Second prize winner of the 2009 Fortune Cookie Contest.
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Kegon hears the knock, but does not answer it: bamboo on rock. He smiles to the mirror-pool, picks, from his teeth, gomae seed with grass blade. On his knees, pats moss grass— toes it as he stands in Mountain Pose, moves to Crane Pose, big toe thumbs the moss smooth. In Warrior— hands swish at fallen leaves—Hoover Pose: he pockets a pink candy wrapper, still sticky. Bamboo rake at hand, Kegon sweeps a sun shape into rock-pebble bed—swoosh of air as he spins the rake, hangs it, his arms like buckets of water, to tiptoe to stone path, spins jo-pole, flicks dried bird shit off bonsai’d maple leaf and with pink candy wrapper, scoops it. Rock-sculpted sun stays its shape in white stone. In shaded corner, Kegon spots chipped rock, fallen from stone lantern—jams globule of candy wrapper’d guano, smears and reattaches chipped lantern corner, it holds. Kegon bows to slow-sinking evening sun. Swings, pole, sojutsu, knocks lowest peach from highest branch— catches peach in right hand, hobo sticks pole, walks in leafy shade. Kegon twirls rake pole, bats peach pit to neighbouring bathhouse. Hears it ping on gomi bin. Bell of stone on metal He one-handed quick flips rake pole to lean on bamboo fence, nods to life’s connectedness, turns on slipper’d heel, walks tall so evergreen scents his finger-combed hair, bows to koi in pond, lets them clean their own house. Kegon finds moss rock pillow, grass-coated ledge, and beds. Eyes closed, he finds the silver screen inside his temple mind.