never came this way
the beds no doubt too damp the track too steep
and too much laughter. No doubt the kyosoku not long enough -
yet the gaunt pine stands sentinel. No nonsense cooking here
these hearts as empty bowls lined up for washing.
Doing their own practice in their own way -
mist laden groves,
cloud valley, village invisible. The bell rings a rainwet hand collecting sitters in still rows
tap - tap - precipitating silences.
Monks in mufti
adorn this quiet refectory
lifting spoons to silenced tongues dim light at noon requiring candles serving an extraordinary soup
bowl by bowl
the measured ladle.
In the library books
stand motionless in their places. Outside the Welsh monsoon greys the valley drab.
The sound of scribbling copies some ancient words.
Few farmers come up this hill
the sheep take care of themselves, scan the empty valley
hear the tumbling stream returning cloud waters seeking again a distant sea.
Too high for Kingfishers too wet for skylark flight
Wrens like mice run below the ferns mushrooms fairy circling scant grass thinking of soup.
Today silence hangs around these yards of meditation,
rain drops purl from the old roof. No wind - heavy leaves
breathe - sheep stand still
in their wet wool, water keeps the flies grounded.