Poem 289 ± March 19, 2016

J.C. Elkin
Bodhisattva Guanyin

Bodhisattva Guanyin, hollow dry lacquer, 16th C. Ming Dynasty, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

Guarding the exit – Jewel In the Lotus.
Mystery Princess draped in gilt silk.
Manicured, tasseled, lounging barefoot.

Pendulous lobes heavy with cares
gleaned from the cries of a suffering world.
Infinite, peaceful, wise beyond words,

Goddess of Mercy, blessed, enlightened.
Mary for Buddhists you’re sometimes called.
Do you also hear Christian prayers?

Salve, Salve Regina Guanyin.
I entrust you with my secret.


Jane ElkinJ.C. Elkin is the author of World Class: Poems Inspired by the ESL Classroom (Apprentice House, 2014). Her work has appeared in Kestrel, The Delmarva Review, ZoMagazine, and other journals. J.C. is a founder of the Broadneck Writers’ Workshop.

This poem appeared in Angle.