I repeat a mantra. It vanishes like windswept
feathers. All I hear is the violet drum of hearts.
Once I was a river, raging beyond the gorge,
finding only driftwood. Now I stand beneath
a large Buddha, perched on an urban
throne, legs folded in poised contemplation.
Pilgrims buzz around his granite smile, small
curves insinuating discreet joy. He glances down
in satisfied equanimity, commanding the Gallery
as if it were a hilltop monastery.
Does he know this is Chicago where even
stone lions roar?
Tourists gawk, eager to catch a drop of clarity
cascading from an eye between his brows,
to seize a sprout of divine wisdom, flaming
from his sea shell curls.
I advance closer, his ear lobes stretching down
to greet me, holding harmonies of “Oms.”
His right hand harbours the wheel of chakras,
extending the lotus of enlightenment.
His quiet, graceful magnetism urges me to whisper:
“Om muni, muni mahamuni Shakyamuni svaha”
Swells of stress slowly dissipate as my spine
straightens into stillness.
Jocelyn Ajami is an award-winning painter, filmmaker and poet. She turned to writing poetry in 2014 as a way of connecting more intimately with issues of social consciousness and cultural awareness. She has been published in several anthologies of prize winning poems. Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, she speaks five languages. She resides in Chicago, Illinois, where she is presently working on a book of ekphrastic poetry.
The Ekphrastic Review
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