Total Pageviews

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Zen Peace Garden on Leslie Street Spit (haibun)

Feb. 20, 2011


by Chris Faiers/cricket

An index finger of industrial rubble jabs five kilometers into Lake Ontario from Toronto's derelict portlands.

Over the decades nature has established herself. Stands of cottonwood poplar shade fields of wildflowers and weeds. Everywhere vines and saplings poke through a post-apocalyptic crust. Delicate yellow flowers assert themselves in crannies along the crumbling asphalt verge of dump truck roads.

The Leslie Street Spit has become a major stopover for thousands of migrating flocks. Swans swim in sepia lagoons. Furry brown things scurry into tiny burrows beneath crabapple trees. Hawks soar, hunting the furry things.

Humans, too, seek refuge and renewal by harmonizing with nature's resilience.

For visionaries like the Peace Garden's creator, Brian, the Spit was ready for the creation of a special meditative space. An inspired garden where children of all ages can playfully construct and destruct with the detritus of old buidlings to create a sacred place among the flowering weeds.

bone white driftwood
Buddha gate welcomes

dawn waves break
spraying awake
lone Zen gardener

seven windy holes
in cracked concrete blocks:
Buddha's chakras

lush comfrey plant
the heart chakra
of our garden

a young rabbit
and a gardener
share their path

small boy laughs
when the lost glove
waves for him

fall thistles
transform a hubcap
into the Green Man

two older ladies
share a sunny pew -
no walls this Sunday

postscript: My friend Sylvia and I have had to rebuild the Peace Garden twice since we first stumbled upon it two years ago. These destructions seem intentional and almost professionally thorough. Sylvia was saddened to report that on a recent winter hike she discovered the garden has again been completely vandalized. Sylvia was so disheartened she turned back from her walk. But I promise that come this spring, we'll again be magickally recreating the Zen Peace Garden.     

No comments: