If you’re looking for a hero

find him in the afternoon

lazing under a river willow

line dangling in the water

offering a worm with no hook.


If you’re reaching for a destiny

stretch no farther than your fingers

clutching the worn yellow pencil

snipping the scissors along paper

pasting the colored picture

on the vanilla page.


If you’re searching for fame

find your reflection in the eyes

of that squirrel you feed

the one who lives peacefully

atop the mulberry tree.


If you desire occupation

count the constellations

in the bright sky tonight

or take a census of the wrens

who warble in the tangled bush

beside the garden path.


If enlightenment you seek

talk to the old elm in the park

who stands her ground so courteously

who understands the moon and sun

who answers you without a word.


if you thirst for life eternal

reconnoiter with the cat

who watches all the neighborhood

astride the alley garbage cans.


And if you’ve any doubts remain

dissolve them in a tablespoon

of steaming tapioca pudding

end of all desirous yearning

quiet of apprehension

calmer of the passioned brain.