Robert Ronnow
                                                   Brother Death

            Monk's shaved pate

Monk's shaved pate
thick pelt around edge
leans over book

                              leans over book above river
reciting lines, reading scriptures, preparing
first for his personal salvation, then
for those of other men.

                                          He prays, sweetly
                                          serenely, steadfastly

in the broad rhythmic thrusting of the river
and the earth.

                        Completely exposed
                  to its vibration
      he vibrates passively
yet passionately

putting effort into remembering some
      of the ancient, past taboos
                  and practices

the art of total presence
and abstinence.

                        Absent from worldly
                                    life, abstaining wholly
                                          from touching
                                                the black girl

                                    part of her beads
                        her sweaty underwear

commanding a full dress view
            of her stimulus,
                  her honey.

Copyright 2001 & 2007 by Robert Ronnow.