Wednesday, September 20, 2017

like forgotten debris i will sit outside

i made it up the river again
swiped sweat from my brow onto ant friends
hustling collecting sustenance to hibernate
or spend their winter wide awake

through an uncovered blowhole round
clearing obstructed deep sea diver sound
expelling mucus for the masses
which for their colony is molasses
not flicked tobacco butts that cause cancer
nor beetle nut fiber formicidae need for bulk
a candy wrapper is the answer
for corn syrup makes no ant sulk

on a path with stallions, cows, and leaf tiles cute
an urban planner thought he’d mention
sundial night lights cannot dispute
they ease my hypertension
silver serpents slither from ledge to grass
before groundskeepers make their pass
exposing hideouts they worked hard to burrow
snake-less tunnels causing sorrow

with tropical winter coming back
wind that whips, fireworks crack
empty Baolida-B bottles in the morn
that kept some lonesome rider warm

like forgotten debris i will sit outside
exposed to unforgiving elements wide
like Northeast foliage i return
as Taichung’s winter sunlight burns

September 20, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017

she is not a lazy river

she is not a lazy river
keeping close to the bone
i can ride alongside her
heading uptown or going home

in the sunshine she looks greener
slippery along her shores
rainless blanched rocks miss her
a narrow avoidance from war

when pooled up she stagnates
waiting patiently for the rest
to push her over the flood gate
in their falling frothy zest

i could struggle through the tangled vines
to reach the other side
scamper up deceptive dykes
or with her flow to glide

she stays the course along the way
not a deviating spur
from where she ran originally
no storm could make her stir

so go with her or mountain climb
a wandering without trails
get lost and lose the source
for empty holy grails

that is why i will never leave her
no wanderlust have i
once in a lifetime a river knows me
and stars shine in the sky

September 19, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

when thoughts meander like dragonflies

when thoughts meander like dragonflies
swarming over the river
with the clock running down
the typhoon calls its last time out
the outcome still in doubt.

in this soccer game of life
who cares who wins
as nature works itself out
forgets a strategy
makes no plans
takes it as it comes
all in good time

dragonflies keep jerking
back and forth
faking out hungry swallows
before the storm river moans
tumbles torrents over boulders
moving its goalposts 
to where dragonflies might be hiding
without warning  
without mention
overtime or extension

Sept. 11, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

As I passed through hell on deck aft raised

As I passed through hell on deck aft raised,
I saw all left behind on the way astern.
Not knowing where they were going,
They kept on going.
I distance myself from their maleficent vibes:
The entrepreneur who has not repaid his debt,
The toastmaster who never stood on a soapbox,
The privileged youth paying lip service to greed,
The charlatan meditating his struggles away,
The fellow poetess that knows not another’s poem
The arthritic drummer who cannot climb into his castle…
I wave them bye as I resume my journey,
And rest near the river on my way upstream,
Feeling the love of those who waited my return
Lending buoyancy to the road rising under my wheels.
Wetting my eyes with tears of joy,
And power to my lungs as I sing:
My energy is at your taking,
You who have helped me through my unmaking.
When all seemed defeated, deflated and dried,
You pumped me up and brought rain to the sky.
The Lord’s beneficiary at your beck and call*,
Thanks you for allowing him back from his fall.
In Job’s hour of doubt and despair I never parted,
Up the river now ride I
To where my life restarted.

Sept. 7, 2017 

*dedicated to J. Bekken

Monday, August 21, 2017

comme ci comme ça

a chameleon approximates his environment
to fit in
takes on the colors of survival
when the going gets thin
what sounds hot
is what he's got
when he wakes to look in the mirror
he is alone a lot
planning the day ahead
and colors he chooses to wed
ones that have their uses
paints on the palate of excuses
as the wind-blown bag
sticks to his teeth with juices
what else mediocrity reduces  
in a one on oneself game
of sudden death goals
in a rink without fans
what does it net?
when one is adrift at sea
with a fighting tiger and orangutan
in a life of pie
in the sky
making sense of clouds
passing him by

August 21, 2017 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

karaoke village

it is hard to say until it is over
if she is right or wrong
until the sun in the west
hangs over her eastern shoulder
energy spent
like a box of expired batteries
with no need for conditioning
dry in the air of a distant typhoon 
she sits with locals of the night
under the sweeping swoon
of a hidden tropical moon 
motionless silhouettes 
an aura round their southerly tummies 
beetle nut feedback buzzing heads
oscillating with tobacco and beer
fading in, taking shape, fading out
like wading through a whiskey river 
with a ladle in her hand  
walking a wet moonlit trail home 
unafraid of being frail 
unafraid of being alone 

August 19, 2017

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

family secrets

a slow amber light flashed dimly
one night on my bedroom wall
reminding me of an uneaten soup
from a mysterious cookbook
in a forest of forgotten aroma 
from a marriage, shell-shocked,  
and a first born’s grievous defects 
that lingered in black and white 
through infernos of resentment
burning down our house
with personal aversions to reality
wealthy pretension
of jewels from a thief
passed off as heirlooms
like artificial intelligence
for minors in caves
of lithium battery ash  
for rocket ships to stardom
on the shoulders of silent giants
as truth trickled into the night soil 
and i went back to sleep

August 10, 2017