I've always wanted to be a guru,
my disciples gathered round me
entreating me to provide them
with some great truth,
some key to existence,
a word which would propel them to greatness.
"Master, what is the meaning of life?"
for example.

My students on the other hand
seem to seek lesser truths,
keys to somewhat less loftier ambition
yet, desiring the answers to questions
as seemingly unanswerable
as the meaning of life.

"How long should it be?"
"Does spelling count?"

It's neither that I can't answer those questions
nor that I don't want to,
but they hardly seem worthy of a guru.

On the other hand,
I don't KNOW the meaning of life
and if I did I sure wouldn't be here
teaching English and I
don't think I would get much of a kick out of
sitting in a lotus position all day
dispensing esoteric advice anyway.

Let's just leave it that the piece should be
long enough to get the job done,
and of course spelling counts.

from The Poetry of Teaching.
Thornetree Hill Poetry Press
Syracuse, NY. 1998.
Copyright © 1998 by Herm Card

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Herm Card Poetry- "Guru"
Published: October 23, 1998
Copyright © 1998 by the Cosmic Baseball Association