Sunday, 10 June 2012

Devotees at Ruwanweliseya

These faces
that of child, man and woman,
carrying karmic signature
devotional intent
talisman of learned history
and unconscious genetic strain
of event, personality and metaphor,
are they the same mix,
more or less,
of those who came before
and will they come again
and again
until final erasure?
These footsteps
silenced by chant and babble
are they different in texture
sansaric print
weight of veneration
in blend of tenderness
and callosity,
as those of the first flower-giver?
And the flowers,
were they similarly fragranced
century to century
through blood and marriage,
rupture and benevolence?
Did the flame enlighten then
in eruption, flicker and death
as it does or does not now? 
There is time and time
heart, sinew and thought
the play of the kleshas
resolve and resignation
a sil-suwanda connecting millennia
like pirith and thread,
break and continuity;
unities defying description,
as it was
and will be.

[from the collection 'Some texts are made of leaves,' shortlisted for the Gratiaen Award 2011]

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