known have at one time or another

expressed to me their desire to be reborn as

some kind of bird. Pelican, chickadee, grebe,

hummingbird, hawk. Now why would all the

kindest people want to come back as birds?

Gotta be a connection, right? I mean…

What kind of bird would you like to be?

One Fell Swoop piano solo by Todd