Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.






With a fallen leaf he sings his tune,

a sweet refrain to while away the buzzing noon

in some clammy nook far away from the maddening brook.

For they come.

Thieves, Rogues, Infidels, Murderers, and Journeymen-

Abhaya mudrā! Abhaya mudrā! [1]

Hear not Angkor’s death throes! For in design

Vishnu shall protect all with Padma’s plant.

The grand eviction, apsaras and asuras, called forth to

witness the glassy dust-offs of their abject shells.


Retreat, retreat,

across the deadened moat,

where graffiti has bowed Singha’s chin,

and time has worn Naga’s steel-glazed skin.

Look afore the lotus towers once gilded golden,

where walls abound of glorious times pulled afar,

of epic battles and blinding spells,

of mystical moats and lavish wells,

pointing the parasols to the star.


He follows the sign to Meru’s peaks,

where knee-deep stairs countenance Nirvana’s keep.

But hark! The broken bridge rail leads astray,

into the woods and far beyond,

where secret ruins lie over the West Baray,

extending an invitation to abscond,

away from the artificial ropes and hollow amulet holes,

away from the blank slates and soulless crowded halls.


Yet time is a pensive that runs askew,

and histories are amended to the scrivener’s ink anew.

The remnants of the past had long been changed,

bending to the will of each nebulous new king.

A half-lotus pose reduced to a cross.

The carvings scream,

shielding themselves from the mason crook,

as their lines writhe to the word of a new prayer book.


Look far North, and hail the king who

constructed faces to rue the world,

invoking the Lord with his mien,

sculpting his features in the scene.

Two hundred faces glaring down,

erected to the jest of some new crown.


But a different kind of change is affecting the East,

where the ruins are subject to nature’s beast.

Behold the siege of erupting trees,

clawing the stones with scornful ease,

and burying the carvings with gentle wheeze.

The return to nature, blessed by an animistic priest.



The lone hermit gazes at his palm leaf

as a dewy raindrop slides off and falls deep into the ground.

A clear sinewy crystal.

Is not the art of forgetting better

than being remembered for the wrong deed?


[1] Fearlessness. A position in Buddhism with a hand outstretched (palm outward, fingers together) indicating protection, peace, and the dispelling of fear.

Is it better to be forgotten than to be remembered for the wrong deed? A carving gets scratched out over a new religion while somewhere far out, trees strike to root a different carving to the undying burial mound.

This title is under the Peabody Collection

The lone hermit sits over a stone laid bare,

notwithstanding the shards of fiery rains that tear.

The scent of petrichor – a diaphanous wine

which allures the specter to the glass.

He who ponders over rituals now rare,

and graces the strange accoutrements that fill the air,

must dissolve his prayers with a smear.

The Opening Verse

Forgetting Angkor