Elephants roost all over our house,
Buddhas stare but never see
a thing, yet hosts of Indian kings
will always dance to beautiful singing
and gods who blow such elegant pipes.
          Why do so many ships sail out
of this harbor? How can lions live
on air, and towering giraffes
can't reach a window sill? What
is wrong with playful, noble, godly-
nosed young Ganesh, squatting with rats
around him, arms projecting out
of parts of his royal chest? And how
can Indonesian dancers stand
forever, never in motion, not breathing,
not hearing a word?
                                    Books to the ceiling,
some ancient, some modern paintings filling
walls, music of perfect pitch
bouncing across your ears, and a table
always covered with food.
is exactly how we live, as plain
as tiny statues of Shakespeare, standing
next to a bear who's under a paper
umbrella, and a blue-eyed bird, a turtle,
a nameless blind-eyed creature, two Chinese
imperial dogs who bark like lions
but never bite -- these are our guards,
keeping us safe in a world of growing
stress, a rolling globe building
its final bomb. We hang by our ears
and hope, but cannot fool these hearts
that open, then close to a stop.