Thomas Traherne in the Orient

They shall look on Him whom they have pierced

clothed with the Southern Cross,

sun and moon on threaded rings,

hurrying, tarrying


they shall hear

the blue cough of leopards

on feast days

in the bridegroom’s chamber


they shall tongue

such syllables

the unicorn will kneel

to the Buddha


they shall see

young men

flex like angels

in the gem-mines


they shall sense

the seraphim

as elastic particles

rippling under haze


they shall dilate

like donors

before the sea-wind

in the cinnamon tree


they will be

such felicitous dust

in the balance

they will unsuppose


the body.


from The Lady and the Hare: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe, 2003), © Pauline Stainer 2003, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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