Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Jade Pagoda

During our first trip to Viet Nam in July of 2014, we visited the Jade Pagoda which is a very serene place engulfed in activity. The afternoon was very hot and humid and yet I was deeply moved and inspired.

The Jade Pagoda

Crowded on the sidewalk
nearly spilling into the street,
a weathered woman of indeterminate age
begging us to buy
turtles or
goldfish or
caged sparrows
to set free
on the grounds of the pagoda.

Incense hangs heavy in
the dank afternoon air
as carved sentinels
swords in scabbards
loom over us and
stare into centuries past
where ancestors walk
down silent corridors and move
in the rustling of leaves and
the weeping of rain.

A white and tabby spotted cat
pads noiselessly across
blood-stained colored roof tiles
a still twitching mouse
seized solidly in its jaws
not yet ready to join
his grandfather.

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