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Shore, Mountain

By Susan Dworski Nusbaum

We hear the sound before we see the source,

a low moan emanating from a hollow interior,

barely audible under gulls' cries, the throb of surf,

an iron barrel-buoy bobbing on its anchor

three long miles off-shore, basso ostinato

against the anchor chain, spreading to the water's edge,

where we stand listening, as years ago we listened

to the chanting of monks at Swayambhu,

single Sanskrit syllables from perfect silence

resound mountain to mountain, tritons resolved

in thin air, long-horns held to soundless mouths,

sacred breath pressed through lengths and breadths

of burnished brass, spilling into the red soil.

SUSAN DWORSKI NUSBAUM will join poets Sam Magavern and Janna Willoughby-Lohr in a Just Buffalo Literary Cafe reading at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Center for Inquiry, 1310 Sweet Home Road in Amherst. She is a retired criminal prosecutor who lives in Buffalo.