Incense hung in the evening air
like the mist and the chains of prayer cranes.
Ferocious gilded guardian framed the gate
through the aged arched travelers trooped
Monks diminutive in form,
draped in square clothes
of sacred orange, bow.
Prayer hands copped over beating hearts.
The business of lodging and lodgers.
The entrance holds the footwear of the prayerful;
worn, unkempt, yet colorful.
Inside the shrine futons fly to ta tami floors.
Teapots boil whistling in the mist soaked wind.
Coins clink into altar boxes before smiling Buddha’s.
Courtyards filled with fall blossoms of crimson mums.
Persimmon colored koi swim in small prayer ponds.
The bustle of the small alpine city does not intrude,
nor follow the faithful as into the moss covered
cemetery with its red cedar groves;