Skip to content

Paula Bohince – I

Deer and Poems 




Elegant, without fear, the herd gathers

in gold and silver, doe and buck

together at peaceable rest.  The males’

new antlers stroke the lake

as they drink.  Cask of water broken

open, relief floods the scene.

To the brushed surface they bow,

honoring their living bodies

and honoring their dead, ephemeral

now as the poems, hung in loose

calligraphy, in an empty place that feels

no wind.  Which is eternity.





–after “Deer and Poems” painting by Nonomura Sotatsu, early 17th Century; calligraphy by Hon’ ami Koetsu, 1558-1637, Japan