A Gentleman Compares His Virtue to a Piece of Jade
The enemy was always identified in art by a lion.
in our Book of Victories
wherever you saw a parasol
on the battlefield you could
identify the king within its shadow.
We began with myths
and later included actual events.
There were new professions. Cormorant Girls
who screamed on prawn farms to scare birds.
was always the "untaught hold"
the master defeated
the pupil who challeneged
Palanquins carried the weapons of a goddess.
tubes cut in 17th-century Japan
as poem holders.
We tied bells onto falcons.
water garden in Mihintale.
M. The word "thereby."
There were wild cursive scripts.
There was the two-dimensional tradition.
spent all their years
writing one good
book. Frederico Tesio
with Breeding the Race Horse.
In our theases human beings
wondrously became other human beings.
Bangles from Polonnaruwa.
A nine-chambered box from Gampola.
The archaeology of cattle bells.
in the intimate life, an inner self.
A libertine was one who made love before nightfall
or without darkening the room.
the Alhambra blindfolded
to be conscious of the
sound of water-- your hand
could feel it coursing
We align our public holidays with the full moon.
3 a.m. in temples, the hour of washing the gods.
of the vernacular.
The Buddha's left foot shifted at the moment of death.
That great writer, dying, called out
for the fictional doctor in his novels.
That tightrope-walker from Krunegala
the generator shut down by insurgents
swaying in the darkness above us.
-from Handwriting: Poems