Kalvin Schmidt-Rimpler Dinh
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)
that nothing is
but as the elevator
don't for the love
hold onto anything
but jump up
and down like crazy
that with luck
when it lands
you'll be caught
up in the air
alive and well
saved in the blessed
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
we live in a world,
you and me -
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
and sway in the sea
-- Kalvin Schmidt-Rimpler Dinh
Mays Anthology XXIV, University of Cambridge and Oxford University (Varsity Publications, 2016)
(more info to come)