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April 2014, vol 10, no 1

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Jonathan Humphrey

Mottled With Maple And Oak

Sweeping in the monastery garden. The leaves and twigs are my constant companions, my constant mentors. I pick a bit of rice from my teeth with a pine needle, reminded of Hosai Ozaki’s “Pull off a pine needle and pick my teeth, that kind of morning road”. A dog, far-off, barks in a mist mottled with maple and oak. Trees have always been more of a feeling, less of a form in such weather. It’s enough to chill the spine, send tremors through the broom and into whatever debris is being gathered into the pile. Two stones click, speaking, and again are silent.

all morning
mist strikes bell
without sound