Readings in Contemporary Poetry

Martine Bellen


She strolls, unseen, through open pasture,
Invisible to centipede, lichen, eft-

Passed mind, too. Sentient
Surface, past and ungraspable. 

Even as the reasoning brain generates fear 
To abide chaos. Less substantial than a gasp.

The shape of a mouth moving darkness.
Absence embracing sound, its ulterior meaning.

What's eternal passes from one present 
To the next, conditions modify as if unrolling.  

Such as love. Not an emotion but an epitome
Like the singular, mutable "thought" she gave birth to 

At birth. She watches that first thought
Locate language, visualize golden-faced, multi-armed protectors 

Crushing demons beneath feet, and as it ages, slays secret agents, 
Rots at the root. She imagines this thought analogous to 

The constant current of waves that cloak the intact ocean. 
Day to night our planet repositions and a million instruments 

Play in the Dharma orchestra. How many do you hear? They seem 
Transparent to themselves, sun burning and bursting.

copyright 2002