Thursday, January 11, 2018

fao lu's impregnable castle of alchemical peace gardening

fao lu's castle was on top of a mountain
no one knew how long it had been there
but they knew fao lu was present
because you could see him up there working
in his weird garden
which was comprised of huge clay pots
hung from iron ropes that stair-stepped
around the perimeter of one of the towers
each pot hung from a large port with oculus and spout
which the pots descended from in the warmer months

it was only recently that the emperor
had taken notice of fao lu's castle
but in every single attempt to approach it
the government had failed
some force would prevent them
some men saw visions of wonder and deserted
others could not see the castle at all
or grew angry and resentful
and would start trouble among the other soldiers
in one way or another
fao lu's castle was impenetrable

two thousand years later
the castle still stood and the pots
were still being watered by old fao
his long white beard braided
his silk pajamas resplendent
with embroideries of rainbow dragons
and when the jets came
and released their missiles

fao lu stood there with an eggplant
in his hand and smiled
the bombs just hung there in the air
on the periphery of the castle
and over the years
became more and more transparent
but sometimes in fall
with a spyglass from the village below
you could still see the outlines of the bombs
as if they were still there
but just rendered permanently ethereal

and there is one village nearby where fao
is considered 'the spiritual mayor'
because of a little girl who grew so
fascinated with fao that by arduous trial
she climbed the mountain so as to see
the face of fao

and he came to her
and bestowed upon her a gift
a perfect red eggplant
but whose flesh was pale pink
and which contained a heavy
green stone seed
which when soaked in water
for an entire year
would become a loyal pet lizard
whose life lasted 100 years
and who could find any herb
in the forest simply by asking

after that the villagers
would return the heavy little
metal skeleton of the lizard
every 100 years
and he would give them
another bright red eggplant
and so it was
that fao lu was revered
in that village
because of the curiosity
of one small girl

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