Mandala

Been thinking a lot about Kalideva this week. This is her age, after all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So a painted man once told me

I was born under a dark sign;

And that those of us ripped from succour

In the gaze of lofty gorgons

Would soon devour our kin.

 

This many-armed mother, he said,

Sanctifies with two hands,

But holds the dripping heads of

Men, and hungry scimitars

In the other. Arterial red and jet

 

Soon absorbed my limbs, as

My lolling tongue and stamping soles

Dragged a path back through

My earliest years, my eyes wide

With morbid fascination, a memory

 

Of twisted swan-death

At the estuary. Thick clay pushed

Between my shattered feet

As I stood enraptured

By the swallowing of snow.

 

My swollen, flaking leg-skin

Pushed into plaster, bound

In fresco, wet paint for

Teenage boys to kick out

While I waited on my back.

 

Each face at the foot

Of my bed, each kernel

Laid side by side creates

A pattern after all these years;

Spirals of sand, heavy with retrospect.

 

And perhaps when each piece

Of mind rests

One grain against another,

We can step back and glimpse

A mother who is I, and you

 

And they, and we.

This mandala can absolve,

And take the point of purity now

Made obvious when carried

By the water we breathed in birth.

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About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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