Thursday Doors: Zen Garden

the entrance is an enso  a glowing blue light
a form that contains nothing  inside of the whole
spirit absorbed by essence  emptied of ego
in silent simplicity  opening, complete

My younger daughter took a few days off from work before Memorial Day, and one of her requests was that I take her as my guest to early morning member hours at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which are on Thursdays from 9-10 am. I had told her and her sister about visiting the Winslow Homer exhibit that way.

One of her favorite places in the museum is the Zen Garden. It wasn’t open in the early hour, but even after the museum opened to the public at 10, we were able to visit without any crowding–it’s tucked away among the Asian art, and if you don’t know where to look, you probably only discover it by stumbling upon it. It’s a bright open empty room with a rocks and a koi pond with a waterfall on the edges.

I used to post about my museum visits a lot, and perhaps in the future I’ll do a post on the Homer exhibit and also the paintings of Louise Bourgeois which were inexplicably hard to find. We asked directions three times, and only found it by accident in the end. But that meant that only one other person was there so we could really look at the art.

The museum also has many wonderful doors and door-like structures, such as the tiled niche above.

My poem is in the Japanese imayo form, which consists of four 7/5 syllabic lines. There is a planned caesura (or pause) between the first 7 syllables and the final 5. Another feature of this form is that it makes three poems–the whole, and one each with the 7-syllable lines and the 5-syllable lines, similar to a cleave poem, except that somehow it seemed more natural to me and easier to construct. I’ve included the color blue for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday #tastetherainbow prompt.

You can read more about the enso here.

And, as always, find more doors with host Dan Antion, here.

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About memadtwo

For more madness, follow me on Instagram @h_zimel methodtwomadness is a blog of two friends, Nina and Kerfe kblog is Kerfe's solo branch on the tree

47 responses to “Thursday Doors: Zen Garden”

  1. David Linebarger says :

    I’ve taught the mihrab you showed many times. A beautiful work.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. alethakuschan says :

    It’s fun to think about the spaciousness available in words and between words.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. merrildsmith says :

    Beautiful place and poem.

    There’s a similar area at the Philadelphia Museum of Art–the Asian galleries were all re-done a few years ago.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dan Antion says :

    These are beautiful photos. I like the poem. Thanks for explaining the form. I haven’t been to this museum since 2002. I think it’s time to visit again.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry says :

    Oh this was a stunning poem, Kerfe. I love the impermanence of your words… very Zen. These gardens are so lovely and peaceful. I could get lost in my own little world in there. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. boundlessblessingsblog says :

    Wonderful pictures of the Art Gallery. Awesome post Marta 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. msjadeli says :

    Kerfe, I wonder if they make the exhibits hard to find so only the persistent can enjoy them? Glad you found what you were looking for and then sharing pics. I love the poem(s) you created with the form. So lovely.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. sustainabilitea says :

    I’d enjoy the Zen garden too and I like that last tiled niche a lot.


    Liked by 2 people

  9. Smitha V says :

    The poem is profound and describes the photograph beautifully. I found the form interesting and it sounded complicated until I read your poem. Thank you for sharing it. The tiled nice door is very similar to a door I saw in a palace in Rajasthan, influenced by the Mughal rule in India.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Jill Kuhn says :

    The Zen garden looks so peaceful… how special for you to have time with your daughter I would imagine.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Ingrid says :

    The Zen Garden looks like a healing and relaxing space – I would love to be there now! Winslow Homer spent some time in Cullercoats on the North East coast of England, not far from where I live.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. D. Wallace Peach says :

    That looks like a wonderfully peaceful place to visit, Kerfe. I love museums and could spend hours and hours in their quiet aura. That was a new poetic form for me. Wonderfully written. A beautiful post.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Valentina says :

    Orientals are masters in the creation of emptiness.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. robertawrites235681907 says :

    HI Kerfe, I love everything about this post. The doors are lovely and the poem and Zen garden amazing. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Sun Hesper Jansen says :

    So cool for a museum to incorporate living/elemental art in with the more static forms. And I love the imayo. I discover more poetry forms through you than anyone else, you know? There are just so many that I’m grateful to you for cherry-picking! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life. says :

    Love the form Kerfe and new to me so thank you for explaining it. What an amazing museum thank you for sharing that too.. Sally x

    Liked by 2 people

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  1. Far Away Zen Garden – Aletha Kuschan's Weblog - June 10, 2022

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