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Monday, October 17, 2011

Fishing in a Sea of Sand

Years ago I viewed a Zen rock garden
with not a petunia in sight
just sand
raked into swirling patterns
of the sea
and a few large rocks
here and there
I guessed then
they represented islands
the sand
the watery sea
with the raked swirls
which created the metaphor
in my head
of watery sea
and not
bone-dry sand.

I returned a few times
to that garden
once watching a solemn monk
carefully dragging a rake
as he first made a course
around one large rock
then the others
he seemed to have
the courses
already memorized
for he dragged
that rake
as I recall.

I used to push a lawnmower
in my youth.
In the backyard
I cut the lawn
not as my older brother did
in careful overlapping rows
but I would push
that old lawnmower
in circles and swirls
and zigzags
anything
but in straight lines.

It was fun
drawing with a lawnmower
I would stop to admire
the meandering course
cut through the tall grass
but in the end
I would always do
a quick
back-and-forth
to clip the tall grass
before my father
returned home
from work.

The Buddhist
dragging the rake
didn't appear
to be having
much fun
not as much fun
as I had
pushing
a heavy
lawn
mower.

Then
I wondered
why?

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