This retreat for turtles in the mountains of Nepal
has the godliest turtles on our Earthly spinning ball.
See the holiest of holies in their tiny saffron robes,
doing daily meditations by pushing tiny globes
first eastward and then westward with a pointed beak,
defining piety by actions instead of how they speak.
See lurking in the shadows, a million tiny ants,
bending low to watch their passing, those tiny sycophants—
who profess to kiss the ground that the turtles walk upon,
but instead just make use of the paths they’ve made when they are gone.
Busy small collectors, they build layer upon layer
of food to nourish bodies, but murmur not a prayer
in thanks for what they’re given, for they know right well
proper thanks is being given by the Brothers of the Shell.