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.

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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