Homage to CTR

April 4th is the anniversary of my teacher’s death in 1987. This is a poem spontaneously composed in fond remembrance.

Homage to CTR

now beyond the highs and lows

the yeses of staying in

the no’s of being out already

and who knows anyway

only the nose knows

entering the safe harbour

of your port-soaked breath

now a veritable highway of memory

illuminated by the well-ordered symmetry

of Shambhala government

who miraculously pay the taxes

extracted from this

extorted from that

beyond blessings or lament

ecstasy or torment

– and yes, I remember the summer of ecstasy well with all those weddings!….

Who is exhausted when remembering your inexhaustible naughtiness?

Who is reverent having been taught to ransack kleshas and show no mercy?

Who is regretful when every moment is a glorious dawn of present realization?

Who isn’t secretly proud that the whole thing blew up in our faces?

That we made a bigger mess out of it all than even you, the great Vajra Artist,

The Master of Vast Cosmic Vajra Mess and Vajra Disaster,

than even you could imagine,

how soon we’d drop the ball

and let it bounce down and around a back alley corner somewhere

into oblivion?

Well, many of us now volunteer exiles,

out in the cold

freezing in the midday sun of unquenchably thirsty samsara

parched for the Dharma

which nevertheless keeps oozing out of every pore

with every breath we recall your name

your song

your laughter

our family

our youth

our glory

our first chance

our second chance

our living legacy

which can neither be abandoned

nor forgotten

nor cheapened

nor honoured or dishonoured

now we are out in the wild

alone at last



that last breath

that final


After reading Ellen Mains letter from long ago,

And then the discussion,

Spontaneously Composed song of an exile,

On the Evening of another Parinirvana April 3rd 2023

Veracruz, Mexico.

Ashley Playfair-Howes

Baron of Bras d’Or

Celtic Buddhist Lineage Holding


Published by The Baron

Retired non-profit administrator.

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