The Prayer for Refuge is a Tibetan prayer from the dead
said for those who continue Pilgrimage
concealed behind bone & flesh  thought & jealousy 
hate & love
                     delusion & confusion.

the dead ask simply;
Now that I wander alone apart from my loved ones
And all my visions are but empty images
May the Buddhas exert the force of their compassion
And stop the fear and hate-drawn terrors of the between!

All around  prayers of the disembodied ones
        whistle through trees 
Cap Anson tobacco card clothes-pinned onto bike spooks
        hillbilly babies skipping over humpbacks in the Mediterranean

Tonight these beeches are Dracula’s widows
        hunched & luminescent  shriveled  pasty
        howling in Western night 
snarling for the un-dead prince who leaves not prayers
        but puncture wounds summoning infection.

Mother at the urn  rise &  leave these ashes swaddled in sheep wool
       here in the forest 
(I dream of the fox skull being an astronaut picking his autoharp
on the full moon
and feel a fool)

May the demons heed their extremities;
        devour the marble grenade!
May the demons throat be narrow
        so not even kusa grass blade may pass!
May the demons wrench  whirl 
         cracked windpipe      suffocation illumined wolf moon!

May Spirit Fox never wander alone

May the demons awake & break into firefly

May all brothers  sisters  cousins  aunts  uncles
     pioneers  shaman  tribesman 
Firmly hold & clasp hands
round hulking backs 
sweet perfumed napes  gently rocking between

May Grandma Rose & Grandpa Santo never go hungry.

Tonight the dead pray for us.
Return to September 2002