the red silk embroidered robe
bereft of buttons, wide sleeves edged of gold.
a white swan walks in salty mud-stained shore,
her graceful neck arched to the sepia sky.
she was simple farmer's daughter,
living on goat's milk, eggs and sweet purple yams.
a black swan glided with bright red bill, crooning softly,
the buttons of her dress fell into cornfield and sun.
she keeps a jar of odd buttons, fabric squares and
torn lace from old dresses, along with faded ribbons.
a man in the street plays a violin by an empty cup.
she knits a quilt, one square a day, till she is whole.
Posted for: D'verse Poets Pub: Poetics : Button, Button
and Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: Chinese Koan poetry form - In four lines
Line 1: The first part makes a statement about one's subject.
Line 2: Continue to describe the subject of the poem with a new image:
Line 3: Start a new subject. The third line of traditional Koan poetry leads the reader away from the subject of the first two lines into a completely unrelated topic.
Line 4: Relate the lines. The fourth line unites the themes of the first three lines. Think of it as a circle that comes back.