1. In search of the bull

“In the pasture of the world,
I endlessly push aside the tall
grasses in search of the Ox…”

To begin with it’s a light-hearted venture
the way informal as an animal track
a definitive linear trampling
sets me wondering about wandering
pondering nothing in particular
just the thought of seeing something for its own sake

round and round the mirrored panorama of the marsh
restless reeds rustle up unease
yet still the inquiring mind calls out for more
louder than crickets chirping in a forest clearing
river rocks running against an inevitable flow
the reckless chatter of birds
they fly in my face these feathered  frivolities
mobbing and mocking the tribulations of a beaten path

Then when I hear the hush that is the first commandment
aeolian dusts settle beneath the tired tread
and so too upon bovine hoof prints in the drying mud
just visible but proof  enough the Ox is straying there ahead
and I shall hunt it down with curiosity and hunger

First poem of the series interpreting the  ten oxherding pictures of zen meditation– see Poetry Project: 10 bulls 
Just before my own weekend away and the dVerse summer break am joining Open Link #199


  1. This worked as a pastoral kind of poem, reminding me of bush walking in Africa (get me!!), but then I read your explanation, and read it again as a great extended metaphor for the process of meditation. I’m never sure how much explanation to put in about my work. I like the idea that people can read it for themselves, interpret it as they choose, but you added a whole other layer with yours. Something to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean about explanation but the reference was necessary lest it looked as though I claimed the idea as my own when in fact it is a classical text on zen meditation – I just enjoyed re-thinking it for myself and liked your idea of going walkabout in the bush

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the sounds of these lines: “wondering about wandering
    pondering nothing in particular”
    This is the first time I’ve heard of The Ten Bulls. It seems like a worthwhile project to write ten poems to go with those images.


  3. Laura this is fabulous and I so drawn to this project….I am ignorant of the Ten Bulls so I was happy to read more about them. And as always your picture is just exquisite art intertwined with such vivid images painted by your words!


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