A Chinese box turtle
floats in a rice paddy.
A lime green worm clings invisibly
inside an equally lime green opening leaf.
A stirring in the mud snails and slugs,
sublime in their slowness.
An ancient pinstriped arm
reaches out reptilian slow from its socket,
paddles through the water grasses.
Persimmons bend greenly overhead.
The turtle falls back,
then rises lacquer black from the steamy water
a shiny primordial palace on its back.
Drifting down current on its jade underbelly
not tadpole fast, but so slowly
it shakes the rice shoots one by one
with its passing.