Rain Garden Outside My Window, My First Morning in Japan

by J. Rodney Karr

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  The land that is nowhere, that is the true home—                            Lu Tzu
There is no time there
just rain-sprinkled pines
near the tea house,

no river but water
overflowing white
rivulets of sand,

no mountains but stones
resting in the fullness
of the sounds

of water lit
and ephemeral
ending in the sun.

The year is gone.
The days are milky.
The nights are hard

and lonely.
Even aubergine
is expensive and rare.

Those two weeks of azaleas
took a whole year
almost unbearable.

They set on my table.
I drink tea steeped
in seven herbs.

I think of my lover’s arrows
I burned last month
at the shrine.

Thunder in the distance
is sadness
scraping my belly.

The tear in my eye
is the reflection
of a cloud.

J. Rodney Karr has an MFA from the University of Arkansas. He has published in The Iowa Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review and more recently, dirtcakes. He lives in Denmark.

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