JTC (Jan 21,1960 / Sibu, Sarawak, Borneo East Malaysia)

I Dance With The Gods And Goddesses

i could have danced away
in the lotus bloom,
the wood that
comes to life
under the hands
of a master carver.
my eyes fleet from
one sacred countenance
to the next,
the prelude to the
mystic dance
i am drawn to do
with the
gods and goddesses.
the first step
i learn from the
KuangYing (goddess of mercy)
with a thousand hands,
so graceful
and delicate
they curl to
form an arc
above her.
my heart
goes afflutter,
my limbs soft
my soul flies
in her gaze.
if i could
just possess
two of those
wonderful hands,
i would
swing them
in the
ballet world.
the sakyamuni
buddha in his
meditative stance -
the depth
that it brings
my heart to
the sacred world -
that empty realm
and sanctum
where everything
goes quiet to
let god take
centrestage;
those seconds
in any
dance show
where the
audience's mind
is led to
run on
infinity,
every dancer
still like me
enthralled
at the buddha's
magic and spiritual aura.
the laughing budda
with his potbelly
i nearly stumble
in my urge to
touch, to rub off
some luck
to level my
years of financial
inadequacy.
and i stand aghast
at the drunken Monk
in torn fabrics
with his mouth tightly
squeezed against
a wine gourd
reminiscent of
a baby suckling
from a mom's
succulent breast.
the whiskered
Kuang Kong (god of war)
in that familiar
honorable martial pose
with his large spear
inspires anybody's
sense of patriotism
and readiness
to make that leap
for action to protect
one's nation.
these multi-faceted gods
and goddesses
boil up my sense
of humour
in the joy
that there are
so many wondrous characters
in the heavens
waiting to light up my life
if i were lucky to enter them.
l saunter through the hall
with the ramayana
gods and goddesses
in caves, in lotuses, on rocks
sending me off
to the real world.
i dance the last
few steps that
herald me back
to the mundane world
.....of toil and pain, senses
a world these gods and goddesses
decide to sacrfice their own paradise
to get me out of.

(rayamana buddhist deities are deities
who forgo their own chance to go
into their heavens temporarily so that they could remain in the human realm to help
mankind get out of the grim cycle of reincarnation)

by john tiong chunghoo

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