Eric

Pankey

Ash

 

At the threshold of the divine, how to know

But indirectly, to hear the static as

Pattern, to hear the rough-edged white noise as song.

Wait, not as song – but to intuit the songbird

Within the thorn thicket, safe, hidden there.

Every moment is not a time for song

 

or singing. Imagine a Buddha, handmade,

Four meters high of compacted ash, the ash

Remnants of joss sticks that incarnated prayer.

 

With each breath, the whole slowly disintegrates.

With each footfall, ash shifts. The Buddha crumbles.

To face it, we efface it with our presence.

 

An infant will often turn away as if

Not to see is the same as not being seen.

There was fire, but God was not the fire.

— from Crow-Work, by Eric Pankey (Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2015). Copyright © 2015 by Eric Pankey. 

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