Rabbit on the Moon
Once upon a time…a starving Japanese peasant
asked a monkey, an otter, a jackal,
and a rabbit to give him food.
Of these four, only the rabbit could offer him nothing.
Ashamed, it jumped into a nearby glowing fire pit…
flesh and life…to sate the peasant’s hunger.
As the legend goes, neither did the rabbit die
nor did it burn, for the peasant was a Buddhist god.
This was a test, as some gods do,
to find the sacrificing and the humble.
So the god raised a benediction toward the moon,
and drew the rabbit’s gray likeness for all on earth to see.
In India, offerings of oranges and chrysanthemum flowers
honor three monkey images emerging from gnarled bark
on a lacy-leaf mahogany tree.
In Italy, a semblance of da Vinci’s The Last Supper
appeared on a water damaged villa wall
where demolition workers refused to touch it.
Everywhere, constellations light years distant in a mystic universe
become familiar outlines… Aquarius’ water bearer and Libra’s balance scale.
And on and on…and so imagination connects us to externals
to sate internal quests for deeper meaning.