A Chinese Puzzle

One piece looks like a branch
or else a river
set stark against a rock
or hard grey sky,

or something cold
that seems to be a temple. 
An ancient monk sits
calmly by the door,

his saffron robe
like dancing sunlit water. 
He mocks your consternation
with his eyes.

Before you even entered
you already were confused,
but now with all these tiny
lacquered pieces

you have to settle down
and concentrate.  Next time
you’ll be more careful.
That’s the secret.

When you think you understand,
begin again.


Hear it:


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