creative ramblings & reverie

Friday, February 26, 2010

Old Shinji the Gardener

The eager wind
shakes down a snowflurry
of appleblossom
from each crooked branch.

Clearing weeds beneath
the drift of petals,
Old Shinji the gardener
feels spring stirring
in his own gnarled limbs.

He runs the wooden handle
of the hoe between his hands
to try its mettle,
measures it against his arm,
and finds it true.

The sap begins to warm and rise,
and Shinji's rubber boots
move lightly as a dancer's
as he turns the hoe this way
and that, about him.

The old staff fighter,
dormant twenty years beneath
the gardener's muddied shirt,
takes back his wizened body.

Soon his staff is skimming
through the air
in long, swift strokes, eager
as the wind, and singing too.

The air alive with blossom,
with joyful reverence
the onetime kendo master
cuts weeds with his staff.

—Christie, originally published in
Crosscurrents, Winter 1921-1982

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Is it a comment on my tale? Thanks! If not, thanks! I like it very much.