I dreamed I’d meet my Guru,
probably an old dude with a beard.
And we’d talk about all the things I’d hoped,
and all the things I’d feared.
He’d steer me through life’s complexities,
we’d drink tea and taste the Life Divine.
There’d be a tasteful amount of discreet angst,
and everything would work out fine!
Well, Gurus don’t work like that,
or mine doesn’t anyway.
He’s not overly fond of being direct
and often has not a thing to say.
And half the time I can’t even find her,
like a radio I can’t quite tune.
And when I do get on his wavelength all I
hear is: “Oh yes yes yes, anytime real soon”.
He’s fond of impersonation; she’ll often pop
us pretending to be someone I despise.
So I’ll be talking to some total dickhead
and damn! It’s you again in disguise!
Or maybe i’ll have some frivolous, non‑spiritual
urge, like I want to smoke a great big bag of pot,
and instead of preaching “you’ll go to hell!”,
she just laughs and says “Yeah! Fuck it! Why not?”
And the times that I am behaving myself,
and being pious and righteously afraid,
instead of quoting scripture he just rolls his eyes and says
“maybe you just need to get laid?”
I got so fed up I told my guru “You’re an arsehole!”
and she just laughed and agreed!
She said “You’re so full of shit and you have been for years –
an arsehole is exactly what you need!”
“Because you’ve read Eckhart bloody Tole
you think your soul’s stripped bare?
And sharing Dalai Lama quotes on Facebook?
Does that make you self aware?”
“And going ON and ON about how upset you are,
writing these endless existential poems!
You want a revelation sweetheart?
Here’s one, you are NOT Leonard fucking Cohen.”
Where was my cuddly guru? The one
who’d gently steer me down the path?
“He’ll be here when he’s needed; right now you need the guru
who’ll kick you up the arse.”
And so my arse was dutifully kicked –
I had a dark week of the soul.
And every time I thought things were coming back together
they all spun right back out of control.
And when I called my Guru hotline
all I got was the answering machine:
“Please follow previous advice – go inside
and love the things you find obscene.”
And of course she did eventually reappear,
and of course not in the way I’d think.
Instead of William Blake visions of the Apocalypse,
I got a nice lady at Centrelink*.
“Keep trying dear and you’ll get there.
Peristence pays off at the end of the day.”
She’s lovely I thought and told myself:
this is what my guru ought to say!
And as I waited at the elevator, looking at my reflection
in the endlessly opening door.
My guru looked right back at me and said:
“What are you REALLY waiting for?”
* Centrelink is where Australians go to receive unemployment benefits.