Tết / Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Từ Lâm Temple. Feb. 2018

This morning
I was walking in the park
Thinking about the lunar new year celebration

The yellow apricot blossoms
The sticky rice cakes
The áo dài flaps swinging in the air

And the 17 students shot
At a Florida public school yesterday.
Life is an endless cycle

I stared at the pink cherry blossoms
And the amazing blue sky
Reflected in the creek
And I said to myself
Stop.

Happy Tết 2018!

Dream On

Closed until further notice
Says the disappointing sign in front of the brilliant park
at the end of the narrow road in the woods

The breathtaking red and yellow leaves
scattered alongside the waterfalls last Autumn
are glowing vividly in my memory

To what use could I put words I’ve been hunting for
when life’s erosion of feelings and inspiration
seems like just a matter of time
like the faded fall foliage in the forest

Dream on
Dream on

Dreams

What dreams could you have living in the shabby,
cursed house where even the spirits
were suppressed and choked to death?

Figuring I could not go beyond
the books I read, the movies I saw,
the life I was living
I went with the flow
my dreams lingering in the air

And then you came
Of a few dreams which soared to the sky
and others that died un-materialized
you’re better than the best dream
I’ve ever had

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!

48th Anniversary 

You set foot on an unknown path assuming
It would be lined with roses and poetry
It turned out it was not like honey and nectar
But you went on since it was a fact of life

You endured all the hardships on the way
The days without electricity
The floor flooded with water when it was pouring outside
The allocation of food and water

You lived and dreamed of a brighter future
Sustained by the fruits grown on the path
Oh how fresh and delighted and adorable
You sucked them in and overcame
All the adversities in life.

Happy 48th Anniversary to Mom and Dad!

The Deserts

Joshua Tree National Park – Mar 2017 

The high winds were blowing thru the stone mountains on the deserts
Stirring the fragile yellow cups on the sand
And shaking the unusually long spikes of the pink ocotillo

I stood breathing in the life of the deserts
Trembling inside
Imagining all the rich life forces going on days and nights

Reckoning how hard the cacti, the joshua trees, the caterpillars
Compete for water and food and sunlight
I felt a wave of gratefulness

The call of love and life was somewhere between the blue sky
And the laughter of the boys climbing the yellow stone mountain peaks
Pleasingly I moved on.

Valentine’s Day 2017

Santa Cruz - July 2016 ©
Santa Cruz – July 2016 ©

We met somewhere in the movie
Where the Disney princess has unbelievably long golden hair
Which could heal injuries and keep you young forever
I wish I could borrow her hair
To mend my broken soul

We met somewhere among the clouds
Where we were day dreaming about love and life
Until we both fell off to reality
And one of us giggled

We met somewhere at Waikiki beach
Where time was adventurously stretched
And the passage of events were carved
Into layers of our cherished memories

We met somewhere between the lines
When silence became words
And we keep reading and writing our lives
Together all the way