Guanyin to Lady Liberty


At home in a sea of lamentations

Guanyin, goddess of compassion
and kindness, greets an ancient sister —

Libertas towers the harbor,
her corona and torch flicker freedom
across each of seven continents 
adrift in seven seas. Her frame 
of copper crusted over 
bears a patina — tired 
and worn, torn and tried —
a glimmer to huddled masses.

The word from Guanyin is mercy.
To voyagers, fair seas and blue.
One thousand arms if needed below,
one thousand eyes to see true.
Eleven heads to hear the vast cries
of all sentient beings — in place 
of a torch, a willow branch buds 
to swish away old demons.

Hold steady, sweet sister, 
the shoreline meanders, passage 
is muddied and cruel. Stars burn up 
their glory, stripes shed their bloodlines 
spilled in pursuit of lost moons.
Rising waters swamp the cries 
of humankind’s undoing. Your tortured
song will carry on long after the sea
has freed them.

(c) Deborah Jang. All rights reserved.
Poeming Pigeon, In the News Volume 7