you little spark
I am sorry that
I keep denying you, rejecting you
blaming you for ruining everything
you suffer for my immature behaviour
will you forgive me
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my favourite childhood memory is
curling up to my great grandmother
listening to her sharing stories of her life
I got to know her nine brothers and their fate
one was an infant death
another died in a city bombing
two were sold as slaves
four were lost in war
one was too weak to go on
I met great grandfather from her smile
teenaged bride and young groom
he was handsome and dashing
a captain of the navy
served the Qing Emperor
died young at the sea
she was a widow at thirty-five
sent off the concubine with golds and silvers
escaped two wars with her two boys and a blind mother
she fed her family by serving in a colonial mansion
where she witnessed the good life of pet dogs
she wished her next life came back as a fluffy white puppy
when great grandmother reached retirement age
the cultural revolution broke out
she was sent to the Black Hill carrying mud for construction
and was sent home after contracting tuberculosis
when she was seventy years old
she ran a family day care
and home sewing business
I used to tell her I love her
when I grew up
I would travel to Spain
to make a good living
and I would send her 99 pesetas each month
so she would have a good life in old age
when I was a teenager
she rebuked my parents not letting me wear crop tops
she also told me not to marry a white man
because they have big penises
the last question she asked me was
“When are you coming home to see me?”
“When I save up enough money to buy a plane ticket.”
great grandmother passed when she was ninety-seven
she dropped like a ripened fruit from a tree
peaceful and fulfilled
I did not make it to her funeral
that remains to be my greatest regret
till this day
(My great grandmother Zhou Weiying 1904 – 2001)
Continents apart day after day, “When you come back, I’ll be here.” I remember you said.
I am standing here foolishly holding onto a distant promise soaked in the winter rain.
The bench is painted red.
Is it a sign for good luck or just man made passion to hide the worn-out memory?
We need to be sure there is nothing left to say, to explain, to retain.
Pain, I finally ready to let go.
It shivers out of my heart into the cold.
Sweet citrus floats on woody pine
Ageless wisdom abundant and fine
Golden dreams rest in your smile
Elegant green rope dresses up your crown
My fingers tapping lines into your anxious heart.
They send music notes for the wren to sing by your front porch.
Little birdy what story are you trying to tell me?
You are slightly amused by its uninvited company.
If the wren could ever speak a human dialect,
it would surely whisper on your shoulder,
A lover’s lament across the great dividing oceans.
we seek your beauty
like a foolish lover
you are up high
on the pedestal
in the indigo sky
you are a little shy
shed off your pearly gown
your translucent body
dips in virgin blood
we are in awe of you
on the hilltop
of this ancient town
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was my last defense
to not letting you go
It has been 5 years
since we last spoke
stored our love
our life together
I chose to live on
I break our tie
to set both of us free
I planted a fig tree in my garden.
Birds came and went season after season in vain.
Its over abundant shade deceived me
like a new wife had no idea of her barrenness.
The leaves could not shield the guilt or hide the shame.
My facade crumbled under the first ray of truth.
When I was little I was weak
Dreams I had seem too young ago
Now I am strong enough to walk miles to the deep
The dead calm under the water revitalises my soul
As a young man I saw visions
A fish twisted into a spiral preying on ships
My life worn heart unrests in sleep confusion
Leviathan tangles with my spirit in a dream script
Photo by Daniele Levis Pelusi on unsplash.com
She is dreaming up
all the grand qualities
in a man
He gives her an adorable smile
kisses her like a devil
passionately makes love to her
like there is no tomorrow
She pants and moans
thinks about their likely
possible future together
He looks at her with his puppy eyes
lays with her over and over
he says to her
I am labouring to give you a child
for our future