Tuesday, August 13, 2013

room for birds to fly through

"Bonsai is not the result: that comes after. Your enjoyment is what is important."

"It must have philosophy, botany, artistry, human quality behind it to be a bonsai."

"The bonsai is not you working on the tree; you have to have the tree work on you."

"Leave room for the birds to fly through."

- John Naka on bonsai

Perhaps the words of the bonsai artist apply also to poetry?

Leave room for the birds to fly through.

Everything that we have experienced, studied, read, all the music we have listened to, the friends we have made and those we have left behind, the places we have travelled to, the paths we have walked on (the sidewalks, the forest paths, the snow covered ones, and the muddy ones), the wine we have sipped, and the sadnesses we have endured, and the joys we have knelt down before:  all these enter the poem, the piece of writing, the photograph, the work of art.

And it's the poem that changes us. The work that changes and shapes us. All the while we work on the poem, the poem is doing its work on us. Does the poem matter? Has it ever mattered? Only if the work has mattered, only if the poem has worked on you and through you.

We've been to this Japanese garden, a small drive out of town, many times. Chloe has attended summer camp there many years in a row, though now, of course, she's too old for that. In a small corner of the garden, down a dirt path, is this little spot where the bonsais are.

I have more photos of the garden, but today is for the bonsai. I hope you enjoy them.

{Photos were taken at the Kurimoto Japanese Garden


  1. So lovely! And it looks like you had the place to yourselves. At least for those small moments.

    xo Kimmy

  2. Beautiful. I will be remembering to let the birds fly through my day today.

  3. i'm speechless for these words and these moments and these lovely bonsai images ... where there is room for the birds to fly through. I'm always so pleased to visit here


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