Temple Garden
by Aidon

As a thousand cranes take flight into the sky
Bamboo sandals clatter against the temple steps
I turn around to see a glimpse of something orange
Short branches bend with the wind, then silence returns.
Paper lanterns swing gently outside the temple gates
The still night is filled with a moonless sky
A blood-curdling cry reverberates through the thin walls
It is only the screech of a night owl.
A path winds through the trees with lanterns illuminating the way
The crushed white stones crunch beneath my feet.
Droplets of water can be heard from the lily pond
As I hold a lily in my palm, it crumbles and fades away.
A splash of water lands nearby as a large koi flicks its tail
I look onto the surface of the water but find no reflection
Only ripples fading where the fish used to be
The evening calm wrestles with my anger.
White grains of sand drift around me,
Filling the hourglass of emptiness
I am awake, but dead inside
It is you who have killed my spirit.

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