Meditation on the Location of a Planned Water Feature
This spot says "pond."
This spot says, flood me with flickering goldfish,
a profusion of carp, flashing like vanishing coins.
The play of light under rock,
Rippling reflections of the drowning sun
echoes some half-remembered stoney shore.
The smells of mud and amiable decay,
the splash of fish, expanding rings around a dropped stone,
burning bare feet racing across the baked ground
to a cool backwood sargasso.
Or it would,
if there were rocks,
or a pond.
On my three-year plan I have designated this area
"for quiet reflection."
This will almost certainly take the form
of a recessed pond, with small, coy fish.
That corner floods anyway.
With some worn limestone
and perhaps the Buddha it will look
or at least
Perhaps it will rain, and the runoff
from a cleverly concealed french drain
will wash around the Buddha's crockery toes.
Incensed bees will ride the rain out
on the underside of rangey rosemary branches,
which will also need to be planted.
The space labelled "Rosemary"
smells almost as sweet as the bees.
I put the paper down.
does not understand.
This is not a shared smell.
I have again pencilled and marked through the Buddha.
It was St. Francis last Thursday,
and before, a smiling goddess,
and a stone moai from some forgotten island.
Guardians and gods have worn a hole through my plans.
They watch the fish, their ponderous weight tearing the paper
as much as frequent erasure.
A label signifying a stone philosopher
is sufficient guardian for this pond,
coequal in this illusion,
seeing the fish swim beneath the paper,
lifting the hem of his robe
of the page.