Bikku under the Bodhi Tree

Written by: T Wignesan

                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 cakras’ splendrous colours
                                                                               bikku on a burning pyre
©T.Wignesan 1992
April 29, 1997
[from the collection : longhand notes (a binding of poems), 1999]