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Such incredible equanimity. It took my breath away. I stood in near rapture for a long time just being with this astonishing presence; I was graced to let happen the following poem:


windswept staunch body
weather-pocked visage
features blurred by time
2200 years or so
through virtually countless
revolutions of sun and moon
you have stood
so present
just here
an early Buddha statue
right hand raised in solemn benediction
unperturbed amidst the ruins of Velgam Vihara
hidden in the middle of Trincomalee jungle
worshipped by both Tamil and Sinhalese
across numerous warring generations
and on this golden afternoon by me
an Anglo-American alone in Sri Lanka
moved to such full-flowing tears
of bitter-sweet gratitude
by the sublime suchness
of perfect equanimity
unutterable compassion
imbued upon your countenance
not seemingly concerned at all
by the foot long lizard
stealthily crouched
around the back
of your head
or any

January 4, 2004
Trincomalee, Sri Lanka