a death in a zen garden

she found him next to Buddha and his two attendants
arms and legs outstretched like a beached starfish

the gravel had been freshly raked to outline his body
an unlikely death scene in a serene zen garden

some say his master had orchestrated his funeral
others that the truth was known only to the willows

but next day his body was gone and the gravel raked
in patterns resembling waves and rippling water

only the words of his poetry and songs were echoed
the meaning of it all concentrated in the ensuing silence

she that had meant everything and nothing to him
taking her own last breath and reaching for his hand

isn’t this the way death dreams our eternal slumber?
on the point of everlasting meditation, of no return?












































them women

them women bring water
from distant wells
them women gather sticks
make fire spells
them women pound grain
bake them breads
them women carry bundles
on them heads
them women cook meals
fill mouths with meat
them women hoe plants
grow food to eat
them women bear children
them live or die
we men hunt and smoke
and tell them lies