THE GURU'S TALE

A MODERN ADAPTATION OF THE MONK'S TALE FROM CHAUCER'S CANTERBURY TALES

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THE GURU'S PROLOGUE

When I had finished my tale of Mel and Pru,
The bartender exclaimed, "Dear Lord, how true!
There is no need for violence and strife.
But try to tell that to my vengeful wife!
She bubbles up with fury night and day,
And God help those who stumble in her way!
She's got a mouth to make a whore blush
And paints all with the same thick, jaundiced brush.
I've anger issues, too, and so I'll try
That five-step plan Pru spoke of. Me oh my!
If I could have a wife like her, I'd be
As calm and patient as a windless sea!

"But, Guru, now it's your turn. You must know
A tale that might with vim and vigor go
To places we would relish, and where we
Might have a bit of fun vicariously.
I bet you've bedded plenty, and known more
Whom you could show what your sweet stick is for!
You've got a Jesus face. What woman could
Resist that? Though I know a few who should!
But on with it! Let's hear a merry tale!"

"Well, then," the guru said. "My turn to fail.
For I would rather teach than entertain,
And by example make some precepts plain."
"Forgive me," said the bartender. "You're right.
Tell what tale you want. I ought not slight
Anyone here who does the best he can."
"Thank you," the guru said, and thus began.

THE GURU'S TALE

Many there have been whose rise and fall
Old men have used as cautionary tales,
Well-wrought types, applicable to all,
Examples of how greatness ever fails,
And fortune ever into fierce wind sails.
Pride is the chief subject of these stories
As boasts of power turn to wounded wails,
And chastened sinners turn towards Heaven's glories.

What bullshit! Heaven's here, as many know,
And fortune is a consequence of mind.
Let's look at these examples, and I'll show
An energy of quite a different kind,
As you and I leave groveling behind.
The secret of success is strong desire.
What you want is given, sealed and signed,
Providing you have will enough, and fire.

First, Lucifer, that prototype of pride,
Rebelling against God, his given master:
Can we call, the temperature aside,
His banishment to Hell a pure disaster?
His powers as a ruler were far vaster
Than those of some sly sycophant in Heaven,
Who every moment hides what he is after:
Lying is his daily bread and leaven.

And he got what he wanted, as we see
From legend and from common sense. More fall
Under his rule than might hope to be
Saved for Heaven, if such there be at all.
Nor did he ever repent, as I recall,
Happy in his kingdom, more than equal
To God, since he keeps more of us in thrall,
As all can read who study well the sequel.

Adam, too, got just what he most wanted,
As all do, whether or not they want to know.
Like Lucifer, every moment he was haunted
By thoughts he could not put away or show.
He wanted to know good and evil, so
He did it in the only way he could:
By doing evil, so that he could grow,
And be, like anyone, both bad and good.

Next, look at Samson, that guru with long hair,
Whose love it was to foil his enemies
And save his people, dependent on his care,
From those who would their promised birthright seize.
He also got what would his heart most please:
The spot to maximize his strength and skill
Right in their temple, strategically to squeeze
Those pillars, and thus all those Gazans kill.

And Hercules? The Monk in Chaucer says
He died an awful death, and so he did.
But older than the skullcap and the fez
Is what the rabid monotheists hid --
A sane and healthy world, where gods might 'mid
Us live and love. What Hercules most desired
Was to be immortal, as Apollo bid,
And so he joined the god who had him sired.

Of Nebuchadnezzar and of his son,
Much is made of their long fall from grace.
But I have doubts that I'd find anyone
Who would not for one moment take their place,
And have ten thousand virgins to embrace.
What better fate for any virile man
Than to sow genes by millions, as we trace
Through DNA the sons of Ghenghis Khan?

Of Caesar and of Alexander both
Together now I tell the happy tale.
Though both died young and violently, I'm loathe
To mourn them. For did either of them fail?
Both were heroes, hearty, strong, and hale,
Who felt the joys of victory course through
Them like hosannas! What red-blooded male
Would not die young to know what these two knew?

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