(In March 2001, the Taliban destroyed with dynamite the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan)
After the heavy silence, a breath suspended
Gasped in the valley.
Then earth erupted,
Kush shuddered, shook,
Its gashed flank bled.
Gigantic holiness exploded, sattva streamed
Down mountain’s edge.
Lips of the tranquil smile, now blown apart,
Tumbled on hard, dry earth.
Those heavy-lidded eyes, crossed limbs,
Torn open, smashed to dust.
Twin Buddhas, squeezed dead in the fist,
Fanatic fist, killed by the cold, hard eye,
Found Nirvana as they seethed through air
Then slumped to rubble. Those pedestals
(Keenly offered, cash offered) stand empty
In Metropolitan halls.
The revolution of the world is half-way through
Its turning year. A bright gold morning
Smiles. September. Again the earth
The twin gods of the west
Bend at the knees