Poetry Topic: Death — 04 December 2015

A poem by Priya Huffman

Vipassana with garlands

 

on canvas stretched
tight on freshly
cut bamboo
we bear
her wrapped
and flowered body
to the burning ghats

a mad
procession of
singers and dancers

gasp collectively as
the white robed guardian
thrusts his long lit rod
precisely into the heart
of that funeral pyre

flames burst up

28 years
10 days from onset.

she was our first to die.

we who bowed
to the full moon
faithful to our night
yearnings, relishing
the pleasure body

we knew nothing of death.

our voices rose in song
higher than the fire
that cancelled out night stars

louder than the raucous crackling

itself a conversation
none of us wanted
to hear

it muted the sight
of our friend, hair
ablaze, melting flesh
crumbling bones

I never knew
how much wood it takes
to burn just one human body

we peeled away
when embers turned ashes
when dark turned light
to wash every mortal part
pitch our clothes, turn from
some unnamable discomfort

a fierce determination
burning us to forget

what we saw
what we heard

what we now
know.

Poem by Priya Huffman, from her second book of poetry ‘of Bone and Breath’ – priyahuffman.com

More articles and poems by this author on Osho News

Read Madhuri’s review of of Bone and Breath

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