The Universe Wishing to Teach

In a language where
some words are for men
and some words are for women
he is a master
quite capable of diagnosing
his own tongue
as he speaks to this student
who doesn’t need to be filled
this patient
who already knows half the cure
is what you bring to it
woman of middle-age
who believes herself capable
of learning.
She is naturally
with the native understanding
of a crone who gains
a Zen adept’s
His sure hands trace old networks
and new tendrils
he feels grow
as he watches her
decant her whole being into one moment
two fingers
on the pulse …
this is not teaching!
he is being tapped!
and all his erudition can’t name
what she takes
he has to take
her word for as if he
is far from his place of birth
and she receiving him
a prince in his own land.
She knows her place
asks questions that move
all the processes
convections of earth air fire water
and his own organs
one centimetre sideways.
He answers
out of the floor
this old man’s knee
that plant by the window.
The more she learns
the politic of healing
the more he is affirmed
taking her through
the characters of a prescription
that makes his body

from The Tibetan Cabinet (River Road Press, 2010), Caroline Caddy 2010, used by permission of the author and River Road Press

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