Winter Koan Feb22


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Winter Koan

Winter Koan

Suzanne Rogier Marshall

Published in Vol. 5 Issue 2 of Written River

The only sound in the winter wood –
beech leaves shivering in the wind.
Brittle leaves the color of shoji dipped in tea
cling like paper prayers tied to branches
outside a Shinto shrine.
Leaf rattles against leaf
with a staccato tap taptap.

What is it that moves?
Is it the leaves,
is it the wind, the unseen current
between the leaves,
or is it only the winter mind of the seer?
Perhaps it is the spirits of deer brushing past
no longer in need of winter browse.
Tap taptap.


Suzanne Rogier Marshall taught English and language arts for nearly forty years. She has retired now with her husband to the mountains of New Hampshire, where she draws inspiration for her writing. In addition to poetry, Suzanne has published professional articles and a book on teaching writing (A Falling Leaf and Other Poetry Activities). Her poems have appeared recently in Slant, Freshwater, Off the Coast, The Sow’s Ear, Contemporary Haibun, and The Aurorean.