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Dharmavadana

Across the lake

a holy congregation of pines
awaits an answer

but the water’s sparkling children
distract me.

Behind me the lane
seeps on through the valley.

A beech tree’s shadow
passes like a radius.


Holmewood Park

That afternoon a path
led past a council block
off Brixton Hill to

a triangle of grass
with a flowerbed
and bench.

I stopped,
aware of a tug, a wish
at my chest

and noticed
a sky full of light
that breached the world.

It had no name or voice,
no words, no such
imposition or weightiness.

It was no ‘who’,
and no question
fitted the case.

I sat on the bench
in front of the flowerbed
and basked. 


Thank you for your poem

which I read this afternoon
as I lay on my bed
not because I was ill
but because I was indifferent.

It took me past the walls
stuck with flower-patterned paper,
away from the sentinel presence
of a blank computer screen,

away from the books
mounting in hope,
beyond the memories of the night’s
TV-obeisance

and internet-haunting,
gasping like a fish for new images,
beyond the drapes
and net curtains,

out where the sky spins
and the trees roar
and even the dim autumn lawn
is a spanned palm of welcome.


Dharmavadana’s poems have appeared in the Buddhist arts magazine Urthona, the magazines Magma and Smith’s Knoll, and the anthology The Heart as Origami: Contemporary Buddhist Poets. He has been a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order (formerly the Western Buddhist Order) since 2005 and lives in London.