Homily II

by Erik Reece

A stone Buddha sits in the tile hearth
where gas logs once burned
to warm this small house

The Buddha gives off no heat
He is cold down to his stony heart

which is not a heart at all
but only this dense collection of molecules
too crowded to ever house the soul
or even a sacred spark
to set the world afire

This Buddha is no savior
In his stillness he promises nothing
You cannot hang him from a cross
You cannot feast on his flesh

You might heave him from a ledge
high above an ancient gorge

But he would only tumble down to the streambed
knocking against other stones
until he came to rest among the headwaters

that for millions of years smoothed his shoulders
into this deep calm

and taught him the sermon
the stone Buddha preaches
from my hearth
in silence 

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