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 growling winds of 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.
I am a child of ghosts, my parents
adopted and birth, all visit me,
but only in my dreams, for ghosts
prefer the reality that dreams allow.
Some say that dreams are not real,
but they live in the mind as do
every other reality I experience
each day, my senses merely
inexact lenses for the mind.
Perhaps dreams are more accurate,
a deeper reality in the end,
for they arise without passing
through the lenses of the senses,
whole and complete, and as quickly gone.
I am a child of ghosts, and I
will eventually join them,
haunting the dreams of others.
My ancestors stole your tongue
and left you mute in a world
you could not grasp.
as I search for words of forgiveness
I can find none, for my voice
is clogged with foreign phrases
that once told of your ancestors
who lived amid these rocks.
We schooled you, stealing
your spirit, which whispers to us
as the sun climbs slowly
over the great stone set deep
into the endless desert.
When the wind comes down
from the north, it sings a song
which cuts through our coats
and deeply into our bones.
There is no one who will claim us
when we are plundered for display
in some museum, no one to sing
a blessing to ward off the spirits
that will haunt us into the next life.
The ghosts of your people walk
among us and we can, at last,
hear their whispered entreaties
carried on the wind
deep into the canyon.
The sooty snow
blankets the fields
a still ocean
off the precipice
of the horizon.
of ash tinged cotton
hug the earth
under which all life
from the ghosts
To the wanderer
which the cave mouth
which the cave?
the ghosts of morning
cast their spell over the sun
joyous winter smiles
first snow of winter
white coated Buddha dreaming
each flake different
a billion unique moments
a Buddhist season