How did she endure it?

How did she endure It?
to the woman I loved

The memory of the rain and sleets, 
all the music I heard, songs of
the drift snows from the hill, 
and smell of the swamp. 

The old house across the swamp, 
crouched at the foothill, like a 
brooding animal; the hungry chicks 
chirping, begging, wondering. 
Her doubt on his method would gnaw 
at her skin, the words swallowed.  

The old elm, with a big hollow in the trunk 
was my refuge when they argued; I'd sit on 
the bough, watch the well below. a tadpole 
peeking out the cloud in the well, watching me 
watching it in awe. No wonder she called it 
unhealthy savior. What else in it? 

Now, the frost on my head, 
I don't try to understand her. 
Instead, I raise my hands above my head, 
reach for the heaven, as if to hold 
her boney hands that cared for us 
all through the cold nights. All her life.   

©Byung A. Fallgren

Windy Backyard Wisdom

Windy Backyard Wisdom

Winds blow over
the white and green,
cascades from the hill
to the open, rippling in
silver gray, in hopes,

raise them into the air
and blow them away.
But they stay formidable,
roots in the soil,
like the stubborn youths’ will
to keep their land,

rebel against the invaders.
The ripples grow to sea waves,
claw the florets and blades, in vain;
the wings mean to fly,
the roots mean to stay,
like the incompatible lovers.

©Byung A. Fallgren

Inside me, a family

Inside me, a family
by Ching-In Chen

born from small 
waters. Each night,
I look for a paper
to feed this first litter
from a slow continent.

New trappers buy
their fetters and hooks,
dreaming of new skin
to drape. In the sky, a wound 

like river, opening up again
to bird. Neighborhood pushes 
against seams, dislikes 
a newcomer. This linked 
to history and forgetting--
a new gray house like a weed.

A monument rises past the window.
We sit and drink twice-steeped tea.

Ching-In Cheng is the author of Recombinant (Kelsey Street Press,
2017) and The heart's Traffic (Red Hen Press, 2009). A Callaloo,
Kundiman, and Lambda Fellow, Assistant professor in the School of 
Interdisciplinary Arts and Science and MFA in creating and Poetics 
at the University of Washington.  

View on the side of the road, a Message

View on the side of the road, a Message

Silver sky and the land join in the sea of smog;
Submerged, the wind turbines wave their arms,
Like the drowning octopuses.
Drying lake gives her way to the green invaders,
Like old soldiers with no weapons.
Hope the smoke will dwindle with winter's arrival;
Dried lakes will begin to refill 
As the irrigation stops in October.

In the smoke, the wind turbines point fingers,
As we panic at the foot of crumbling hills,
Fumbling on the sea of plans.

They say eventually Nature replenishes what it has lost,
But she cannot revive the perished creatures;
Polar bears, beavers, and others may live only
In the children's story book.
We can reverse that, can't we? 

©Byung A. Fallgren