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This poem is taken from PN Review 53, Volume 13 Number 3, January - February 1987.

Three Poems Suresh Sethi


The hieratic gestures of the priest
in temple are clean functional and modest.
With a few flowers, in silence, one
circles a prearranged pattern
around a deity, whose immemorial hand
absolves a mysterious, compulsive debt.
It's done. One understands, accepts. The bells
intone to release another day.

In a park, an old couple, the woman
gently massaging the man's feet on her lap listen
-ing with a rapt face turned up to his.
Eager, nodding, comforting, prompting details.
A simple image of linear tradition whose
magnificence is alive on plain grass.
I pass this quiet bridge between two worlds.

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