Contributing writers/poets:

Chuck Sullivan

John Balaban

Kalvin Schmidt-Rimpler Dinh

Mary Flemming

 

 

Poetry

Spring Watching Pavilion

 

A gentle spring evening arrives

airily, unclouded by worldly dust.

 

Three times the bell tolls echoes like a wave.

We see heaven upside-down in sad puddles.

 

Love's vast sea cannot be emptied.

And springs of grace flow easily everywhere.

 

Where is nirvana?

Nirvana is here, nine times out of ten. 

 

-- Hồ Xuân Hương (胡春香; 1772–1822)

  ©John Balaban, Spring Essence: The Poetry of Hồ Xuân Hương (Copper Canyon Press, 2000)

Survival

 

Understand

that nothing is 

fully guaranteed

 

but as the elevator

is falling

don't for the love

of God

 

hold onto anything 

but jump up

 

and down like crazy

 

and hope

that with luck

when it lands

you'll be caught

 

up in the air

alive and well

saved in the blessed

 

space between

the ceiling

and the floor

 

 - Chuck Sullivan

   NC Poet Laureate

Abandoned House, Saigon 

 

Two swallows fly in a broken window, sweeping under

yellow orchids tumbling from the rotted frame.

 

The ghost up there has stopped her complaining

while out in the rain below a tarp, a girl selling soup

 

squats by the curb slicing tiny hoops of chili,

piling little heaps of red on a white dish.

 

Did the ghost upstairs learn English or French?

Where did she intend to go? Why does she linger?

 

How her lips must burn when her fingers brush them.

One swallow darts out the darkened window

 

while over in L.A., stuck in traffic, some Vietnamese guy

remembers this street, the vendor, the house lying almost empty.

 

-- ©John Balaban

   John Simon Guggenheim Fellow and Emeritus Professor of English, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

gentil

 

we live in a world,

you and me -

abnormal

 

where kids, just kids

(wanting for) maggie and milly and molly and may

- to be normal. and

 

just,      normal, kids,

blowing bubbles in the air.

 

drop. tuck. roll - we work it.

she smiles. *smiled.

 

bite. my neck

 

(- she did).

 

these kids just want to

once again find joy in blowing

bubbles in the sand pit.

 

normal kinds of kids, like a you, or a me,

all want to feel kind and

                             gentil.

and sway in the sea

 

-- Kalvin Schmidt-Rimpler Dinh

   Mays Anthology XXIV, University of Cambridge and Oxford University (Varsity Publications, 2016)

 

Mary Flemming

 

(more info to come)