DATTA

In the snow forests of Himavāna,
Lake Anodāta simmers like a jewel
among green-black trees,
slumbers in the scent of jasmine.
Its snow-born waters are deep-blue cool,
its silence deeper even than the snows
until gik-gak gik-gak gik-gak is heard
as Gunaras and Gunarees,
gold of skin, half-human and half-bird,
swoop down to their pleasaunce,
like wild geese to Solway Firth,
every return an almost brand-new birth.

Datta is dressed in white,
short black hair, no beard,
black eyes in Mongolian face.
As a man he lived among these trees,
now he has been the Guardian Deva
for over two hundred years.

(from BAMBOO LEAVES – poetry in Thailand)

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