No Third World

America, you need to hear it
There is no third world

which is barely disguised code for
what in the fifties we confidently

named the underdeveloped countries
meaning not like us

But there are many developments
I more developed

at solving cryptograms
and my wife, at deciphering people

America more developed
at exploring outer space --

where we see our own orb
as did St. Benedict                                                                                        Greg. Dial. 2.35, 4.7

a bright milky pearl

and Thailand at giving --
both rich and poor at dawn

lined up to place food
in the begging bowls of the monks

at the edge of the highway
There are many developments

America certainly more advanced
at developing email

Burmese at the mental development                                                                                                               bhavana
which enables monks to read minds

Tibetans at curing cancer
with Precious Pills at the new moon

and Haitian dancers at walking
across hot coals without being burned

many yangs many yins
but if I had to choose

I would go with the Tao Te Ching
and aspire

to the condition of water                                                                                                                Tao Te Ching, 8.20

From: Mosaic Orpheus, McGill-Queens University Press, 2009.

Posted: Tue 29 Dec, 2009