The Flute

As I walked by the growth of bamboo
I heard the sound of a flute
Playing a melodious tune
This seemed a bit odd
This flute that played
For I had passed this growth
On other days
Never before had I heard a flute that played
I listened intently to this beautiful tune
Until I felt an intrusion
A thought to cut and hew
A piece of bamboo
So that I too could play
The beautiful tune
As I approached to cut a piece of bamboo
I felt compelled to ask permission
Of which stalk to use
And at that very moment
The melodious tune
Focused my attention on a stalk
Of which I used
It was one of unusual shape
And one I would never have chose
It was slightly deformed at its center
And its ends were of different size holes
I hollowed out its center
And polished it to a lustrous sheen
I carved in sacred designs
And wrapped it in scented string
I drilled the necessary holes
To release the melodious tune
That resonated so beautifully
From the growth of bamboo
I learned the chromatic scale
The pitch of its semitones
It became a close companion
A friend when all alone
I remember the night near Half Dome
The sky a vermilion glow
Lying beneath a redwood
Near a stream that gently flowed
I reached for my companion
And gently played a tune
I trilled the high notes of happiness
And slurred the low notes of the blues
When from out of the distance
The sound of a flute did play
The melodious tune that resonated
From the growth of bamboo - that day
I felt a spiritual awakening
A moment of vivid thought
That the universe is but a circus movement
That flows out from this very spot
I remember the last time I played
My wonderful flute
The flute I had fashioned
From a slightly deformed bamboo shoot
I play the melodious tune
That resonated from the growth of bamboo
Then I placed it upon the piano
A place of musical delight
Retiring for the evening
With a book of philosophical insight
I read of Krishnamurti
A man of eastern thought
Who wrote of death and dying
As a loss of things
Both known and thought
He suggests a mini-death
To purify the soul
A giving up of a pleasure
To actually let it go
I thought this seemed reasonable
To give up ones hold
I sat there just thinking
When from out of the cold
My cousin had come to visit
He was headed east back home
Came to say good-bye
We may never again meet
I thought of Krishnamurti
And what a perfect time to die
I needed something of pleasure
Something to actually let go
And there on the piano
The flute I had fashioned
Would purify my soul
I gave the flute to my cousin
He seemed genuinely surprised
I asked him to take it
As a bond of family ties
He asked if I had made it
I said yes it's part of me
It contains such beautiful melodies
And in time you will see
I knew that he understood
Because of the tears in his eyes
And as he drove off to the airport
I stood there and waved good-bye