In A Japanese Garden (Como Park, St. Paul Mn)
The painter is silent,
by Daniel Brick
half-hidden behind her easel.
Above her the bonsai speaks
in a delicate dialect of branches
from which two crows caw their rapture.
Ripples of speech disturb the pond
whose quiet water is as green as
the tea we drank this morning
while we talked about 'the ten thousand things'.
Silent now, we stare
at two gray boulders
and read in their white streaks
whispers of a prehistory
that will forever enfold us
in a world of language
where everything has a name
that eventually comes to the waiting mind.
The painter remains silent.
Her wide brush scatters colors
across 'the nothing' of her canvas.
We wonder, What does her painting say?
But she will not speak to us.
As we walk passed her, talking softly,
she mixes blue and red and black
into a shape that words will never name.