VISIT TO DA CI’EN TEMPLE [revision #32]
Someone has rested a bamboo broom
within the split trunk
of an old tree.
Long whisks tied flat
with red string — like sticks
of incense ready to be lit.
I rest too, sitting on a bench
in the monks’ courtyard, fanning
will this broom sweep away sun-warmed
twigs and petals? or brush cool
puddles of rain
down to the garden?
I wish for a breeze.
I wish for songbirds
flocking to brooms.
by Therese L. Broderick
NOTE: I intend for this poem to be, primarily, a designed system of sound: the sound of my speaking voice when its first priority is to the sounds of words. This poem is a combination of fact and fiction. FACTS: Recently I visited the temple near the Great Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, China; I was using a hand-fan; I saw a bamboo broom placed inside a split tree trunk; the broom was tied flat with red string; I saw incense sticks burning near the temple; earlier that week I had seen zoo employees sweep away rain puddles with bamboo brooms. FICTIONS: Wishing for birds to flock to brooms is a contrived wish which I didn’t add to this poem until after writing about 20 revisions; I was standing instead of sitting on one of the benches.
If you want to learn more about how I designed the sounds in this poem, read the first comment below.