“Pancha Rathas” by Amanda Geers

by Christine Sine

This piece was inspired during my time spent studying abroad in India after a visit to monolithic stone temples sitting on the southeast coast of India named Pancha Rathas, which were part of a 7th century port city called Mahabalipuram. As groups of tourist were walking toward the temples, I noticed two beggars: one female, one male, both crippled and elderly sitting on each side of the pathway. Based on this moment, I wrote this poem to help myself process my thoughts on poverty in India and the tension of wondering if the structure of society as it is now could ever allow for poverty to cease . But as I’ve been reflecting on what it means to observe Advent DSCN9364and wait for the coming of Christ, especially the Second Coming; I realized that though originally this piece was written specifically on the ancient pain of poverty, I think that it also uniquely illustrates that sense of waiting for redemption, for all to be made well. It is depicting that moment in between Christ’s coming which brought redeeming hope and Christ’s second coming when we will finally, fully, at last step into that redemption.


Pancha Rathas

A goat kid sleeps on a dancing statue:

turquoise worn and paused in-step,

one foot raised and waiting

to feel the slap against the stone.

It seems all hang on that final

beat, even the monolith temples

wait for their builders’ return,

when they’ll bow against the

sanded floors in narrow openings

between corridors.

And outside the city wait the cross-

legged guards , crazed and cloudy-eyed,

as vacant and indifferent as the sun

gathering in the pavement and beating

through their bones. But for their disfigured hands;

alive enough to open to the movement

in passing crowds of silhouettes and footsteps,

and hang in the air for the drop of a coin–

for the turn of its fated faces.



Amanda Geers is a former MSA summer intern. She works in the field of special education/respite; while also pursuing her love for creative expression in her free time. Her work has recently been published in an upcoming ebook anthology entitled Poetic Reflections.

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