(for Ahila)

I am seeing the wick burn down

Oil falling on the prayercloth like bittersmoke

Bowing at the age-eaten altarpieces

Where the gods have grown shabby

Like great grand parents revered and ignored

For a while I scrutinize their faces

See if I am seen

Before I stray to the steps and

Carry out my faith like my mat

Rolled pressed to my ribs
Penang, West Malaysia,
May 1998

Robert James Berry

If you've any comments on his poem, Robert James Berry would be pleased to hear from you.