Think of being a judge or architect
or trombonist, and do not worry whether
thinking so makes it so. I overhear
two men talking in another room;
I cannot transcribe the conversation
word for word, but know if they are
vexed or depressed, joyful or nostalgic.
An elm leaf floats on a pond.
Look, a child wants to be a cardiologist
then a cartographer, but wanting so
does not make it so. It is not
a question of copying out the Heart Sutra
in your own blood on an alabaster wall.
It is not a question of grief or joy.
But as a fetus grows and grows,
as the autumn moon ripens the grapes,
greed and cruelty and hunger for power
ripen us, enable us to grieve, act,
laugh, shriek, see, see it all as
the water on which the elm leaf floats.
--from 'Shooting Star'; Arthur Sze