A tourist tries to remain cynical
in the presence of a gray-bearded holy man
who sits bare chested, cross-legged,
in the shade of a drooping banyan tree.
But his sarcasm barely makes the journey
from his tongue to his wife's ear
when it's muted by the peaceful aura,
spiritual cadence emanating from the other.
A lifelong American sceptic can't reconcile
a vow of poverty, an ascetic way of life,
with jet planes flying low overhead,
tall buildings in the background.
A tourist tells himself,
"Well this is what I came here to see, isn't it.
Better snap a picture before the
poor beggar needs to pee."
The guru is as close to a statue
as living matter has a right to be.
But a photograph?
Not if silence has a say in it.
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Mudfish and Spindrift with work upcoming in South Carolina Review, Gargoyle, Sanskrit and Louisiana Literature.