after Ajanta Dream, 2007 (oil, acrylic, silver and gold leaf on panel), by Lynn Powers
So much life exists beneath the surface.
Continuous teams carve monasteries
underground, painters adorn cave walls
in colors bright enough to enlighten
the damp darkness. Surfaces uneven
as the mountains and dreams above them.
Sacred stems scroll up from the murk,
arch toward the frothy phosphorescence,
a foamy loam cradling a white lotus.
And then, a halo – rising in outline,
not quite whole – a coral aureole, almost incised,
shines upon a handful of tiny suns, gold-leafed
and scattered, like coins thrown in a fountain for luck.
First published in Lynn Power’s “Sweet Obsession” exhibition catalog, 2011