Buddha, Birdbath, Hanging Plant

By | 1 July 1998

Three things stopped him in his stride
when he stepped out
into the garden – three things
under the great peppercorn
that he planted years ago:
the statue of a Buddha,
a birdbath and a plant in a basket
hanging from one of the peppercorn’s branches.

The Buddha pointed to the earth,
to the ‘here and now’.
The birdbath, filled with water,
reflected the tree above it.
The plant, a flowering hoya,
hung over the Buddha and birdbath like a crown.

His time of sorrow
vanished – as if pain and fear
had been nothing more than vapours
trailing through his imagination.
Somewhere, from out of an ancient past,
he heard a voice, “The centre of the universe
is a bellylaugh.”
The Buddha smiled; the water
in the birdbath rippled;
the hoya stirred
in a circular motion.

He stepped back, startled –
as if someone had pushed him.
Then he saw the great tree itself.

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