Slanting light casts onto a stucco wall the shadows of upwardly zigzagging plum branches. I can see the thinning of branches to the very twig. I have to sift what you say, what she thinks, what he believes is genetic strength, what they agree is inevitable. I have to sift this quirky and lashing stillness of form to see myself, even as I see laid out on a table for Death an assortment of pomegranates and gourds. And what if Death eats a few pomegranate seeds? Does it insure a few years of pungent spring? I see one gourd, yellow from midsection to top and zucchini-green lower down, but already the big orange gourd is gnawed black. I have no idea why the one survives the killing nights. I have to sift what you said, what I felt, what you hoped, what I knew. I have to sift death as the stark light sifts the branches of the plum.
Arthur Sze - 1950-
A spring snow coincides with plum blossoms. In a month, you will forget, then remember when nine ravens perched in the elm sway in wind. I will remember when I brake to a stop, and a hubcap rolls through the intersection. An angry man grinds pepper onto his salad; it is how you nail a tin amulet ear into the lintel. If, in deep emotion, we are possessed by the idea of possession, we can never lose to recover what is ours. Sounds of an abacus are amplified and condensed to resemble sounds of hail on a tin roof, but mind opens to the smell of lightening. Bodies were vaporized to shadows by intense heat; in memory people outline bodies on walls.