Slow Down

Slow down and discern my beauty
Slow down so you can hear my heart beat
Slow down and read my face
ablaze with emotions

Slow down and gaze at a wild flower in the park
walk by my side
enjoy the full moon tonight

In the age of speed
when we cram more into every minute
What is the cure for time sickness
if not slowing down
understanding yourself
decelerating the speed of Time

Slow down
look for the tempo giusto
paint away your stresses
knit your way to a peaceful mind

Slow down so you can breathe your life

Won’t you please slow down?

Cold Feet

Cold feet
Warm hearts
The immaculate half moon light
shining over Santa Cruz beach
on a cold Winter night

I heard your unspoken thoughts
in the soothing wave
I felt your unexpressed feelings
in the ocean breeze
I saw your not-done-yet actions
in the horizon

They warmed me up
like the memory of my sweet grandma
in the beautiful town
like the sweet taste of the star apple fruit
on my tongue
like the innocent days of the past

They opened a passage
to my heart

Nov. 2011

Peace Lanterns

Peace lanterns of different colors and shapes
Afloat on the cold water of the lake
70 years after the disastrous atomic bombings
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
70 years of bearing terrible imprints on bodies and faces
Lanterns were again floating
Carrying prayers for peace
Calling out for abolition of nuclear weapons

Never again
Atomic bombings in Japan
Agent orange decimation in Vietnam
Chemical weapons destruction in Syria
Let’s be caring for other people’s lives
and suffering
And recommit to a peaceful world

Shall we?

Shall we?

Hiking the Russian Gulch State Park

Treading on the green grass
Glancing at the green trees stretching
far beyond my eyesight
I listened to a bird flapping
its wings against my consciousness
in the beautiful silence of the rainforest

Words tumbling in my mind
I gazed at a butterfly
as it fluttered its marvelous dances in the air
while I heard the creek
babble a soothing song

Up and up we hiked
thru the muddy trail
on the wooden bridge
under the fallen bough

Breathing in
and breathing out
we swallowed the purity,
the youthful and rich energy
of the redwood forest
as the sun was breaching thru the dense forest
washing away all life’s worries

And we felt alive
again

Memories of the precious moments

Thank You America

Thank you America for giving me
my second life in the US
starting on this day 14 years ago.
It has been quite a journey filled with cultural shock,
a language barrier,
a lot of studying, and adaptation.

I remembered those early days of
going to grad school in Texas
I was, and still am,
usually mistaken as Chinese
“All Asians look the same anyway”
was a casual racist statement I heard of

Our names and their beautiful meanings
were long gone
Tề My became Temy
Anh Thư turned into Ann
Nhật Triều became Trieu or Troy

We lost our identity and fell victims
to homogeneity ironically
in a country worshiping individualism
which has at times manifested itself in narcissism
which has evolved into the selfie
or ‘you do you’ culture nowadays.

Still compared to where I came from
this country is a luxurious upgrade
with full implementation of Freedom
something I could feel right after
stepping out of the airplane

Freedom
to speak for yourself without any suppression
to pursue an education, a career, entrepreneurship,…
to blog and fight for democracy
without being put in jail

Freedom
as long as you have passion and will

And for that I thank you, America.

California Aug 9, 2015.