You used to go there as soon as the gate opened
you pulled back the heavy wooden beam
then let it go to hit the huge bronze bell  the sound
of it vibrating through your body and filling your ears

you walked slowly in early morning air to the bench
slightly uphill from the lake and sat there
at the feet of the Koolau cliffs all dark green
and waited for the gardener to appear

he must have done this for years you thought
maybe since the temple was built an exact replica
of the Byodo-In in Japan as you discovered when
you found a book with its pictures of the original

the gardener came in silence into the greenery  paused
and suddenly the spring came alive and water flowed
down across rocks and stones across the lawn
into the lake where later you watched him feed the fish

and the sparrows that landed on his outstretched arms
every morning he followed the same ritual
as did you every day of that whole week in need
of silence and the peace that surrounded you

water over stones   the same stones   the flowing
water  this image in your mind as you still
hear these words:

old man pours water
over stones remembering
the burned ones who died