Suburban Mandala | Boyd Bauman

Image: Aerial Nomad

Suburban Mandala

Om of the lawnmower motor,
the meditative motion begins,
this tracing of the sacred square.

Castes least enlightened outsource,
content to admire aesthetics from afar.
The devout deny such urges,
don robes of an ancestral order:
button down western shirts,
before mounting mini John Deeres,
while those nearest nirvana self-propel,
lean step by measured step into each swath
as if laying down something native
on a Kansas prairie.

Cut grass like incense
awakens the senses.

Emptying themselves of the envy within
the outward gaze across the fence,
these Midwestern monks
are quite conscious of their lot,
rectangular orbits mere representations
of the workings and wonder
of the cosmos.

Prostration is sometimes required,
negotiating with the earth
over weeds noxious, obnoxious,
other blessed imperfections.

A single blade clings to the sweat
on an arm,
the rest released to the currents
of June rain or a.m. sprinklers,
the mandala regenerating perpetually.

Each steward inhales,
accepting this perfection
embracing this transience and a want
for nothing.

Boyd Bauman grew up on a small ranch south of Bern, Kansas.  His dad was a storyteller and his mom the family scribe.  He has published two books of poetry:  Cleave and Scheherazade Plays the Chestnut Tree Café.  After stints in New York, Colorado, Alaska, Japan, and Vietnam, Boyd now is a librarian and writer in Kansas City, inspired by his three lovely muses.   Visit at

This poem is from South Broadway Press’ new anthology, 
Dwell: Poems About Home. Purchase here.

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