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by Donna James 

      a layman living in a monastery

      under a modified rule

      and without vows   


somewhere between lucent and impenetrable

lies fog


lies maybe 

and guess  


some days I believe that monks in caves

focused on nothing


ripple out into this good garden  

believe there is, in pockets, compassion


some days I’d believe I am my own illusion

but for the taste of salt

About the Author

Donna James is a psychotherapist for individuals and couples. Her poetry gives voice to affliction, hope, and resilience that are inherent to the human psyche. She indulges in art, clothes, food, and books—she’s always reading four or five at once. Her other art is ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement, a meditative practice akin to the tea ceremony. She loves its ephemerality. It teaches her to prune line and mass, skills she applies to writing poetry.

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