Zen Garden
    Nature does not hurry, and yet everything is accomplished.                                                                          
                                                          — Taoist proverb

Comb smooth stones into still spaces, rake
ripples into a curving river, follow its seasons

through spring splurges of daffodils and azaleas,
jack-in-the-pulpits and pink lady slippers,

sweetened islands of midsummer roses clustering
honey bees in their orange heads.

Remember when water lilies—rose-coloured teacups on emerald
saucers—bobbed up and down in the pond. Then

in winter, deer wobbled over icy mounds, nibbling
loose corn in the bare-bones yard.

Now purple New England asters, native grasses, and nasturtiums
linger into chill.

Sit on the stone bench. A rake
rests against the maple.

Let your breath become
like the trees that surround the garden.

Nod inwardly at each thought as if
it were a withering leaf.

Breathe in morning silence.
Exhale morning silence.
   A sugar-swollen monarch
     will shiver its way 
         to warmth.

© Doris Fiszer