Novice Monk


Up at 5 am to chant, that’s the worst part.
Haven’t got a clue what those Pali hymns mean,
makes Buddha pleased though. I’ve seen the big
statue smile when I pronounce the words right.
Begging barefoot for food’s a bit of a pain,
You got to watch out for glass. There’s only old
ladies who wait in the streets to give us rice.
Not much left for me, because I’m the youngest
and last in line. Sometimes there’s tourists
taking photos who think I’m cute.
Nothing to do for the rest of the day,
except sweep up leaves in the garden
if the abbot’s out on the prowl. Otherwise –
play with my iPhone when the coast is clear.


Tony Page

Author: Tony Page

Tony Page is a Melbourne poet, whose third book, Gateway to the Sphinx (Five Islands) appeared in 2004. For 20 years, he worked in Thailand and Malaysia; returning recently to live in Australia. This year, he has been published in Eureka Street and The Australian Poetry Journal. Now finalizing a fourth poetry collection.