zen dishwashing

his room of escape cowers dollhouse small

in this tiny tudor house.

his mother’s before him,

the yellow tiled kitchen

is tradition

more than a room.

the dried flowers placed on the wall

by his mother’s delicate hand decades ago

are crumbling.

a memory suspended by a nail,

the ghosts of roses long ago pulled

from the ground and tied with a pink ribbon.

this is now his room,

his place.

longing to be a zen buddhist

my father stands at the sink, staring out

the window, squinting against the sun.

washing dishes, water is calming.

he says he sees enlightenment.

the floorboards groan beneath his feet.

they are worn almost through,

and the gleam of the laundry room shines up.

bob dylan whines from the stereo,

carefully tuned and turned

up to rattle the purple and green wine glasses

suspended by their feet

above the stove.

he becomes lost in the music,

a tantric hypnosis, the melody his mantra

bringing him summers 20 years past.

summers of love and freedom,

he remembers feeling real.

he turns his attention back to the dirty dishes,

sighing while singing with dylan.

peace can be found in unlikely places –

nirvana at the sink.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. luna15
    Jun 02, 2011 @ 15:02:38

    we get peace wherever we can find it. Well done!


  2. mindlovemisery
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 14:56:24

    I love this! You really capture the heart of Zen in this poem


  3. honeyhaiku
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 16:38:16

    Wonderfully Zen! There is something very comforting, calming and centering in washing dishes.


  4. Jingle
    Mar 07, 2011 @ 15:44:53

    beautiful delivery of your emotions.
    welcome to JP.



  5. Bee
    May 08, 2008 @ 19:37:34

    my clothes wash well.


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