Sara Brummer

Sara Brummer grew up in Los Angeles, California and has been living and teaching in the area of Geneva, Switzerland for many years. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Geneva in French and a graduate degree in history of art. Her poems have recently appeared in the international journal Offshoots as well as the British publications Woman’s Weekly and Wordart and in The French Literary Review. Two of her poems have been short listed in the Secret Attic and Linkway poetry competitions and are forthcoming in their anthologies. Her work has been influenced by her travels in India and by twenty years of Buddhist practice.


IMPERMANENCE

In Tiru, flora and fauna live within
Their own transparent biosphere,
Appearing and disappearing,
Changing form yet all one like caterpillar,
Cocoon and butterfly, metamorphosis impossible
To capture. There it seems natural,
In the rhythm of the season’s uncertain
Balance. A curve in the path reveals
An unexpected head of horns, a moment
Of stillness disturbed, lethargic flick
On a fly-spotted flank the only reaction
To an awkward intrusion. Then, the wide-winged
Raven, the field’s next startling invention, feathers
Fluffed in a sooty halo like the dying ashes of
Some past reckoning. A sudden cascade of
Bougainvillea vine, hanging from a window
Like a plush green carpet interwoven with
A hundred open-mouthed scarlet insects, white-starred
Jasmine shrubs, pure pointillist profusion when
Seen by the naked eye, faded on film
To shapeless pallor. For travel is a
Temporary suspension in time, between
Fact and fiction, to be seized only in the now.
Still, in the hazy impression of a remembered
Field, I seek an illusory permanence.


RAIN


The day’s surprise is rain falling
As we step out of the café into
Mud, like milky coffee. Sheltered
Under a borrowed umbrella, we
Hurry away. Leaves of generous
Teak shine with liquid, the sky
Beholden to a dynasty of clouds.
Rain is rare in this season and soon interrupted
By burnished shafts of sun. We climb the stubborn hill,
Sandal-shod feet resisting the naked stone.
Even in the dampness of the day, it’s impossible
To wrap oneself entirely in ego before the statue
Of Mahavira, naked, rising giant, hiding nothing,
His innocence not of this world. We climb higher
To another shrine, another statue. We feel very small
In the shadow of its starkness, repeated a thousand
Times like a thousand pure drops of rain falling
On millenniums of monks, sweeping damp dust
Before their feet, moving with the ebb and flow
Of the monsoon. Not one insect is crushed under
Foot nor swatted on a cheek, not one half-truth
Told to save face.
We carry on to the rock’s summit where
A tree’s contorted branches offer
A downpour of white petals over the shrine
Of one more bare stone statue. On a ledge
Two eagles sit graced by the vast gray depth
Of sky. As they fly their space is filled with
The hush of the rain.
 


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