Lee Herrick

Ars Poetica

Yes, the ocean is Buddhist. And the foam
scrambling onto the beach is a symphony
of cymbals, small and caring like mothers
whispering to their children in the front pew,
sssshhh. Perhaps then the trees should
believe in God. Of course. How they reach
straight up after all those years like the Chinese
grandmothers rising at dawn, when the air’s
cleanest, an orchestra of their own, stretching
toward the sun. None of this true. The ocean
is only Buddhist because a poet writes of it
that way—just like the grandmothers who keep
surfacing in his poems, usually dancing
somewhere near a body of water, blissfully.

Lee Herrick
Ars Poetica was previously published in Peralta Press, Spring 2004.