Beside a pond, a tree reaches, its branches stretched wide and skyward, blocking the harsh cloud-penetrating rays. Locals sit on the lush grass, their backsides wet, their backs resting on the rough and slanting trunk. They watch ripples echo outward from the mouth tips of feeding fish, those concentric rings etched into in the mirrored waters - and yet moving. In time, watchers will become ripple mesmerized, and will experience the stiff twitch and head nods of an impending nap.
ripples from feeding fish
lull my mind
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,