Empty streets

Haunted by the phantom people
Walking round the empty street
The world that frolicked, gamboled, sauntered
Overnight has lost its beat 

Lackluster its former glory
Grown dim its once gilded sheen
Bleak, drab, joyless, long forgotten
Yesterday is but a dream

Yet outside the trees are budding
Grass is fresh, the air smells sweet
The world that slumbered, suffered, waited
Overnight has found its beat



Perhaps it’s true that guns don’t kill
Perhaps they only sow unbidden grief
And drill new holes to fill
With strength of character and will
Until our own hearts too grow still

Perhaps it’s true
But why then will
You send your soldiers off
With guns?

To kill.


A chair, a desk, a reading light

A chair, a desk, a reading light
A pair of gray socks on the floor
An open suitcase by the door
So starts the quiet nomad night

A desk, a reading light, a chair,
A window into unknown space
A room where all is in its place
But still there’s something missing there

A reading light, a chair, a desk
My comforts in this alien scene
That give it mellow warmth and sheen
It’s all so quaint and picturesque


A simple tune

A simple tune wafting through the air
Entered the living room
Casually strolling
A distant bell tolling
All was well, the day pleasant
And the afternoon sweet and fair

It lingered a moment, unchallenged by other
An invisible warbler
On an imaginary tree
Singing just for you and for me
All was well, the day pleasant
And the afternoon knew no bother

I still hear its voice with you around
It breaks into a song
When our souls meet
And pulsate to the same beat
All is well, the day pleasant
And the afternoon fragrant with sound


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