Young palm fronds peer over the fairy-glass waves of the turtle tarn
Parallel golden strips lower themselves into the mirror pond
Not a ripple in sight — a mask-draped chelonia sleeps inside
*Explanation: The first line’s palm fronds are probably not actual palm fronds, but the plants looked a lot like one!
The second line depicts a real, but odd phenomenon in which the sun’s rays move vertically downward.
The third line is about a turtle, or more specifically, an endangered sea turtle (which is a type of chelonia), that had died after eating a littered mask. Fun fact: the sea turtle’s scientific name is chelonia mydas. The mask is “draped” over the turtle like a makeshift shroud. The carcass would have polluted the waters, which explains why there are no other turtles or any other living creatures.
**A sijo is a Korean verse form related to haiku and tanka that consists of three lines of 14-16 syllables each, for a total of 44-46 syllables (Poetry Foundation).
***Inspiration from Descanso Gardens (without the deceased turtle part)