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The Collected Poems of Philomene Long

 

ZEN HERMITS OF GREATER LOS ANGELES

The City of Los Angeles
Has its hermits

Some take to Disneyland
For their annual retreat
But they never return

One hermit is a
Los Angeles Lakers' basketball cheerleader
I know a Venice hermit who has another hermit
In her refrigerator
In the form of her dead cat

The best kind of hermits are those
That don't know they are hermits
Some have no eyelashes
Scorched from looking too closely

There are those who lose their voice
If they look hard enough they'll find it
In their second pocket of their second suit

Then earthquakes come, jumbling it up again
Like a residential milk shake so that it
Takes an act of faith to believe in sunrise

--Philomene Long

BE STILL AND KNOW

(after Harry Zen Stanton & Peter McCarthy)

One must have
a mind
which perceives
the slowness
of light
the crushing weight
of time
to know
the velocity
of darkness
the lightness
of all
that is not
and the
nothing
that is.

--Philomene Long

(C) Copyright Philomene Long Estate 2008-2011, All Rights Reserved. Photographs by Pegarty Long.

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