I dreamed of Paradise Garden;
sunlight sliding down
from an infinite sky
through cedar trees to emerald lawns;
oriental poppies six feet high,
Indian butterflies gliding by
through multilayered shades of blue.
Olympian Apollo’s statue
holds a fountain in his hands,
which swirls and mists, sparkles and cools,
cascading down to deep green pools,
where red carp flash on silver sands.
Gazing round I find,
beyond the mirror of my mind,
past flowering trees and shrubberies,
how all around
this fertile ground
the garden is confined
within a fence of iron bars,
which stretches high
to arch across and make a canopy
between me and the sky.
The falcons, hawks and eagles
which circle round are kept at bay
and cannot swoop to seize as prey
the song birds that sing here all day.
Beyond the bars, a crawling multitude
swarms to and fro insatiably
but cannot find its way
into my garden solitude.
Heavens! I thought, the truth is clear to me!
That restless swarming world
is a prison shut in by iron bars.
Only I, in my garden, am completely free!
(from BAMBOO LEAVES – Poetry in Thailand)