Aspen, wannabe student of the moon When the aspen leaves begin to turn gold oh so stealthily in the moon light, do you hear their laughs? similar to your laugh when your dream came too late; wisdom of the moon of the autumn night. ©Byung A. Fallgren
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
Happy Labor Day! And thank you for your hard work, everyone in every field: doctors, nurses, police officers, farmers, auto mechanics, engineers, scientists...