A white hare has been living in my back yard all winter
in his home in the cave under the fir tree.
He thumps the snow from his feet against the house
Perhaps just to sound his hundred names.
The imprint of those feet is white on white,
small scrim and blush on the snow and a prophecy
of seedlings under the tree are also all we know of him.
Everywhere that winter there were rumours
small reports and the sky heavy with doubt.
The poem “Hare” began with the Buddhist jataka – literally, “birth story” that refers to the many reincarnations of Buddha mostly in the form of animals. Though not a Buddhist myself, I can ask “Is the lowly hare in my backyard a form of Buddah? What is he saying to me?” Squirrels, sparrows, and other animals now leave clues for me about myself like the fact that I know nothing. That is clear. Buddhist poems have tended to be short, aphoristic with simple lines and observations. They dare us to wonder and to doubt and then laugh about it.
Allan Serafino’s poems have appeared in over fifty Canadian, American, UK and Australian magazines and in three collections Troubled Dreams, Alien States and Another Way (Ekstasis Editions). He was the former editor and president of Dandelion/blue buffalo magazines and president of The Calgary Writers Association.