The Lotus

A resonant chant
sung by voices
Rich like her roots
Divine like the secrets
of a goddess

Devotional
Pure
Heard only by the soul
tumultuous and yearning
Behind closed
eyes

A sacred lotus
Untainted
by the dirty water it floats in

Thus is she seated there
on the floor where
millions pass each day
Breath enters her chest
Lashes rising, falling

Petals
Quivering in the water

She is enclosed
Reposed
in the unopened eye
of the Creator
Protected from the
Chaos
toppling all around

Skin deeply hued
brown and golden oils
Glowing from the heat
that presses firmly down
Glowing from the heat
that pulsates within

Eyes lined by dark coal
black as the opals they contain
The hoop in her nose
round, infinite
Drawing attention to the
curve of her lips
which have
just
now
slipped
into a smile

So slight, unnoticed by
quickly passing travelers
Barely stirring
the air around her –
But how it awakens your heart!
You surrender a breath

You envy the red and black fabric
that weaves its way around her body
You want to be captured in the
tiny mirrors studding
her shawl
The twinkling lights taunt you as they
are caught and lost around her shoulders

The slender fingers of
one hand
Habitually twist the fabric
The other hand rests
in her lover’s
He plays with her red bangles
Sending chimes to your awareness

Her legs are stretched out
loosened from the cramped form
One silver anklet
crosses the other
Familiar delicate bells
cling to them

Does he hear those bells when she walks about
And remember his affection?

She moves her bare feet
that rest beside dirty sandals
Something in her manner suggesting
new womanhood
Yet childhood dreams still linger
under the surface
of her composure
Does he stir during the night
see her feet
beneath soft sheets
Bells softly sounding
blue silver in the moonlight
Inviting his eyes
his touch

Her smile suggests
that he does

She has arrived
secure in only these –
Her past
Her companion
Her belief
Those opals ready to spill
Great wisdom
upon this new world

She smiles

And slips her feet into her sandals

[2007]

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