Jade Buddha-san

By
Through my screen door
is a well-lit hallway
the walls the ever-changing color
of Autumn

in one alcove
hangs a mounted scroll
the lively black strokes
form a sacred truth
below–
simply arranged plum blossoms
tell the tide of seasons

in your alcove
you have reigned alone
prayer beads in one hand
green belly polished to perfection
a peaceful giant frozen in meditation
over a sea of tatami

The scroll and blossoms
no matter how beautiful
when Spring comes
their shades of meaning will fade

a new scroll will replace it
or perhaps a painting this year
with another flower
to complement the season

You have watched this rite
for several lifetimes now
always sitting in your same niche
always chanting your same mantra

Are you smiling
because you are certain of your immortality?





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