Grand Teton, overdone praise or not

Grand Teton, overdone praise or not

From the pathway, you weren't 
as grand as I thought you would be
like some twisted opinion of truth.

Looking back, your peaks show
the different side of you:
hidden valley in the dark shadow;
seems to harbor the grandeur;
the narrow, steep ridge
twisted and crawls up toward the top, with
young man's ardent ambition; persists
to uncover the unseen;
the reason for cry in the world of darkness,

with endless dream of king;
wish to turn around to see the whole,
with a fresh eye, to meet you, real you. 

©Byung A. Fallgren
 

Perhaps the World End Here

Perhaps the World Ends Here
Joy Harjo (1951--)

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter
     what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set 
     on the table. So it has been since creation,
     and it will go on.

We chase chickens and dogs away from it. Babies
     teethe at the corners. They scrape their
     knees under it.

It is here that chickens are given instructions on
     what it means to be human. We make men at
it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the 
     ghosts of lovers. 

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put
     their arms around our children. The laugh 
     with us at our poor falling-down selves and as
     we put ourselves back together once again at 
     the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an
     umbrella in the sun.

We have begun and ended at the table. It is a 
     place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place 
     to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have 
     prepared our parents for burial here.
 At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow, we 
     pray of suffering and remorse. We give 
     thanks. 

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table,
     while we are laughing and crying, eating of 
     the last sweet bite.

Joy Harjo was appointed the new United States poet laureate
in 2019. Born in Tusa Oklahoma in 1951. She is a member of the
Musoke/Creek Nation.  
      
     
 
 

Dealing with a decade old unfinished.

Sometimes, reworking on an unfinished old project can give you a new hope.
I wrote a children's picture book a decade ago, but left it unfinished, because
I could not afford to hire an illustrator, nor did I have a strong ambition to do it
myself. Recently, I took out my old paint brush and started working on 
the illustrations myself.  And found it quite challenge but enjoyable. Below 
are some of works I have done so far. 


  





–Byung A. Fallgren

Beans

Beans
Mary Oliver--1935--2019

They are not like peaches or squash.
plumpness isn't for them. They like 
being lean, as if for the narrow 
path. the beans themselves sit qui'-
tilly inside their green pods. In-
stinctively one picks with care,
never tearing down fine vine,
never noticing their crisp bod-
ies, or feeling their willingness for
the pot, for the fire.

I have thought sometimes that
something--I can't name it--
watches us I walk the rows, accept-
ing the gift of their lives to assist 
mine. 

I know what you think: this is fool-
ishness. They are only vegetables.
Even the blossoms with which they 
begin are small and pale, hardly sig-
nificant our hands, or minds, our
feet hold more intelligence. With 
this I have no quarrel.
But what about virtue?

Light at the Edge

Light at the Edge

Her fingers tap dance around the mound,
starting at the little round button at the center,
the ritual done each month for decades.
The mound and the button lost
their youthful bounce; still tricky;
the tiny lump comes and go at the touch,
fooling the serious fingers.

You need an Ultrasound on that spot,
says the x-ray technician.
Lying on the table as the woman examines
to catch the illusive devil, she crosses her fingers.

As her heartbeat quickens, the devil floats above 
the table, grinning. Time for you to go.
She shut her eyes. Not yet, I still have lot of things to do!

Wait here, the woman tells her. I'll be back with the result.
She feels her mouth dry like been dead for days.

The woman returns with stiff face.
Her heart sinks to the floor.
We do not find anything scary, the woman says.
a long sigh of relief escapes from her. Thanks. 

 ©Byung A. Fallgren

 

Curious and Counting

Curious and Counting
  Arisa White

How do I get in your atmosphere?
Tell me about your sign, look me planetarily
--those Venuses in your eyes?

There was no thought after you
and I wrote it down. Wandered 
to the wailing with my back exposed.

My kind of Sunday, your knees
buffalo and kicking up plains.
We go sockless for beauty.

Ribbons unwind bring us to tied,
I'm at your symmetry, remembering
all your digits and your lucky number mine.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem poet whose works 
is rooted in black women way of knowing. The author
of Who's Your Daddy (Augury Books, 2021) among 
other titles. She is an assistant professor of 
Singlish and creative writing at Cole College.