Rabbit on the Moon

Deutsch: Der Vollmond, fotografiert in Hamois ...
Image via Wikipedia

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.

Bonnie Marshall

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