Atop any temple in Old Bagan,
I can easily spot you
because you are the gigantic one
among the silent sacred standing brick stones.
Dhammayan, as you are popularly called,
is your being the biggest a blessing by chance?”
Your red bricks were layered
by the subjects of King Narathu
who ordered to brick up your interior
so no one can enter you,
so no one can understand his intentions.
One more, you were patterned
to the prettiest temple of Ananda --
the most welcoming of all temples --
so why close you up inside
and open only the four porches
and the vast corridors
to your faithful Buddhists
and this visitor?
I know the reasons of your being the biggest
and your being secretive inside died with your king
who was said to have died in assassination,
the very means he used to seize the power
from his father and elder brother.
Perhaps your gigantic existence
would atone for his sins.
Perhaps your closed interiors
would keep his inner remorse.
Perhaps this is just something a visitor can say,
so that she can understand
why she traveled this far away.
Copyright February 2015
Gerlie M. Uy
*This is a poem inspired after a travel in Bagan in April 2014.
Please see, among my entries on Myanmar,
my travel blog on Dhammayangyi Temple here.