Charles Fishman
Bishnupada Ray
Geraldine Green
Rob Frail
Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan

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Issue 47/48 : January - June 2010 : Volume 12 No 3/4

    Charles Fishman

    The Buddhist Spun
      For Tom Cox

    The Buddhist spun his prayer-
    wheel as we walked in town.
    The sound was remote, as if
    a small waterfall dripped
    from the sky

    but in a different galaxy.

    He spun the wheel and walked
    through pools of light
    under the appalling stars.
    It was a night torn from the Book
    of Death and Sorrow,

    which had been written in the blood
    of memory: a night illuminated
    by six million cries turned molten,
    for the lava of the past
    flowed freely.

    The Buddhist spun his golden wheel

    and souls wept in the humming
    darkness, so hungry were they
    for the food of compassion, so thirsty
    were they for the nectar
    of understanding.

    Desire of Angels
      For L.S.

    No birth without blood
    no angels without torn wings
    without cries of desolation
    ripped from their hearts

    No blood without thought—
    that green fire bursting
    from a trillion stalks
    from the galaxy of torches

    No love without death
    no death without music
    no birth without blood
    pulsing at the temples

    No chord without fingers
    no birth without pain
    no faith without words
    blazing in darkness

    Beginning with a Line by Kao Shih

    All night long the hour-drums shake
    their chilly booming Stars darken the sky
    and on Earth time suddenly wakens
    until all the lamps on the planet are blazing

    All day long, light is a music playing
    beneath the heavens where only silence listens

    * *

    All night, a monk sits on a beach in the dazzle
    of that unheard symphony and gazes
    with closed eyes as the hour-drums
    tremble to morning

    Perhaps he’s a god who forever is mourning
    all that has been that will be all
    that is missing If only we knew the world
    where his shut eyes gaze If only the sky

    wasn’t closed to us we, too, might sit in the shelter
    of chilly booming while words crash and burn
    we, too, might turn with this monk
    who now awakens—sunlit and dazed—

    as if he’s just swum here from heaven.

    New York

Shabdaguchha, an International Bilingual Poetry Journal, edited by Hassanal Abdullah