Living in a bamboo grove, she said,
is very much like living in an old house.
Look up at noon, into the canopy
and imagine you see rays of light
piercing the ill-thatched roof.
Listen to the growing winds or autumn
and hear the ghosts of the old house
making their way up creaking stairs.
And when you truly find the silence
imagine the Buddha sitting nearby
the morning breeze his breath
slowly drawing you into the day.
At first it was a checkerboard of ponds
neatly arrayed, reflecting the sun,
the work of man, for God so rarely
plays geometrician with creation, less
often still using right angles.
Soon enough green blades reach up
through the shirred surface, random,
reaching for a sun they can never touch.
It is a field soon, the water
pooling at the roots is lost
in the emerald sea its waves
now generated by the wind
from the distant mountain.
It is marigold yellow now, fading
day by day to curry, the spikelet
slowly letting go their grip
on the grains that will soon lie
on the bamboo mats, drinking
the last of the sun they will know.