By: Chaya Bhuvaneswar
The sentient being is one who can’t put down
The newspapers, printed for free,
brown children in white, muddy clothes,
woman with a wrinkled face, smiling
trees touching each other’s roots in public parks.
“Buddha”, from “bhut” doesn’t just mean “awakened” –
To recover consciousness (after a swoon). Reviving the scent of a flower’s perfume.
To observe, heed, and pay close attention to.
Understand this: “sentient” mantles, well-worn robes, carry both thinking and feeling,
Perhaps not ever turning back, gentle but not turning away —
Apprehending without capturing.
Yet “sentient” can look like
“Sentinel.” Soldier. Sentry. Soliloquizing surveillant.
Vigilant gatekeeper. Loaded assailant
Whose overhears the word “Buddha” as garbage sound,
A grunt that’s nothing more than nothingness Butthead.
Round belch emitted from a rounding guardian with a mind. Minder.
Armed sentinels are those senses are aflame, feelings straight and sharper than gun-blades
Dictate descent. Permit enraged ravage.
Our sentinel refuses to assent that Others might also be sentient.
Aroused and angry for the less than one percent,
Who’ve been commanded carelessly, to be less than decent.
“Hack.” “Alpha Charlie,” “Bitchin’ Betty”, “Bolo”, “Bone”, “Burn Bag”
“Chancre Mechanic”, “Dope on a Rope”, “Fart Sack”. “Voice in the Sky.”
My eyes closed, in a lotus pose, I can hear those,
Emitted from some unremitting frequency, word wave that washes over me.
Mind wandering over sentinels, desiderative pricking like a stick
To wish to observe; to desire to become acquainted with.