rose crystal mala
one hundred eight
pre-revolutionary China
hand-blown crystal beads

a string of rose light
blessed by lamas

tiny bubbles of
   space and time
move through glass
cool beads clink
   warm in fingers:

      om mani paymay hum
         om mani paymay hum
            om mani paymay hum

sometimes simply

no chant of mani's
no hum's or om's
just sit with the beads in

            black night
         their weight
      in still hands

and move into
      irreducible crystal

© January 1999 Leslye Layne Russell

This poem was published in the
Spring 2000 issue of In the Grove.

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