The Reasons by Marc Livanos

hoto by Debbie Berk

The Reasons

saw my Buddha
and came over.

Smiling, he recounted
the basic beliefs
of Buddhism.

The mind exists to the extent
necessary for thought
and to cling to naught.

The body exists to experience
feelings like lust or non-lust
and to learn how to abandon them.

Life’s journey shows how
material fetters the mind
and the way to see clearly.

When opinions are dropped
and other ways tolerated,
the truth is revealed

Such wisdom comes
From the Buddhist text
“Discourse on Mindfulness”

I asked why Buddha,
being non-materialistic,
is portrayed beautifully robed?

He explained how Alexander’s troops
came upon the Ganges. One day,
he saw a man without clothes.

“Why are you without clothes?”
The naked man responded,
“Why are you with clothes?”

Alexander stayed and listened,
enthralled that so many cared
about a man who died centuries earlier,

Commissioning a statue,
the sculptor robed the Buddha
in a fine Greek tunic.

All told, Rajith’s eyes lit up,
hearing I was Greek and
my son’s name is Alexander.


Marc’s poetry has appeared in recent issues of Poets’ Espresso Review, Emerald Coast Review, Straylight MagazinePKA’s AdvocateWestWard QuarterlyZylophone Poetry Journal,Feelings of the HeartFreeXpresSion, ShemomCeremonyThe LegendCreative with WordsThe Poet’s ArtJerryJazzMusician, and The Pink Chameleon on Line.

His chapbooks “Panhandle Poet – Solitude” and “Panhandle Poet – Second Helpings” are available at Barnes & Noble and online at, and