• zen stories

    and other quirks of mind
  • 1

Language - Taal - Lingua

Sitting on a wooden bench on the beach
I watch the waves press themselves out of a smooth sea
And slide across the sand
In a mass grave of humbled pride

A summer breeze cools my naked back
Around me I see people enjoying themselves
Couples with and without children
Hands filled with dark slabs of shiny glass
Glittering surfaces tempting them into a world that is not there

Is mine?
Why this sense of estrangement within me?
Have I become so attached to the ebb and flow of my animal nature?
Should I too seek refuge in the world inside the screen?
What is this voice inside of me, protesting
Against the facile emptiness I see around me?

Is it perhaps because a screen holds no real surprises?
Neutering us into a tensionless mediocrity
Of eternal sunshine
Where shadows cannot dance?
Where the menace of suffering and the lightness of surrender
Have disappeared into a synthetic illusion of at-oneness?

My thoughts are interrupted as a child runs by
I see him stumble and fall
Face forward into the warm sand
His mouth and nose covered with foreign dust
Our eyes meet
A spark ignites
And fright gives way to laughter

© JH, Spright-Art

Author's comment

  • I wrote this on a crowded beach while looking around me and seeing all these people on sunbeds with crooked necks, absorbed in the screens of their phones, pads, games and readers. It's very common, I know, but I haven't stopped noticing it, which I hope is a good sign! For all of you who are interested in reading a book that picks you up and pushes you back into your animal nature, I can highly recommend the book by David Abram: "Becoming Animal." The only thing that counts when looking through the looking glass of Zen is the moment itself. It's not about the screen or the screenless, but about being there.
  • 1