In the blowing
the old monk
can almost hear
his long dead mother
calling him inside.
The Temple Cat
The incense smoke rises,
in the summer heat -
our eyes half closed, counting
breaths while the temple cat’s paw
touches each cheek gently in turn.
Then she leaves us to find some
shade, and the youngest monk
will find her starring
at the garden wall
her eyes half open like Bodhidharma
or in the Hall of Kuan Yin
as the true lover of the Lotus Sutra,
asleep on top of the open book.
Christopher Leibow is a poet, a visual artist and a performer of small slights of hand. He is an MFA graduate of Antioch and has been published in numerous journals and online, including Juked, Interim, and Barrow Street and Cricket Online Review. His art has appeared in Lumina, 491 Magazine and has been a featured artist online with Cha: A Journal of Asian Writing and OFZOOs. He is a two time Pushcart Award nominee and a Utah Book Award Nominee and the winner of the Writers@Work Writers Advocate Award in 2008. He currently lives in Salt Lake City, with his cat El Guapo.