It would seem that once the leaves
fall from the tree, lay upon the ground,
and become covered by rain,
that this would be enough.

One leaf in particular turning orange
and brown, with small holes in it,
drifted down onto the place
of meditation in the woods.

No longer does the practice
fill the wooded hillside
and no longer do birds sing
nor do flowers grow.

Solitary stillness, no person,
just woodland silence and
woodland cries call to him
in the depths of the city.

He drove all night to be here
and he held the leaf in his hand
and a tear rolled down his cheek
but he could not sit, nor could he pray.

Tormented by one harsh word
he'd spoken in anger to roshi,
another tear, another sigh,
Tall pines, blue sky.

- Fa Che, July 2005