‘The Cow Bell’

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The Cow Bell

by douglas john imbrogno

“The fool is careless. But masters guard their watching. It is their most precious treasure.” ~ The Buddha, The Dhammapada, No. 2

A great grief saddles me,
rides down the pampas of
Virginia Dare Avenue,

until I am too tired
and we return home


They fish another Kennedy
out of the drink (“unspeakable grief,” the family says)

and must decide — bring the
limp bodies home or
burial at sea.

And so, what, really,
do I have to
complain about?


I hear the
of the Buddha medal

bouncing off my
breastbone (one side Buddha,
one side stupa)

and am reminded I
cannot escape.
My karma will always

ring like a cow bell,
so long as I am
a dull beast,

barely awake,
circling about on
the same old hillside.

+ + +

The Outer Banks, North Carolina, July 1999


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