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Theme: Life

Empress of The Garbage Heap

by Patrick Durnil
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She was about 4 years old
Picking through garbage
of well fed troops.
I gave her fruit, an apple and an orange
She quickly stuffed it in her bag.

Our eyes met.
She sensed my fear
I sensed her courage.

If dignity is the mark of royalty
Surely I had just met The Empress.
Without a backward glance
She granted me...
Courage to accept
As she did.
Knowledge that all is within us
For she knew no other than herself.
Her Dignity....Her Grace.

She walks with me still
This Asian Beauty
On Common Path.

With Her at my side
What will I fear
What will I lack?

If
In a weak moment
I am in need of power
Greater than that within me
It is Her Grace
The Empress of The Garbage Heap
That I seek.

An Image of The Tao
An Asian Memory
A tribute to those
Who helped me find myself.

09-Jan-2001

More By  :  Patrick Durnil

Views: 2160     Comments: 3

Comments on this Poem

Comment A multilayered, deep and insightful poem with a great learning..The Empress of the Garbage Heap tells to be tall even in adversities..I am so happy that I got to read this profound poem that has deeply touched me..

Padmaja Iyengar
20-Feb-2014 23:39 PM

Comment Guanyin is a favorite of mine.

I do not see these as actual deities, but as ideals to be lived up to.

I have hope that The Goddess of Mercy will be seen in our own reflection, and in our actions toward those in need.

My thought of this child, was that it was I who was in need, not her.

Patrick Durnil
02-Jun-2012 09:32 AM

Comment I like this poem very much. I have just finished reading The Tao of Pooh and have started The Te of Piglet. These two simple books are my first introduction to Taoist thought and I recognize it in your poem.

I have met young street urchins in Bhod Gaya and looked into their fierce eyes. The girls seemed to me the strongest although I also met a young boy, a true master at the quick transaction. I could not imagine having their strength and courage at such a young age when I was still being cosseted by my mother and shielded by my father.

Thank you for these thought provoking images.

An afterthought: I am reminded of Guanyin also known as Avalokite?vara (????????????), known in English as the Mercy Goddess.

David M Gunson
28-May-2012 07:24 AM


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