Texas Buddha | Horse Talk

Texas Buddha

Incense rising from a joint.
Chords from a revered guitar.
Friends gathered ’round.
Hymns, jokes, and laughter.

Pilgrims travel from afar
to see the Texas Buddha.
Lost puppies, hard cases,
promoters of worthy causes
finding common ground.

When I’m at that point, at a
crossroads of no good choices,
I picture him sitting cross-legged
in pigtails and cowboy boots —
easy smile radiating goodwill,
and I ask, What would Willie do?

Horse Talk

On difficult days, I head down
to the barn and whistle for Elvis.
My horse knows his name,
or at least knows what I call him
and has decided to go along with it.

I’ve learned some horse-speak too,
his different whinnies — nervousness,
curiosity, where’ve you been.
Some of it’s sign language —
flared nostrils, a jerky head.

Some days Elvis is cranky
and doesn’t want to be ridden.
I get that. We talk about it
and sometimes he changes
his mind. Sometimes he doesn’t.
On those days I usually just
brush him and tell him a story.
He seems to like it. So do I.

About Sean Winn

Sean Winn’s fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in dozens of literary journals, most recently in Talking River Review, Glint, and San Antonio Review. In addition to writing, his other project is getting an environmental nonprofit off the ground: www.PlasticReductionProject.org.

Read more