A Poet Seeks Enlightenment

Two poets are sharing an evening of good cheer,
when one says, “In this world I don’t want everything.
All I desire is for grown men to weep when they hear
my verse, for readers to attain a level where angels sing.”

The other says, “You should seek guidance from the poetry
guru, the all-knowing seer who holds the answers to all.”
Desiring to author a poetry book, our poet without hesitancy
declares his determination to find this guru. “Neither tall

mountains nor wide oceans shall keep me from my goal.
I set out immediately on a pilgrimage to locate the guru.”
By car, by plane, by train, he travels far…miles untold,
until he arrives in Nepal, where the guru lives...(who knew?)

He hires a guide; together they begin the final leg of his journey.
First by truck, then by horseback, finally on foot they progress
across many miles filled with horrible hardship and misery,
but our poet pushes on, fighting through all the pain and stress.

Finally he stands at the base of the very mountain upon which
the guru resides. Up he goes, walking up a gentle slope at first,
then climbing up an incline, soon scaling cliffs that switch
from bare rock to ice and snow. On and on he goes, as his thirst

for poetic knowledge compels him forward…forward until he
stands before the actual hut… (What, you were expecting a temple?
All poets are poor, remember?)…of the guru he came so far to see.
He enters and speaks, “Oh, great poetry guru, I am but a simple

poet who has traveled long and far, suffered greatly to find
poetic enlightenment. What words of wisdom can you tell?”
The guru examines him carefully, then speaks his mind,
“Unless you are already famous, your poetry book won’t sell!”

Harry Edward Gilleland      05.15.04