When the disciple is ready, the master appears.
In extreme cases, disguised as a garden—
overgrown, inherited from a previous tenant
with a passion for wild vines and grasses
that spread until everything is lost in one
spectacular tangle, a few pale blossoms dangling
from exhausted stems. She thought of hiring
a gardener—one of the sturdy Guatemalans
who waited every morning near the on-ramp,
but she kept putting it off, consumed with digging
in the cool loam at the center of her chest, digging
for traces of what the Stranger planted there in the dark.
She was taken by the man in the New Yorker story
who went blind in his forties and slowly sank
into what he called deep blindness: the long slow
meltdown of inner images into cloudless sky.
She went with him all the way back to the clean
blank slate and its sudden unexpected turn,
the quick-change of engine for caboose, cause
for effect, so that life’s train sped backward, the end
of every story becoming the way it begins.
That’s when she saw it was the flutter of sycamore leaves
that invited the wind, the sky’s turn to indigo and
the air’s slow cooling that released the sun to set.
The late-summer dahlias were what called her hands,
wrist-deep, into June’s jungle of roots.
Because the delphiniums were soul-searing blue,
she dug a hole. Because she was overcome
with joy, he loved her like no one else. Because
she was drenched with loss, he disappeared.
~ from the Chapbook Garden Sutra
& the full-length collection: CALL FROM PARIS by Prartho Sereno