A Poem for My Mother 2017

If we need to talk about mother’s love
Then yours is everything that is grand, pure and sweet
Which has nourished and lifted me up
Thru all life’s ups and downs

The day I left for the faraway land
You carried one more burden of missing your children
On your slender shoulders
As delicate as the words you wove into poems
And blew across the Pacific ocean

Despite all the burdens and suppression
Imposed upon you by a conservative society
You strove and lived on
Like a lotus rising above the mud
Like a buttercup glowing in the green grass
Like an eagle soaring in the sky

In the chaotic time that we live in
Where the handmaids march on the streets of Texas
And Princess Ida cries again on the stage
For women’s rights to education and independence
You are an exemplar who inspires me
To have a free spirit, an open mind,
And be a strong willed woman

You are honey and hammer to me
And you will always be.

Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom
And all the mothers of the past,
the present, and the future!

A Poem for My Mother 2016

Who would recall
the skinny and aging hands
cooking the porridge for me
when I was recently sick
are your same smooth and beautiful hands
which fed me the very first drops
of breast milk forty two years ago

Who would understand
that your deep verses thru years-
the finger pointing to the moon,
the smiling lotus in the crowd-
have rescued me from many
hardships throughout my life

Oh Mother
When will I learn
to sacrifice myself
the same way you sacrifice yourself
for me and for everyone else

When will I learn
to be as compassionate as you are
whose compassion is as vast
as a Bodhisattva’s

Oh Mother
Half of you gave birth to me
and you have never failed to nourish.

Happy Mother’s Day
to my Mom and all the Mothers
of the past, the present, and the future!

Nào ai hiểu được
bàn tay khô gầy nấu cháo
cho con trong cơn bệnh tật
là bàn tay trắng nõn mượt mà
mớm cho con giòng sữa ngọt đầu đời
bốn mươi hai năm về trước

Nào ai hiểu được
nhũng dòng thơ sâu thẳm của Mẹ
là chiếc bè chở con
qua bao bến bờ khổ nạn
là ngón tay chỉ mặt trăng
là cành hoa sen mỉm cười

Mẹ ơi
Khi nào con mới học được
sự hy sinh bao la của Mẹ
cho con và cho mọi người
lòng từ bi của Mẹ
quảng đại như Bồ Tát

một nửa thành ra con
nơi không bao giờ có lời từ chối.

Mừng ngày của Mẹ
tới tất cả những bà Mẹ
trong quá khứ, hiện tại và tương lai!

A Poem for My Mother 2015


You’re always there
like the sun coming out of the clouds
you brighten up
the cloudy gloomy days

Your garden is blooming
with red, pink, white, yellow
flowers as beautiful as your true colors

Your thoughtful poems
as powerful as your will
as pure as your soul
as sweet as your smiles
warmed up those dark,
cold Winter days in Texas

You’re always there
When I cry
When I struggle
When I’m happy
When I’m in love

No one’s love
is as profound,
and exquisite
as your love for me
for us
for your people
for the world

I’d rather have you
than those fabulous Monet
paintings we both love
Oh wait
I prefer to have both
But if I have to choose
I’d choose you
my Mother 🙂

Happy Mother’s Day
to my Mom
and all the Mothers
of the past, the present, and the future.