Michael Ondaatje


Nine Sentiments (IX)

An old book on the poisons
of madness, a map
of forest monasteries,
a chronicle brought across
the sea in Sanskrit slokas.
I hold all these
but you have become
a ghost for me.

I hold only your shadow
since those days I drove
your nature away.

A falcon who became a coward.

I hold you the way astronomers
draw constellations for each other
in the markets of wisdom

placing shells
on a dark blanket
saying 'these
are the heavens'

calculating the movement
of the great stars
53 Total read