5. Zen

Anna Cates


glinting zodiac
a crooked pine points toward . . .

crescent moon
crusting lava flow & . . .

bamboo dripping
water over prayer stones . . .

between the worm
and bird-watching cat . . .

a Buddhist monk
alive on fire . . .



Anna Cates is published in top journals, such as Codex, Frogpond, Specs and others. She has won awards for fantasy fiction and poetry, including First Place in the Caribbean Kigo Kukai Contest. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing and teaches English and Education online. Her first full-length collections of poems and speculative fiction are available at Cyberwit.net:  http://www.cyberwit.net/authors/anna-cates. She lives in Ohio with her two beautiful kitties.

Editor’s Notes on “Zen”: This is a linked Haiku-like poem with striking images. In itself, the poem is arguably a mantra. The extra white space allows one to dwell on them a little longer. The supporting image is a photograph of bamboo with dew; it is emblazoned with the Buddhist mantra (OM MANI PADME HUNG) artistically rendered by Deviant Art (orc bruto soch). The color of the lettering alludes to the last couplet in tone.

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