Notice, the docent said, the absence
where the leaves of bamboo cross,
how the artist did not paint
one over the other but left a gap
between the two background halves.

This technique the Asian painters called a moon shadow.

Thelonious stood in the back
silent, bobbing his head
in an odd rhythm only he heard,
a tempo conducted by the baton
of distant wind-blown bamboo.

His musical chop was a signature all his own.

His hands on the keys zigged and zagged,
men climbing the crooked mountain who
passing the waving bamboo
stopped, silent, paused a beat or two
to relish the quiet around them.

One strikes discordantly at his qin, and they resume.

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