Hokusai’s wave Has been around the world One hundred thousand million times And touched the shores Of every land with bordered shores. From beginningless time Hokusai’s wave’s been drawn to heaven And joined the procession Of clouds that drift and sail Across deserts, mountains, valleys.
Fallen to earth On one hundred thousand million journeys To join the bodies Of rivers and seas. Fallen as snow On frozen steppes in uncountable winters. Penetrated the skins of tropical trees In hurricanes that bear human names.
I bow to Hokusai who chanced to catch the wave As it came together for an instant Before rejoining the oneness of eternal water.
Jan McMillan lives in Westport, Washington, a small fishing village at the mouth of Grays Harbor.