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Buddha’s Garden

by Ilyse Kusnetz

  • In 1586, Hideyoshi
  • peasant ruler of Japan,
  • ordered the nation’s swords
  • be melted down.
  • He used the metal
  • to construct a Buddha
  • the size of the Jade Palace.
  • For seven years, 50,000
  • artists labored to build it.
  • Ten years after completion
  • a great earthquake
  • razed the statue, leaving
  • no trace of its existence.
  • War, too, is like this –
  • a vast, tectonic violence
  • swallowing our hope.
  • But who are we
  • to question the possibility
  • of miracles, when lying
  • fallow for centuries
  • a lotus seed may, without
  • warning, germinate.
  • Buddha teaches us patience.
  • Do you doubt this?
  • The seed of an Arctic lupine
  • frozen 10,000 years
  • when planted, still grows.


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