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.

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