From WTP Vol. VII #2
Buddhas on Death Row
By Lauren Scharhag
Over and over,
he draws that visage,
possessed of the earlobes of wisdom.
The desire to create cannot go unheeded.
Sometimes, the third eye is a jewel,
sometimes, a wound.
Hands stained with ink,
watercolor, crayon, glue.
We’ll call it extreme mixed media:
brown paper bags,
corrugated cardboard fished
from cafeteria trash barrels.
Faux pearls reclaimed from a greeting card,
found washers and screws
for galvanized steel urnas.
The odd and precious gift from donors,
sheets of handmade paper, a Moleskine.
He trades candy bars and magazines
for a box of oil pastels.
Nothing can be discarded.
Everything must become.
Everything is a joining of disparate sources
Everything is colored with impermanence.
We are present until we are elsewhere;
our handiwork is relevant until it is irrelevant.
His art finds its way to walls
in Helsinki, Ann Arbor, Peaks Island.
He counts ksanas with each stroke
of brush or pencil
until he arrives at an accumulation.
His eyes, like the Buddha’s, are closed.
Read more of Scharhag’s poetry in March’s magazine.
Lauren Scharhag is the author of Under Julia, The Ice Dragon, The Winter Prince, West Side Girl & Other Poems, and the co-author of The Order of the Four Sons series. Her poems and short stories have appeared in journals and anthologies, including Trampset, Whale Road Review, The Flint Hills Review, Io Literary Journal, Gambling the Aisle, and Sheila-Na-Gig. She lives on Florida’s Emerald Coast.