Noble Silence Meets Male Ego

We are gathered together
For nine days
To keep noble silence:
Silence of mind, silence of body, silence of speech

No writing, no reading
No music, no speech
No gesture, no eye contact

Needless to say, the sexes have been segregated
To avoid disruption
To avoid exchanging
Ideas of one kind or another
In meditation,

From the men’s side of the Dojo, there’s
A constant battery of breaking wind,
Coughs and raucous sneezes,
Shuffling, yawning, sudden scratchings
Burps, hiccups
Or in other words: ‘I’m still here!’
‘Look at me!’
‘Don’t forget about me!’

From the women’s side, nothing
Only a little sneeze
Now and then, say
Every two or three days
After day three,
I realise I have no need
Of my ego
I want to change sides

Budge up!

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