It is dark outside
and the barking of a dog
echoes over the sleeping village
In the distance the mountain covered chestnuts
are shedding their leaves
There has been great bounty this year
and honey and flour are abundant
in the clear sky
the full autumn moon stares down
untouched by human life
I stand in the convento’s courtyard
my frozen breath
raising to the sky
I climb the stairs to the candle lit zendo
and sit quietly breathing out mu, mu, mu…..
On the floor, next to me
the moonlight shines through the skylight
Has it followed me here?
Ah this full autumn moon!
is there any place
it is not….
All the leaves have fallen
Only the persimmon fruits remain on the tree
ripening under this full autumn moon
Photo and Poem by Rosa Bellino, used with her permission