If you close your eyes
you can imagine that this garden
was once a tropical jungle
as imagined by some clever
Floridian striving to separate
more tourists from their
dwindling travellers checks.
It has been carefully done over,
plants native and ornamental
replacing the vines and trees,
the alligators, real and imaginary
gone, now an exhibit of Lego animals,
the orchids in bloom, and
you wonder why anyone
once came here in the old days.
Inward but not outward
a broken stick
Outward but no inward
a broken stick
A partridge sings
Fuketsu smiles knowingly.
A reflection on case 24 of the Mumonkan (Gateless Gate)
My mother used to say, about
most anything, “Stop, you’ve had your fill.”
It was something she did by rote,
dictated I was certain then, by
some timer buried deep within her
that brought forth the phrase
like the beep of an oven timer
to indicate whenever she was baking
was certain to be just slightly underdone.
I didn’t listen to her, of course,
just paid the lip service of which
children are the acknowledge masters.
I still hear her voice echoing the phase
as i walk through the park each morning
stopping to gaze at whatever new
has come into bloom, the patterns
of the clouds over the hills to the south,
the conversation of the birds
who only think i don’t understand, but i
never get my fill of the beauty before me.
The Royal Poinciana is in full bloom,
its brilliant flame has led the sun
to take jealous refuge in the clouds
but we know not to be complacent.
Mother nature it is said, and we
are loathe to argue, can be at times
the most fickle of bitches and we
suspect that it will not be long
before she brings forth still another
tropical storm, a tantrum in which
the jacaranda’s beauty must cede
to her repressed envy, scattered
at our feet, a warning, perhaps,
but nonetheless a moment of beauty
that even nature cannot deny us.
He says that foremost
Mao Zedong was a poet,
and knew that all poetry
must at some level
be political, must
incite the reader to rebel
I say that Zhao Zhenkai
wrote as Bei Dao
as the ultimate act
of rebellion, sacrificing
his very identity.
He says that I
am anchored by
the weight of realism,
and I say that he
She says that neither
of us will ever write
the just open bloom
of spring’s first rose.
First appeared in the May 2019 Issue of The Broadkill Reivew