Bikku under the Bodhi Tree



                yogi under the banyan tree

                yogi under the bodhi tree

                                                                    bikku under the banyan tree


                               waiting for release


                      bikku in blissful nibbhana

                      yogi in extinguishing moksha                       



      Penniless poet under the tenement roof

      Jazz organist under the pavement sky

      Struggling novelist under the Riviera blue

      Russian ballerina under the American umbrella

      Apprentice painter under the Sistine Chapel

      Sculptor Underground


                                                   waiting for the agent’s call



                                              burning Anne Frank manuscripts in an air-raid fire

                                                        singular melodies drowned in the descending drone


  Kafka writing without a morrow

  van Gogh dabbing his tormented palette under the Arles sun

             Sartre turning the Nobel Prize down for teenage girls

  Siddhartha abandoning his body’s palace for the people’s pain


                   the common man unable to abandon his workload family


                             bikku under the bodhi tree

       his body shrivelled under the saffron robe

       his begging bowl filled by karma-earning hands

                                                                         the last trichinosis-filled moksha meal


bikku rising on a thousand-petalled flower

     bikku piercing through the cakrassplendrous colours


                                                                               bikku on a burning pyre



©T.Wignesan 1992

April 29, 1997


[from the collection : longhand notes (a binding of poems), 1999]