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Kim Roberts

 

 

THE GARDEN OF RYOAN-JI

 

Before enlightenment, mountains are mountains and waters are waters.

—Qingyuan Weixin

 

 Water-cutting stone, shadow-facing stone,

stone of the spirit-king, demon stone,

stone of the two-fold world.

 

In a garden of stones, one stone

sings. One stone fishes for stones

with a stone lure. And one stone

swims among the stones wearing

stony scales, grey with small flashes

of mica. One stone

floats on its back and impersonates

a cumulus cloud.

 

Hovering mist stone,

torso stone, lying sideways stone.

One stone stops singing

to listen for its echo.

 

 

Kim Roberts is the author of three books of poems, most recently Animal Magnetism, winner of the Pearl Poetry Prize. She edited the anthology Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC, and edits the online journal Beltway Poetry Quarterly. She was featured in the Sunken Garden Festival in 2009.