Slanted World


I rose to catch the early morning,
the different Japanese-painted world of six a.m.
The chilled sunlight in long, uneasy fingers
stretched across the terrace,
snatching at the zithered goldfish sucking at dew drops
by the pond’s cement edge.
They swam to goggle at my dabbling finger, quirked
like a magnified, nail-headed worm,
then tucked away, giving disappointed, air-gasping

I sat quiet, waiting for the geta slap, slap
sound of the doves as they crash landed in the pines;
then turned to watch the glistening crow
settled in the branches of the blossomed peach —
he knew the pink became him.

Soon an eastern wind shivered round my feet
and made a ruffled path in the duckweed on the pond —
the goldfish rose to catch the stir, their pale,
water-honey sides like through-water-seen tin.

Another world lies
in my garden — for me to see through slanted eyes;
I walk with care in the strange-world orient atmosphere of six a.m.
where, surfacing to bubble-break their silver ceiling
the careless goldfish laugh.

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