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139 & 140

There are rice paddies and the lotus pools
the farmer in the field, his little dog
gone jumping through the stalks, the plodding ox
the low houses with terra cotta roofs
the sleeping teachers sprawling in the bus
and outside here and there a little house
containing ashes of a child or spouse
stands in the field. A heron like a ghost
takes off slowly through the vast sky’s gray swath.
Will it rain and make the land wetter yet?
Where the red lotus rises it prevents
us from seeing into the muddy depths
where it secretly spreads itself to bloom
welcoming us into the present gloom.

The woman in pink by the lotus pool
seems like a flower herself. Her wide straw hat
hides her face, keeps her anonymous. That
could be a man. No sun today. It’s cool.
The crop is abundant and overflows
its banks disguising the water and land
where the land is as flat as a pool and
one place is as green as another. Go
but always be careful and when you step
remember. Notice where the woman is
where the ox will only stretch out its neck
and that one heron is always present.
Then you won’t fall in where the bountiful
lotus rises feeding both wise and fool.


  1. Posted 24 May ’15 at 12:40 pm | Permalink


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