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This poem is taken from PN Review 100, Volume 21 Number 2, November - December 1994.

Five Poems Grevel Lindop

Recumbent Buddha at Polonnaruwa
A grain like marbling or like watered silk
flows without movement through the sleeping face:
rock-ripples tinged with rose and ash and milk,
known tastes of being, calmed, landing their place.

It is as though the rock itself had slept
to dream this shape, the eyelid's curve, the lip
smoother than any natural form except
maybe the moon's rim or a water-drop;

or as if we had sought a word to speak
out of our nature, suffering, changeable,
empty, and found at last simply this cheek
relaxing on clasped hands, and this half-smile

that flowers from more than a child's unblemished seeing
or a god's detachment. Massive, lightly creased,
...


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