THE OLDEST TREE
One hundred winters
revealed in shaped pine
potted beside bench
26 June 2013
Pot these trees
working with your tiny tweezers
25 June 2013
CONVERSATION WITH THE BONSAI INSTRUCTOR
I’m a beginner
At this point we're all beginners
Before bonsai beginner
17 June 2013
CONVERSATION OVER THE SHIMPAKU JUNIPER
When did you wire this?
Two weeks ago.
Take it all off.
17 June 2013
FOSTER PARENTING THE 15-YEAR OLD JUNIPER BONSAI
—for Miguel Sánchez
Gold glow tips called by light
as in hands of praise.
From humble beginnings, for and from
its creator, honoring another ancient way,
the gift exchange after a lesson, we repot
the Golden Juniper together,
four hands holding all that’s radical
in exposed roots. My teacher
trying to remember himself.
My son was a baby. Now he’s 15.
You’ll have to show me some things,
I say, thinking food and water,
not yet wondering about tools or foolish mistakes,
the intricacies of wiring tiny branches,
not knowing what confusions
the tree knows, having been there, listening, every day
with the father for fifteen years.
WIRING THE SHIMPAKU JUNIPER
Wiring before the master’s eyes
Cause for much of the terror
Spotting turns on branches
telling me to start over.
He’s not out here now
in the garden while summer rain falls
running from wire to plant to fingers
and things couldn’t be any better.
29 May 2013