A Weeping Japanese Maple

A Weeping Japanese Maple


A weeping Japanese maple

steadies the world in its sheer nothingness


a rainy backyard, a white-latticed fence

forgive the onlooker their mortality


a slice of moon at the equinox

so amazing one scarcely remembers to breathe


a spirit looking back, shedding regrets,

before a final, invisible dispersal


into a great light which then goes out


death asks first a forgetting, and what may emerge

is new, unattached to those who pass by


and this tree's boughs and bark

hidden by weeping crimson leaves


would still be a sort of connection

with the world we know as it is


so gaze on this -- what was once seen --

what was gazed upon, mourn, and then forget     



Royal Rhodes


Royal Rhodes is a retired teacher of global religions, religion & literature, and death & dying. His poems have appeared in print and online journals, including:

BEARINGS,  Snakeskin, The Lyric, Cholla Needles, Harbinger Asylum, and in a series of art/poetry collaborations with The Catbird [on the Yadkin] Press in North Carolina. His current project is an exhibition on The Art of Trees.


  1. love the quiet meditation and great art to go with it. that's an actual japanese maple.

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