Translation of Light / Ruhama Veltfort

About the Author

Lost Child
Brooklyn, 1963
La Sirena
Susan, Number Four

Early Bird Sutra
Why the Boddhisattva Came
   to Battery Street: 7:55 AM

The Lightning-Struck Tower
The Well
Why Monks Are Fat
Meada in Two Worlds

Looking at the Vault
   of Heaven

Translations from the Spanish:
Song of the Lovers
Dark Night: Climbing
   Mount Carmel




Why Monks Are Fat

While the spirit swims
Circling the sublime absolute
And the essence explodes
Into pure consciousness
As if released from its tether —
As if. Yet,
At the other end of that tie-line
The belly howls and rails:
Feed me!
Ravenous, it growls:
You are still of the earth
And I will not let go.
And so
The monks file in from their meditation
Into the dining room.
They sit at long tables, trying to breathe slowly
Not to gobble.
It’s useless. Whatever food is set before them
Barley soup or coarse bread,
Baked vegetables, again!
As long as there’s enough
They will stuff
Until the belly fills and sighs:
You are mine again,
And I will hold my end down while you fly.

   © Ruhama Veltfort, 2010