Thursday, December 28, 2023

The Kite

It is a ghost on a string, paper skin or plastic
sewn onto the most brittle of bones
that perhaps were never born or have already died.

The frail body dips and screams.
It cannot believe that it has been surrendered
to an uncertain fate in an arena where it is rumored

that angels conspire to synchronize the affairs of men.
And yet, when its sails are in full furl,
it dances like a child who has finally learned to walk

without the gravity of knowing, the philosophy of when.
Or so it seems. There is a doubletake,
and one sees that it is a solitary prayer

that must be released to have any chance
of being found let alone returned with interest.
It moves skyward, and yet beyond the sky,

into the depths of a larger beating heart
than that of swift rivers or rising seas.
It must find the eternal rhythms, the many mantras,

that govern the expanding whole and the infinitesimal part.
I saw it sail over a golden meadow and a grove of trees,
its tail swinging like the rosary beads of a noonday nun.

And then, before it disappeared, it was whipping wild,
like a Buddhist prayer flag torn by ecstasy,
its holy tongue-wagging just begun.

~William Hammett

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