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Deep in the jungles of Asia
Past the wide open Indian plain
There lives a teenage monkey
And Mickey is his name.

Now Mickey has this monkey mind
That forever jumps about
It’s often full of fear and dread
And it’s always full of doubt

  Monkey © nsjmetzger
© nsjmetzger

If Mickey’s given the simplest task
He’ll only start to panic
He’ll rant and rave and scream and shout
He really is quite manic

He bangs his chest and stamps his feet
And throws coconuts on the floor
But he really is a sad old sight
When he shouts, I can’t take it any more.

You see Mickey has this type of mind
That forever seeks a thrill
He’ll parachute and bungee jump
His mind is never still

One minute he’s as high as a kite
The next he’s in the dumps
And he plays that awful music
The kind that
thumps! and thumps! and thumps!

He plays new wave music and acid house
And punk and northern soul
Heavy metal and rhythm and blues
And rap and rock and roll.

No wonder Mickey’s all stressed out
His mind can never rest
It makes him hyperactive
He really is a pest

But I feel sorry for poor old Mickey
He hasn’t got a hope
The only way he gets through the day
Is by taking drugs and smoking dope

So that’s Mickey’s life story
And it really is a shame
But can anybody help him
Will he ever smile again

Well a very compassionate Buddha
Said to Mickey, ‘You need to live a lot calmer
You don’t need Prozac or Valium pills
You need a massive dose of Dhamma

But the first thing you must try and do
Is at least just level out
Do some walking meditation
And you’ll end your fear and doubt

Now just take twenty paces
Along a walking track
Then turn around and take a deep breath
then twenty paces back’


So Mickey started walking
He’d walk both day and night
He would walk to try and find some peace
And end his mental plight

But it wasn’t easy for Mickey
It was his hardest ever decision
But he’s given up dope, and given up booze
And he’s given up television

He’s given up loud music
No more pop or rock or punk
Now he listens to the sweetest tones
Of a chanting Buddhist monk

Then one day the penny dropped
Now Mickey really understood
That he created all his suffering
Now he wants to do some good

For Mickey’s now a very different monkey
Who loves swinging through the trees
He’s always quite contented
He really is at ease

He’ll help anyone who’s injured
And anyone who’s ill
He’s given up bungee jumping
Now helping is his thrill

But if Mickey can be remembered
For just one redeeming feature
It’s that he truly showed compassion
To every living creature

So if you want to change
Then there is no looking back
Just follow the Buddha’s footsteps
And find a walking track

And for anyone out there
Of a nervous disposition
You don’t need expensive councillors
Or some Harley street physician

Just take your example from Mickey
And you will live a lot calmer
Then throw away your potions and pills

© Gus Hales 2009

tuning up
previous page Gus Hales and his poems have become something of a hit at the summer camps. Over the years, Gus has shared with the Camp some of his personal journey from being a paratrooper in the Falklands war. At last year’s Camp he showed a film of him going back to the Falklands, describing his story, along with other veterans who have suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. The year before, Gus was given a Buddha image blessed by the Sangha and family campers and took it back to Mount Longdon where he lost many of his friends who where the same age as his daughter (17) and many of the young people on the Camp. You can read more about Gus and the video at
Ven. Amaranatho
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