Monday, March 05, 2007

350. The difficult Arch Of The Bridge In The Japanese Tea Garden - James Schevill

To create an expert difficulty
That defeats the difficulty of destruction,
Build a Japanese bridge.
Arch the wood in a high curve––
Block it with steep, splintery steps,
Flow under it a clear stream
With red fish for contemplation.
Assemble families for the climb.
Vary ages, sizes, forms, minds,
Quiet, ugly, lazy, combative temperaments;
Children to scream, stare, giggle at danger;
Frantic, laughing parents to warn of falls,
Broken legs; grandparents to mutter "impossible,"
And watch with resigned pleasure
The high, difficult crossing . . .
Shouts of triumph should be an absolute joy
Aimed to clarify the air, not muddle the fog.
At night, let the aging, wooden bridge
Rest in the silence of its lofty curve,
Worn, mirrored in the moonlit water,
The wheel of life that turns,
Extending the invitation of difficulty.

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