DOWN SWOOP THE HAWKS

Midnight pools catch the brilliant lanterns

carried by women in procession. Deep into sleep

I follow them home. As their voices mingle

with dawn’s first rays, light flickers across the trellised blossoms

Late into morning I wake. The Swayambhu Stupa,

long risen from the mist, gleams. Far and wide circle the hawks

in layered tiers. I ride their wings along the ridge wrung path

deep into the season deep into valley wide,

the heavy headed grain, golden below

Down swoop the hawks, taking me with them

wild-eyed into the sun distilled distance

With lowered gaze, I return to the city, I return

to the world I know. As I circle the stupa,

their vibrant calls, deeply felt from the earth up

along legs and arms and spine, carry me

with them far and wide, with the winds with the breath

with the sun and moon-swept tides. In this way

aloft with the winds, day into night, I center myself within

Down swoop the hawks with each step and breath,

lifting me, lifting us, here

and away

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