Zen Buddhism and Martial Arts

Home » Literature Archives » July 30, In The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Public Library

Author of this poem:

Robert Rhodes (Yao Xin)
(October 3, 2010)

July 30, In The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Public Library

Opening Calvino's Hermit in Paris
I discover a maple leaf
the size of a woman's delicate hand,
crimson and perfectly pressed,
still as fresh as when the wind
twisted it from its autumn stem.

It was still as bright as the leaves
the poet Ryokan used, centuries ago,
to decorate the pages of his grass-script
calligraphies, pressing the rice paper
with the earthen hues of fall,
there in the shadow of Fujiyama.

In Calvino's Paris, maple leaves
must be dancing in the gentle
upper shades of the Luxembourg Gardens
this very afternoon: their crimson still waiting
to be folded into the pages
of another book.

This one I return to the shelf
still marking the secret place
an unknown hand chose
from all the others: its secrecy
intact, unchanged, unfinished,
leaving no mark but memory.

Humming Bird

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict