Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ditching the shampoo by the foghorn

I am camera shy
And would rather fly
I've no time for details
nor shampoo
My hair slicked back
will do the trick  

I spit on dirt
Ash and grit cakes my face
muddy as wet earth 
I'm a survivor
wanting not a hero's welcome
But peace to lay down its hands
gently like my old man did  

At night when harsh cold creeps
I look up and wonder
If there are false stars in sky
Where my compass lies
If there are bridges for the dead 
And another for the living  
In this land red-matted with war

The air is wild with fresh paint
of victory
Streetlights bustle with my cold beer 
as I wait for red-orange moon
to billow behind the fog-bleak clouds 
Despite what my comrades say
A moon is a moon to me-

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Thanks for the visit ~
Picture credit:   here

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Black and White

Photo credit to Noell Oszvald

My tears fall silently
as half-moon recedes by redwood
The lone owl hoots
As I gather tallowed threads 
stitching days & nights to black & white 


Rasping breath
against black phone, then
ominous silence
sharp as rooster's crow 
on yellowed field of bones


Pewter sounds of rain-
drops pelting the roof tiles
I close your eyelids
gently as a petal fold
of last summer's blooming

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - We are writing Jisei or Japanese Death poems in haiku or tanka style.

Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Night's paranoia

Craved images of you
Taunts me like red flag waving over bull's head
I tell you
I am a boxer with mangled fists
Shooting eggs with guns
Downing shots, weary of your paranoia 

But you keep on whispering

Flood me like a lone streetlight amongst the darkness

I kiss you slowly 
with my swollen lips 
Fear clicks 
Like a lioness with belladonna in her eyes

night descends
on blooming moon flowers,
carrying a torch 

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Hosted by Anthony Desmond ~ 
Thanks for the visit ~
Picture credit:   Here

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Shades of autumn

A young woman takes a seat besides me on the train going home.   Her left arm is heavily inked, while she gingerly looks over the right arm, cased in sheet, covering a new tattoo. Across me, a group of young teens in their uniforms chat animatedly while sipping a cool drink.   They remind me of spring season, fresh as tulips.  Passengers pour in at every train stop; it is a never ending tide of faces. Yet I am at ease with changing current as I am always taking the same route going home.  Outside the blur of maple trees are turning orange rust and deep brown.  Autumn is a shade of color in my eyes.

by the drooping vine,
butterfly cocoon sways
its empty tendrils

Macro Photography of Butterfly Wings by Linden Gledhill

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Changes hosted by Kanzen Sakura ~
Thanks for the visit ~

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Unsettled artist visions of death

Into the black waves, I would ride
In a single white boat 
My hands paddling the wooden oars
To the farthest point I see

Early morning is my time 
to submit to nature's will
My heart's a broken wheel
So faint, I am flat leaf

The sun is tugging a rope   
Pressing the weight of death
So deep onto my chest
I am a fragment

Knotted, undistinguished 
As shell bone or  sponge
Water rushes into my ears
I embrace brine & foam 

This sea & darkening sky
becomes a forest bed, I am
Giant kelp, floating mat
Letting the fish, sharks & lobsters 

Carry me forth, cell after cell
Weed upon weed, I say
To all living creatures
Take every part of me as food

And multiply in ignorance*

*Line and verses inspired by Unsettled Motorcyclist Visions of His Death by Thom Dunn

Posted for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads - Inspired by poems of Thom Dunn
and Poets United - Thanks for the visit ~

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Hushed conversations

Grace @ Everyday Amazing

These days, there is a frequent visitor in father's house.   

Every time he knocks on the door, the old man's fragile heart beats rapidly like he is running a race. Yet his father could hardly carry a conversation as his breathing is labored. And his memories are faltering too, repeating:

"I can feel that my feet are on fire!".   His wife answers, "It is just your nerves as you are very anxious."  

