The Cow

 
With one artful brush of her cow’s tail
an annoying mosquito was hurled
with its poison through the air—
only to return with countless others
eager to critique her form
in hopes of drawing blood.
Despite these minor, frustrating attacks,
her life was a rhythmic harmony
in tune with Life’s pastoral symphony
in which she played her own small part.
As a participant contentedly standing in the imagery
of country landscape photos and paintings,
she lived her days in gentle quietude
and peaceful contemplations.
She savoured sunshine and stillness,
yet found endless fascination
in the sweeping dramas of storms.
She loved the light of early morning,
the vibrant green pastures of Spring rains,
the still waters of the pond,
the well-worn paths to the welcoming barn.
She loved resting in calm communion
with the Spirit of Nature, the joy of oneness,
the creative process of eating—
chewing and cud-chewing
of food and thoughts cows think.
Just a common cow, she vainly regarded
her black and white markings
as being special and beautiful
and regarded her milk as being a uniquely fine gift.
Like a nun, she prayed to be forgiven
such vanity and pride when the habit of immodesty
covered and hid her better qualities.
Unlike a nun, she looked at creation
from widely different angles and perspectives.
She knew that cows had been used universally
as a symbol for worship by many humans
and as a symbol for mockery by many.
Such reverence and ridicule she faced
with equanimity mixed with bewilderment
and a healthy sense of humour.
Perhaps she’d be a whale in her next life.
Perhaps a frog.
She had a strong mothering instinct,
even toward those human creatures
who’d arrogantly ‘bought’ her at auction.
She lovingly worked to nurture them
with her flow of desired milk.
She gave freely and wholeheartedly,
celebrating Life with this self-giving.
Shy and mild-mannered most times,
she was a pleasingly good-natured cow
despite the occasional naughty kicks
she gave at milking times—
and the occasional bellowing of discontent
whenever boredom weighed heavily on her fat hours.
More than not, she was content—
not from expectation but gratitude
for the wonder of her life.
She so enjoyed the creative process
she saw in her own nature,
and the comforting communion
which utterly filled her quieted mind
and heart to overflowing expressions.
Her thoughts poured out like streams of milk.
Her milk poured out like streams of thought.
Some animals responded to her
with contemptuous or jealous eyes.
Some gazed at her as if she were
a garden statuary inspiration.
She looked at herself one day
in the pensive pond,
staring in humble reflection.
There she saw all creation in which she was absorbed—
all creation as being a divine, operatic play
evolving act by act
in a glory of expressed perfection.
The cow then lifted her head heavenward,
heart rejoicing,
and in tune with her own nature
voiced a truly happy moood.
April,1992 revised May,2004 February,2006
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