Friday, October 8, 2010

Going Wodwo*: A Paccekabuddha** poem (of sorts) by Neil Gaiman

Shedding my shirt, my book, my coat, my life
Leaving them, empty husks and fallen leaves
Going in search of food and for a spring
Of sweet water.

I'll find a tree as wide as ten fat men
Clear water riling over its gray roots
Berries I'll find, and crab apples and nuts
And call it home.

I'll tell the wind my name, and no one else.
True madness takes or leaves us in the wood
halfway through all our lives. My skin will be
my face now.

I must be nuts. Sense left with shoes and house,
my guts are cramped. I'll stumble through the green
back to my roots, and leaves and thorns and buds,
and shiver.

I'll leave the way of words to walk the wood
I'll be the forest's man, and greet the sun,
And feel the silence blossom on my tongue
like language.

*wodwo or wodwose: wild man of the woods, green man. ** A paccekabuddha (skrt. pratyekabuddha) is a "solitary" or "silent" awakened sage living apart from normal society who does not have the ability to formulate his or her realization as a teaching, so has little interaction or influence on others.

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