Yoga Retreat Golf Meditation

“Focus,” he says, “on a faraway sound.”

Instructed well, I still listen instead
for the silence just beyond the sounds
of the Costa Rican rain forest:
the stream, the wind, the birds, the dogs.

I listen as always
for the perfect click
of the well-placed stroke
lofting a ball
somewhere yet
behind the silence that hovers
between the birds and the monkeys
and the rain forest sky.

Not far from here,
in the deep dark serenity
a billboard blocks out the pasture
strewn with perfectly lean
cattle — and shade.

I’m listening for silence
but seeing the billboard
promising beaches, promising golf.
Or promising sand traps and pain,
I’m not quite sure which,
and I have quite enough pain
already
in shoulders and spine and in knees.

I’m listening for silence
but drifting myself
into a turqouise-striped beach chair
striped canvas above me
an umbrella in my drink
that maybe is rum in a wild carved-out pineapple
or maybe straight rum in a souvenir glass.

You, of course, are there with me,
contented,
relaxed.

I’m listening for silence
but I’m swinging my club
seeing perfection
simplicity
ease.

I hope I remember
what my body can do
when I come out of the rain forest
and back to the lights
where I can listen for silence
behind the sounds
of the driving range at night.

Then maybe I’ll hear
the song that you’re humming
behind the silence that hovers
between the birds and the lizards
and the Florida sky.