Saturday, March 19, 2011

Maitreyabandhu writes from the London Buddhist Centre to say “I'm delighted to hear I’m one of the four winners of the annual Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition. The prize is £500 plus a pamphlet of twenty-four  of my poems published in May this year by Smiths/Doorstep.  This will be my first pamphlet so I am especially pleased. It is  a well known competition, so the pamphlets often get reviewed in the poetry press.
“The judge, Simon Armitage, said my collection was ‘Nostalgic, but not sentimental or wistful, the poems have a real sense of the here and now. They strike home.’  My collection is called The Bond, and one of the poems, Retrospect,  is copied below.

“Also I'm publishing a 10 page article called The Provenance of Pleasure in the next (Spring) issue of Poetry Review.  It’s based on the Honeyball Sutta, from the Majjhima Nikaya, which I’m applying to poetry”. 

Several talks on the Honeyball Sutta are available from Triratna’s FreeBuddhistAudio, including several by Subhuti.  It's a classic text which plays a central role in the early Buddhist analysis of conflict. Click here to download.  


In my story, you walked to school that day,
left the moped in the garage with your
gauntlets on the seat, caught up with me,
suggested we should meet back at your house,
your brother still at work. I tell myself
we carry on from there, off and on
until I move away. Now you’re twenty-five
and have learnt the art of smiling. We talk
about that time you waited in the bath
next to your parents’ kitchen after school.
But the story won’t make sense, the facts
you left too small to be given consequence.
I can’t put explanations in your mouth.
You just stand there in the kitchen doorway,
pencil-slim and pale and carrying a helmet.

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