Keith Nunes
Aotearoa/ New Zealand

Cover Image - Pauline Wu 2017
启示 Qǐshì Revelation

on a Lao Tzu-inspired random drive around Auckland’s southeast perimeter
leaning down toward Flat Bush
new, bunched apartments and townhouses
prefab greys and beige
then easing along Stancombe Road and
the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple rises imperiously as though a transplant from the Tang Dynasty

the humility
the warm greetings
the calligraphy
the learning to be done
the delicate delicious food
the wonder of ordered and exotic gardens

a discovery -

a cultural melding
found accidentally
                                     now a destination

Gentle sway of the inland route
(Zen monk Ryokan 1758-1831)

standing centuries-still
in the snow of Fuji-san

I point to the east,
Ryokan playfully
“the sun is returning,
are you surprised?”

we edge further into the interior

so many approach
for his poetry and calligraphy
and to wonder at the white man
who has more facial hair
than there are cherry blossoms

kindness as I’ve never witnessed
all I leave behind
is the moon in his window

in Edo, one Sunday

Basho waves with a tidal gentleness
“Bring me your haibun,” he says

he is unafraid to criticise
but he knows where praise lies
and he uncovers it

the snow holds its breath,
the brilliance of pure crystal white
creates a gossamer light,
skin becomes translucent

we take up our brushes and ink

Keith Nunes lives beside Lake Rotoma where the two of them undertake a great deal of reflecting. He’s had works published around the globe, has placed in competitions and been a Pushcart Prize nominee. His book of poetry/short fiction, catching a ride on a paradox, is sold by the lunatic fringe.