To the artist, from a young man

I saw your latest canvas, sir
On my drive to work today
I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it
They kept asking me to stray
From the road or better yet
To pull up on the shoulder to get
A closer, unobstructed view
Of your masterpiece—the reflection of you
Why did you paint it so masterfully
Yet I must carry on driving?
—Yours truly

Thank you for writing,
My dear young friend
I appreciate the thought you gave this
And the words you penned
Many are those who just drive on past
Chasing a thing that’s too fleeting to last
You’ve captured the essence, and though onward you pressed
My canvas remains on your eyelids impressed
Whenever they close you will glimpse it with ease
And when they are sealed—
—Blessings and peace


Ask the rivers

Whatever comes must go
Just ask the rivers—it’s how they flow
Some travel days before they bend
Some barely start before they end
An ancient rhythm, an age-old rhyme
Rivers must die when comes the time


Top of creation

Above the clouds you go, go, go
Chasing the wind, climbing through the snow
Reaching the summit, surveying your station
Could you be on top of creation?

And then the fog lifts, and you see, feel, know
Above the clouds you’re the same as below
Cruising along, you stir in your seat —
There’s no ground below your feet

If the air would part and you’d fall, fall, fall
Who’d be the one to answer your call?
The plane glides down, seconds later it lands
But the question still stands


The nature of things

Just as nights usually arrive red, yellow
Flowing ever bolder, rising up and rising yet
Merrily advancing round concrete homes
Ascending past rich ink layers,
Mild autumn yields
Joyfully, under new enamel,
Jubilantly ushering last years
As uniformed guests unto sacred territory
Stillness ensues, passing time envelops mind, body, effecting rest
Only clouds travel obstinately by, ever ready
No other vestige emerges, making bleak every remembrance
Darkness, endless, covers empty mountains, bringing eternal reign



Older than the greatest man
I’m but reminded once again
It is not through age
That one becomes a sage
Much less the hope of—well—all

Older than a million those
Who left behind a worthier prose
Why me, I puzzle still,
Who often leave your will
To scribble notes on bathroom walls?

Older than the one who took
A leap to a new chapter in your book
But still looking back
Retracing my pen’s track
A pillar of salt I should long be

One more year, Lord, have mercy on me


Around the corner

Just around the corner
One more bend down the road
Straining ever forward
For an uncertain reward

One more mile before I stop
It’s too soon to take a break
For just around the corner
My whole life will be at stake

Can’t stop
Must follow
The path that
I have planned
Even if
The road
Dead end


My two eyes

My two eyes, you’ve grown and grown
Like little seeds that have been sown
In fertile soil
You too have changed beyond compare

You see, my eyes, I’ve always known
Like that old wren whose young have flown
To distant trees
That you’ll never be mine to keep

But be you ever far or near,
Like my own eyes I’ll hold you dear
For that you are:
My eyes, and ears, and life, and breath


Eastward bound

Eastward bound
Where half my heart
I left to run
Its well-worn track
Where my sun rose
Amidst the crows
And my life’s prose with zest began

Eastward bound
I leave behind
The other half
Which calls me back
Where spires rise
To pierce the skies
And my tale now prolongs its span

Eastward bound
I’ll stay the course
Towards the sun
Into the black
Two homes I have
Yet still I crave
A final stroke of the Bard’s pen


Pretty please

Pretty please with a cherry on top
She said as I gently tucked her in
Her butterfly lashes, like wings that won’t stop,
Fluttered and sent my head for a spin

What should I do now? haunted my mind
Pretty please with a cherry on top
Her eyes had me transfixed, here I was–blind
Like Saul on the road and ready to drop

Helen of Troy, don’t make me your prop
I must resist your pernicious wile
Pretty please with a cherry on top
I cross the Rubicon, ascend the stile

As I lie down, her soft hand in mine,
Her eyelids draw shut, the butterflies stop
Her mouth uncurls into a thin line
Pretty please with a cherry on top



My mother is life
My father is dust
My flesh and my bones
Are made of earth’s crust

I’m fragile and weak
A piece of parched soil
That turns back into sand
At the end of life’s toil

I crack from the heat
I crumble to nought
Where once there grew grass
There now is but … what?

If only rain came
Playing its fife…
My father is dust
My mother is life