ACROSS

Across the river
running limpid as mercury
the sky is gun-metal gray
and many stand
in the windows
of their small apartments
and stare at buildings
sitting like mausolea.
On this side of the river
running limpid as mercury
the sky is gun-metal gray
and many stand
in the windows
of their small apartments
and stare at buildings
sitting like mausolea.
Tomorrow across the river
the sky will be blue
and a cold sun will shine
and the river
will swallow its reflection.
Tomorrow on this side of the river
the sky will be blue
and a cold sun will shine
and the river
will swallow its reflection.

DHAMMAPADA

A foolish man sits at the edge
of the pond, his feet
perfectly still in the water.
He stares into the mirrored surface
and sees a fool, smiles
as a ginkgo leaf floats
like a sail on a morning breeze
onto the pool, ripples
radiate out, touching his toes
and he smiles, and the fool
lying beneath smiles.

A foolish man stands
in the road, staring
into the pavement, transfixed.
He stares into the silvered sheen
left by a morning rain
and sees a man of substance
in fine clothes, and man servants
awaiting a command,
and he smiles, and walks on
with the man of substance
on a road with no end
leading nowhere.