The shaven monks clad in orange
solemnly march through fogs of incense,
which clouds their judgement, leaves them reeling.
But the silence must remain. Behind the
wooden grates, the tourists shuffle in place,
discomfort settling on their toes;
peering in, not quite sure what’s to see,
but four bald men ambling about.
Blinding light & the clicking sound echoes.
The cherry blossoms hanging overhead
suddenly become far more interesting.
For the devoted, it’s bowed heads and
mumbled prayers, hands clutched to their hearts,
asking for impossible things. Praying for a reprieve,
a divine intervention, a sign. Anything but
The people watch as the monks kneel
for hours; until the sunlight dwindles,
extinguished like a flame
Fading lights, a dim sight. Solitude.
Soon, the temple is empty:
crickets bellowing into the quiet night,
fireflies lining the railings.
Finally, one, two blows to the gong
Resounding – the universe vows to never
forget the sound.
Patricia P. is a poet who hails from the Philippines. If she's not experiencing yet another existential crisis, she's probably wondering what's for dinner. Her work has been published in COE Review, Hypertrophic Literary, East Coast Ink Magazine, Degenerates: Voices For Peace Anthology, The Wait Poetry Anthology, and other online literary platforms.