At dusk, the temple yard is silent. A twiggy tree twists and leans, shading no one but seemingly stretching toward something unknown. Nothing can be heard, save the buzz of low-flying insects when they get too near.
Then someone clangs the brass bell -- just one sharp snap of the bell tongue. But the tone hangs in the night air, piercing something unseen.
temple yard at dusk,
the silence is broken
by the brass bell
One tree stands in the temple yard, slanting but stable, its bare limbs lazily spiral skyward. Its trunk is gnarled and its branches are twisted and it makes the old ruins around it look modern by comparison. The trunk radiates hardness, a strength from deformation, like the sinewy limbs of a laborer whose muscles are held in constant tension, until they can no longer know suppleness. Seekers of shade and enlightenment once sought its shadow, but now it can only offer a good example.
leafless tree --
sitting in the temple yard,