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Joe Stroud reading his poem for Mort - "Transcendental Meditation"

Transcendental Meditation

for Mort Marcus

My friend Mort loves to talk,
to expound on the profound
deep meanings of existence,
and I've learned to listen,
sort of,
trying to sort fact from fancy,
truth from invention,
as I do with my own thoughts,
as I do in a poem—
so that afternoon
on the long drive through Salinas Valley,
I listened to Mort
and measured his words
as I drove us past King City,
past San Ardo and San Miguel,
when Mort turned in his seat
and said to me,
"We should stop talking now—
I'm going to meditate,"
and as I pondered the "we"
and drove through the green hills,
past groves of sycamores,
past magpies in deep discussions along the roadside,
I glanced over at Mort,
his delicate hands
folded over his Buddha belly,
head bowed in deep meditation,
sunlight slanting through the window,
his whole body glowing,
and Mort, my friend,
my compadre all these years,
Mort, the greatest meditator
in the whole Central Coast,
his beard and clothes shining,
Mort, deep in himself
and sounding his personal mantra,
is quietly snoring.

Joe Stroud


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  Video courtesy of Joe Stroud   Floodlight Feature by phren-Z