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Work in Progress--

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 fish,
          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.
          My wife
          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
          and breaking
          the surface
          of the page.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 4th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)
Absolutely amazing; I wish I could write like this.

Also, I don't know if it was intentional, but I love the play on words on "small, coy (koi) fish"
Apr. 4th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Yah, I meant that one, though I did have to get a "refresh my memory" on what a koi was...thank you very much! :)
Apr. 4th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC)
I've seen pictures of Japanese Zen gardens where they used upright boulders as focuses in their layouts. A boulder might make a better guardian for a fish pond than a specific statue.
Apr. 4th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
I'll think about that for the re-write, but it's hard to anthropomorphize a boulder.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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