Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Poem by Janet Kozachek

Where I Was When the Yong He Gong
Opened its Doors and was Abruptly Closed

The red sun rises over China
in the dawn that brings new arrivals
an east wind blowing across their path
uncovers the relics of old ways

The Temple of Eternal Joy
flings wide its ethereal gates
inviting travelers from the west
into the sanctum of Tantric mysteries

Their rapacious eyes opened wide
disbelief pried their jaws agape
perusing the exotic unimaginable
statues of gods in erotic embrace

painted in blue, emblazoned in gold
and dancing in sinuous lines
with hands held high on multiple arms
delicate fingers folded in secret signs

A womanly body with an elephant head
cavorts in sensual play
her pendulous breasts grazing the chest
of the divine one in her leg's embrace

Couples intertwined in ecstasy
point the way to enlightened glory
man to woman, woman to man
and woman to four-legged beasts

Their unions blazing in fiery halos
emanating from venerated heads
wooden bodies writhing in clouds and rain
falling like torrents in hallowed halls

As secrets seen and heard become secrets no more
and reach the eyes and ears of authorities
the censor dispenser of ordered society
closes the gates to the Buddhist display

The red and the expert behind closed doors
debate on what is to be done
to appease their guests while saving face
committee decisions pleasing all and no one

Seasons come and seasons go
The Buddhist temple opens once more
But all that remains are barren halls
and a few sculptures cloth covered chin to toe

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