Monday, January 9, 2017

double octet for Guanyin

eight framed photos equal a meditation;
in their midst, carved boxwood Guanyin, attentive—

uncertain light enters through three south windows;
for an instant the glimpse of a circling gull,

white & gray as the sky—whatever happened
the days those photos were made manifest, now

gone now lingering—what would you each say?
my eyes try to meet the statue’s downcast eyes 

◦    ◦    ◦

the shikimi begins to bud; beyond pickets,
cotoneaster berries hang heavy; Guanyin’s

right hand ever open where the chisel cut—
each of your faces permeated with one

moment’s unrelenting desire, one moment’s
distraction—under the east window those few

red barberry leaves cling in January:
after all this, dim reflection of her gaze

Jack Hayes
© 2017


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