Issue Ten - October 2006

Island Buddha

for Jeremiah

by Ande Finley

Buddha speaks
freedom, he says
as we bear him
from his nest
of spangles, batik, dark
Indonesian wood
watch the clerk
wrap him
cradle him
days and miles away

now he rests
by the crooked cedar
courted by rocks, salal,
stray salamanders
we watch him
cupping warm rain
his small secret smile
invites surprise

in summer
the meadow robes him
in pigweed, nootka,
thistle fluff
we leave him
drowning in green
a billion pieces
of the moon hang,
swaying, in the unsleeping firs
in his downcast eyes

fog, a bit of snow
endless wet
his heart picks out the gloom
his back settles deeper
we speak to him of fear
his palm opens
to the melting sky
and waves us through

©Ande Finley