A new poem by Ewan Whyte

On a Yuan Temple Wall Painting in the Met

Faded to diaphanous lines through blotches of colour,
the giant rising Buddha, tame behind the museum rail,

is still static joy within all former recognition.
The surrounding painted figures in procession

representing the constellations and order, juxtaposed
to the movement and noise of today’s crowds

are reminders of the presence of ancient speech,
of elicited voices and the gesture of voice.

You are here, but your cosmos travels on, always
marching further away from us. Further through us

past colours and lines pointing to something
still always here, seemingly unlimited to fact.