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Bonsai II

by Bern Mulvey

True art is that place where we can attain separation from ourselves.
                                 — Nishida Kitarou, Bi no Setsumei

In one hand the vision, reality
as experience, fluid, to be formed.
The other holds the tool, the seeking out,
inherent, true shape. Before you, object,
art, a spray of tiny fans, blue-bellied
under deep green. Two cones, each a rogue pea,
seeds. Brief earth, this taper rising—tree, grave,
image becomes essence—what you can, save.


Bern Mulvey has written numerous articles, essays, poems, and reviews in both English and Japanese, with work in Poetry, Nimrod, Fine Madness, The Missouri Review, Poetry East, River City, The London Times, American Language Review, and elsewhere. His chapbook, The Window Tribe, won the 2004 White Eagle Coffee Store Chapbook Prize. Currently, he is assistant professor of English at Idaho State University, where he edits the literary journal Black Rock & Sage.

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