Buddha in the backyard

by David Ackley

He sits lotus against the rough granite wall

I built at the back of our yard

Under a spread of evergreen,

pensive, patient, mild.


In his moss apron he could cook

The cure-all, but he'd rather

Entertain the gaze of our cat, Bella,

The bear trucking past

and nameless grey and red fox;

moose and the doe

that eats our arbor vitae

the odd skier.


It seems now, in bringing him from the concrete statue place

On Route 2 in Hardwick

And putting him where each of us can see the other

Strangely here with a garden surrounded by forest,

The long winter snows

The white house, and greenhouse and odd carouse

On the patio with frozen daiquiris raucous

So far from figs, and blazing sun and Bodhi Gaya

I was asking something of him, as one does

Tiresomely of gods and prophets.


What would you know, I think to hear him say,

if not the moss?