The following poem was submitted by Steve Kohn, a participant in last year’s “In the Footsteps of the Buddha” Tricycle pilgrimage to India. He was inspired to submit the poem upon reading Pico Iyer’s piece in the pilgrimage special section in the Fall 2012 issue of Tricycle.
Come be a pilgrim with me.
There is a place of great poverty,
With here and there
A cow patty of wealth.
Come, take a journey and see
Great hungers feeding ill health
With invisible poisons in water and air.
Clear the dust from your eyes there will be
Devotional practice and spiritual
Fanatical followers of rams, angels, devils, and saints
Engaging in mystical ritual
While practicing taints.
Come be a pilgrim with me
To the stupas by the Washington Mall,
Or the space where those towers used to be.
We needn’t have traveled at all.
© 2008 Steve Kohn
You can find information about the upcoming Tricycle pilgrimages to Tibet’s Mt. Kailash in June and to China in October here.
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.