You Want to Enter My Garden

You want to enter my garden
to stroll barefoot
on morning dew-brushed grass

scent the redolence
of morning glories
opened by dawn’s first light

and dip your cup
in sunlit shimmering brook
to nourish your parched tender mouth.

If you want to enter my garden
you must enter
my cave where dank air

is smoldering with the stench
of childhood
abandonment and grief

and smear your naked body
with the acidic dust
of terror and despair.

Then you will discover
a child’s school lunch box
containing shards of a ceramic Jesus

four tiger-eye marbles
a plastic whistle
from a Cracker Jacks box

and words scribbled
on the inside
of a candy wrapper

“I Am Beautiful Just the Way I Am.”

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After closing his practice of 35 years in 2011 as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and with the publication of his first collection of poems, “A Heart on Fire, Poems from the Flames,” in 2014, David C. Weiss has been devoted to writing poetry and leading workshops for new poets. He is on the faculty of OLLI College at the University of Southern Maine and a visiting instructor of poetry at Sera Jhy Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in South India. David plays the “shakuhachi,” a Japanese end-blown bamboo flute used by monks of the “Fuke” school of Zen Buddhism in the practice of “suizen” (blowing meditation). He earned his Master of Theology and Ph.D. in Pastoral Psychology degrees from Boston University. You can follow David on his website.

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