But father would insist, "I cannot breathe and sleep at night.  There is something burning in my stomach." He prays fervently, clasping the blessed rosary. He grows thinner, relying on his family to care for him.  He has seen many doctors and priests over the years.   The room smells of candles & devotions.  His children avoid saying anything about hospital bills nor property arrangements.  

They say the visitor's name by now.  Not with a question mark but a period.  


crab apples fall on ground
bruised, speckled by birds-  
autumn arrives with black veil  

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Writing Dialogue - Hosted by Victoria Slotto ~

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What I forgot

I forgot the words of my mother tongue
I forgot my tongue 
              letting my fingers click-tap black letters
              on keyboard 
I forgot hands and feet  
              sitting on my chair, reading world news
              so far away

I forgot language when I look at the sun
              coppery & lush in morning light
I forgot mornings with no sun 
              mornings with no light
              not coppery and lush, no

I forgot time
             was ticking bomb
             when things were not so good  
             when meals were the same canned goods
             when even the price of plastic bag was expensive 
I forgot how difficult it was to start over 
             I forgot difficult 
             and starting over    

I forgot weight 
             of missing shoes
             of a single luggage filled with all my worldly goods 
I forgot sizes
             how tiny a baby's foot is 
             how small I am against tree's giant palm
             how pitiful my worries are against child's
             hapless face

I forgot that darkness can grow as
             carnivorous plant
             preying with pitfall traps 
I forgot how a single sunflower & fist of golden rod
            can yellow the dreary woodland path
            with light so innocently pure
I forget words of my mother tongue

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Inspired by powerful performance of Loyce Gayo's How We Forget - Please join us as I host Poetics starting at 3pm EST.

Process Note:   I used, I forgot, to start my list poem to make it more personal to me.  

Thanks for the visit ~

Monday, September 7, 2015

Borders of the city

Grace@Everyday Amazing

My ticket at subway points east towards downtown Toronto City.   But my mind meanders elsewhere, fluffy as cotton seed.  I tuck in carefully my shoulders and knees along the rim of red hard seat. Across my aisle, a young woman veiled in black, head to foot, takes out her earbuds & plunges to her music. She is only a few feet away, but a sea of sands separates us. I think of boats docking our blue shores as more passengers pour in with each station stop.  Our skin is a canvas of colors, psychedelic as overhead posters of the Pan-Am Games. Except for young couple standing in their own circle, hands intimately mapping each other, the rest of us are engrossed in our own stories, games and puzzles. There are borders that can be eased down like a window, catching the morning sun. And there are invisible borders that never come down.

yellow asters bloom
on rain-soaked field, a wildfire
trampling the steel fences

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Haibun Monday

Thanks for the visit ~

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Wanted men over Athabasca River

Where tar sands explode as fire
Where oil spills are black tears
Into my river stretching far
It matters much to me

Where the forest birds tarry slow
Where bison graze & die
There's my boreal forest, my sky
It matters much to me

This land beats with grandfathers' blood
Water for brewing food
Thick oil for our birch canoes
Animals for kinship

My lantern's light is fading low
I raise my voice to wind
Is it too late, too late, I cry?
Death is noisy machine

Sucking each velvet stone to dust
Laying pipelines & belts
Contaminating air with sulfur
Trampling down aged trees

Twilight comes with heavy yoke
Choking every wildlife 
With poison, we drink our stench
Money is new sun 

Browning our pelts & copper pots
Minting palms with gold grit
Where are the watchmen? 
Where are they?

The Athabasca river, highway construction and suburbs seen from a helicopter in Fort McMurray, Alta., in July 2012.

I have been reading the Atkinson Series:  Shifting Sands, Examining the Costs of Oil Sands Bargain.   The Athabasca River originates from a glacier in Jasper National Park, located in the Rocky Mountains. It is the longest river in Alberta, and runs past the oil sands. Organizations like the Pembina Institute have long been asking for strict rules for oil sands developers and processors to protect the river.

For additional reading and to hear TED Talk video about Alberta Tar Sands Project, click here.

Posted for D'verse Poets Pub - Poetics:  What does the Watchman See?  

Thanks for the visit ~