Listening to the Leaves (a Pastoral)

Sustained by sunlight, gentle rain,
rosebushes grow in my flower garden.
At dusk, when nature’s gentle creatures
find their rest, I listen to the evening breezes’
faint whispering in the foliage and reflect
on all my unfulfilled wishes and rueful entreaties
that had come to naught.  But my seemingly
fragile will is resilient like the spider web
that entraps the hapless small prey in my view—
Here, in this nature spot I found my sans souci,
the haven where I feel free of care.

I welcome the morning tranquility that is soon
enhanced by a lark’s cheerful song as she glides
high above the nearby brook that shimmers
in the rising sun’s bright-golden gleam. 
Human din and traffic noises do not yet permeate
this peaceful haven as I absorb my early resident
mockingbird’s cheerful repertoire of various
bird songs.  High-noon soon passed into the vesper hour;
I hear distant church bells toll. Slowly, darker evening
clouds drift in. Once again I note the night breeze
moving through my rosebushes while nature’s creatures
listen to the faint rustling of the leaves.

© Jerry Kemp 2017

Jerry Kemp

Jerry has written and published two books: A Bouquet of Poetic Thoughts II and Galloping Pegasus, four humorous novellas.  Retired from his horse ranch and other activities, Jerry lives with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and numerous birds at the outskirts of the Sonoran desert in Arizona.  Celebrating his 82nd birthday in October 2016, ignoring the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms, Jerry continues on in his pursuit of happiness. He still paints, enjoys classical music and poetry by the old masters and, of course--writing.

Meditation ('meisousuru koto')

 

I have come to see
Mount Fuji—Fuji-san
the sacred mountain

In morning Alpenglow
seekers look up at you,
a deity’s incarnation

On this misty early morn
I won't tread your trails
while among others

I will wait; visit dancing cranes
at the pond's shore and listen
to distant temple bells

Then, by the rising sun
I can submerge myself
in you at my journey’s end.

“Misty rain;
today is a happy day,
although Mt. Fuji is unseen.”
(Basho)

© 2016 Jerry Kemp

Jerry Kemp

Jerry has written and published two books: A Bouquet of Poetic Thoughts II and Galloping Pegasus, four humorous novellas.  Retired from his horse ranch and other activities, Jerry lives with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and numerous birds at the outskirts of the Sonoran desert in Arizona.  Celebrating his 82nd birthday in October 2016, ignoring the onset of Parkinson’s symptoms, Jerry continues on in his pursuit of happiness. He still paints, enjoys classical music and poetry by the old masters and, of course--writing.