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MISSING THE BOMBAY STONE
Jumping ship in Bombay
I sit on the seawall
at the Gate of India
on a March morning
watching monkey boys, bearded sadhus,
Krishna drummers, guru babas, yogis
sari queens, flute players _
where are the snake charmers?
A turbaned Sikh catches my eye
Goodbye, good luck stone
scent of pumpkin potpourri,
dried roses; cups, plates arranged
on narrow tile aisles,
forty years forgotten in a basement,
embarrassed now by Eisenhower magazines,
pre-war salts and peppers,
golden, rings, bracelets
beneath the dingy light
that gathers in their glass,
boiling in the amethyst and crystal;
figurines aligned behind the woman at the front
reading Country Life,
with dangled earrings,
locket bought at auction
at a dead man's house,
pretty things in windows, once
faded now like all the others,
"LEVEL BEST" - WHAT COULD IT MEAN?
Morning work begins with lighting
my puja lamps, the incense sticks...
Images of Darfur faces starving,
bewilderment as I wash the clothes
by hand outside the back door
on the granite slab
That could have been somebody's grave stone.
I climb the ladder to the roof
hanging new prayer flags, adjusting
the fallen and twisted.
in U.S. houses of my family, the cats
are fatter than Indian babies.
My grandchildren have never seen
people living in huts
happy for food in the pot, blue plastic roofs
that keep out the rain, no cholera
deaths in 16 months, no hockey equipment,
no baseball equipment, not a single
sleep-over party with pizza and waste
that chokes the trash compacted
I burn the worn out prayer flags
next to the Bodhi tree, under the Buddha
I painted on the crumbling brick wall
of the garden. I throw crushed grass from Tibet
onto the flames. What am I really doing?
I don't actually pray anymore,
the flags and the lamps do the job.
I am the God I've been waiting for-
So, I'll hang the clothes and let the wind blow
where it may—Karma, Dharma—
I've cut them out like worms in the Lotus.
Terry Reis Kennedy
THE HOUSE OF GOD
The soft hush of souls descending into
A deeper Hell-
The gentle intoning dries of those already
A Heaven they have made,
Like a warm bed
Intoning theLord's Prayer...
Genuflections like frenzied dancers,
Acrid, sharp, pungent.
Saints with imploring eyes, Judging, judging;
Christ just in from Calvary!
Created on ... September 27, 2007