The Camp Fire

Gathered round a blazing camp fire –
Flame of white, like pure magnesia –
Sat a group of men of learning;
All had found their way with reasoning.

Each had spent a life in study,
Each had found his deeper wisdom,
Yet knew naught of any other’s.
Each had made a spirit-prison.

Said the one who carried with him
Nothing ‘cept the staff he walked with,
On his belt a carved mandala,
Set in which were grains of barley:

“Once upon a time in Asia
Did the son of Suddhodana
Leave the wheel of incarnations,
Teach the eightfold path with patience.”

Answered one who bore a tablet
Made of stone. This etched upon it
Bore the ancient Faravahar –
Winged disc – and hieroglyphics:

“Once upon a time in Persia
Lived a man named Zarathustra,
True of mind and true in speaking,;
Undiluted star-light seeking.”

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