White clouds, white wings—
long cirrus strokes curve and
cover a third of the blue sky.
I lift my head upward
and sing to Dad's name P'eng,
watch this sky bird soar northward,
then bend my head downward
to say a prayer for blessing.
I recall Dante's flight to the Sixth Heaven—
angelic spirits dance to form a lily, then
an eagle blazing more than a thousand lights.
But that was then, and this is now—
and I'm lost for words to describe
this sky wonder when a small Indian boy
gazes up and points to his Mom:
“Look, look— feather, feather, fire, fire.”

— Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, 5-14-2001, noon