M.S. Rooney

the ten thousand things and when my good friend jane and isat zazen after work at sokoji templein japantown in san franciscothirty years ago and then only fora year or two it was years aftershunryu suzuki roshi died andthe blushing young sensei in chargedid not seem to quite know what to makeof the six or seven eager mostly anglo sitterswho arrived each week and perchedon the temple’s black kapok filled zafusand zabutons and faced the blank walland gasshoed to cushions and to each otherand to him and who followed the bells just soand did zazen and kinhin at the right timesand drank green tea and bowed and gasshoedand then went home and then wanting morewe all drove to tassajara in the los padresnational forest in the temple’s silver vanfor sitting practice with tozen akiyama roshiof milwaukee and dainin katagiri roshiof minneapolis and arrived to findthousands and thousands of small orange and blackand white butterflies swarming the groundscircling and swirling and brushing facesall the way up the hill on the dirt pathleading to shunryu suzuki’s memorialand the carpet of fragrant yellowand brown oak and laurel leaveslying thick on the ground and slippingbeneath the thick soled sandals ofthe guests of honor roshis M.S. Rooney lives in Sonoma, California with her husband, poet Dan Noreen. Her work appears in journals and anthologies, including ASSISI, BLUESTEM, THE CORTLAND REVIEW, FUTURECYCLE, MAIN STREET RAG, and THEODATE.