Author: Diana Woodcock
Location: Doha, Qatar
Diana Woodcock's chapbook, Mandala,
is forthcoming in 2009 from Foothills Publishing as part of their Poets on Peace
series. Travels of a Gwai Lo,
also a chapbook, will be published in 2009 by Toadlily Press as the fifth in their Quartet Chapbook series. In 2008 she received first and second prizes from Artists Embassy International (Dancing Poetry Festival), an International Publication Prize from Atlanta Review,
s "Notes from the Field" Award (Finalist). In 2007 she won the Creekwalker Poetry Prize. She's been awarded residencies at MICA/Rochefort-en-Terre, Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Everglades National Park. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Best New Poets 2008, Nimrod, Atlanta Review, Crab Orchard Review, Portland Review,
and other journals and anthologies.
As Sandhill Cranes Were Returning (In Memory of Tapey)
As Sandhill cranes were returning
to Platte River and the first cherry blossoms
were appearing in my country's capitol,
the Tibetan monk sat down in a one-meter
circle to pray and immolate himself.
In no time, he was absorbed into the mandala
of the solar system—white breath
and a somber relinquishment purifying
the air while those who witnessed it—
Chinese soldiers and Tibetans alike—
went home to crouch in corners of dark
rooms where they spun like spiders
their threads of dreams that life is more—
must be more—than what it seems.
In solitary silence far from processional
chants and military watchdogs, each one
believing with all his heart in the white
dove returning to the Ark. And in his grief,
each one transformed—set free in a one-meter
circle by the mystery of faith and truth.