Thomas Traherne in the Orient

They shall look on Him whom they have pierced

clothed with the Southern Cross,

sun and moon on threaded rings,

hurrying, tarrying

 

they shall hear

the blue cough of leopards

on feast days

in the bridegroom's chamber

 

they shall tongue

such syllables

the unicorn will kneel

to the Buddha

 

they shall see

young men

flex like angels

in the gem-mines

 

they shall sense 

the seraphim

as elastic particles

rippling under haze

 

they shall dilate 

like donors

before the sea-wind

in the cinnamon tree

 

they will be

such felicitous dust

in the balance

they will unsuppose

 

the body.

 


from The Lady and the Hare: New and Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2003), © Pauline Stainer, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Sponsor this poem

Would you like to sponsor this poem? Find out how here.

Recordings

Pauline Stainer

Pauline Stainer Downloads

1A Haze Held by Thorns

£0.89

2Border-crossing

£0.89

3Bystander at the visitation

£0.89

4Caliban and the Blue Moon

£0.89

5Coleridge goes scuba-diving

£0.89

6Finisterre

£0.89

7Flora in Calix-light

£0.89

8Gyrfalcon

£0.89

9Holy family with three hares

£0.89

10How the snow-leopard became

£0.89

11Insight

£0.89

13Lepers at Dunwich

£0.89

12Landfall

£0.89

14'Mantegna's Hares

£0.89

15Mountain Bikers

£0.89

16Mozart at the Falconry Lodge 1763

£0.89

17Mrs John Dowland

£0.89

18Onsen

£0.89

19Outsleeping the Monsoon

£0.89

20Peregrini

£0.89

21Prima Nix

£0.89

22Quandal

£0.89

23Reading by snowlight

£0.89

24Reading the Light

£0.89

25Rimbaud in Zanzibar

£0.89

26Scarecrow

£0.89

27Shibui

£0.89

28Sighting the Slave Ship

£0.89

29Sourin

£0.89

30Swans alighting

£0.89

31The Blessing

£0.89

32The Colony

£0.89

33The dislocation

£0.89

34The Druids of Primrose Hill

£0.89

35The Falconers Bride

£0.89

36The Honeycomb

£0.89

37The Ice-Pilot Speaks

£0.89

38The Infinite Act

£0.89

39The nature of the game

£0.89

40The Queen of Sutton Hoo

£0.89

41The Yew Walk

£0.89

42Thomas Traherne in the Orient

£0.89

43Tiger facing the mist

£0.89

44The Crossing

£0.89

Books by Pauline Stainer