Images for Sages

Images for Sages

A character surfaces on West Lake,
its neat bars slotted like
a grave plaque into grass ripples.
I ask the waves to freeze ?
only for a moment ?
and let meaning through.

And if they did
could I read what is
strung across a landscape,
holding the edges of a world to order,
centered, symmetrical,
border-fixed and square?

Though they say, and I know,
the process is otherwise,
once in a lifetime when the sage
is laughing, you may turn your head
quickly and catch the spin
of image into sign.

?Images for Sages?, from Landscape with Lines (Auckland University Press, 1996), ? Diana Bridge 1996, used by permission of the author.Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 2004.

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