This Given

Flames of Life

for Dr Stephen Hopwood

 

My new physician has white faced clocks
on the walls of his treatment rooms.
They are simple, with western arabic numerals.
Next to them are paintings from faraway temples;
bright visions of the gods of the lotus flower
I’m at a loss to name.

They appear to float,
fostering flames of life and wellbeing,
next to posters of human forms,
cut away to show the mysterious
numbering of points on meridians.

My physician is steadfast in his work.
Patients wash around him, like flowers
on energetic or lazy tides. He has travelled
the breadth of modern medicine, but
his clocks are tuned into a pulse from the east
where knowledge is vaster than time.

I lie down in one of the rooms of this mansion
tethered by acupuncture points – a gift
drawn through the tick-tock barrier of centuries,
The heart retunes itself ,sweetly
slotting into the clock’s measure.

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Bring flowers on this winter night

where all the garden sleeps

                                beneath its leaves

I ache for the sweet of petal...