Kyoto Garden

The garden-shrine of Ryoan-ji.
A seasonless parterre of sand
raked into enigmatic whorls
around the shores of island-stones,
fastidious and monochrome.

Nothing here but by design –
the seeming motion of the sand
and seeming rise of island-stone
invite the eye to move
from rock to swirling comb

and back, and back again until it finds
a point of equilibrium,
a harbourage of calm.
Around the whiteness of the sand
a wall of ancient loam

holds its possession tight and tells
that nothing good comes without sanctuary,
that it’s the frame that frees the space within,
that even flawless images require
a shelter and a home.

– David Morphet 2005