Monday, July 9, 2012

Thinking Of Jane Hirshfield In A Buddhist Abbey

Ah! Slender hush
who stands with her back
to the wind, hair thick and wavy
as watercress along the creek,

you have come here
to learn how nuns live,

and latch their spirits on
to the timeless length
of others. How traces
of hand and heart linger
on tools haunting those
who use them:

a white bowl
and heron's quill that sketched
a roof rising through clouds
seeking to be blessed,

a needle that hemmed silk
removed splinters,

and this bamboo gate
leading to a garden
where prayer is hummed

and desires sent adrift
like lanterns floating away
to a larger world

they must forget.

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