who i am by isaac joel louie

i
am
an earth dragon
born of the thunder clan
chinese-canadian settler
 third generation
 islander at heart.
i live for the wind
 the rain
 camp-
 fires.
four seasons
 a stove.
hair of abandon
 the coo of a moth.
one sun, one moon, all stars
 &
i’ll be the first
 to spot
 an eagle.

at the kitchen table

grandpa's painted violin
adorns his always shaven chin
under the pinks, blues, purples and greens,
lies a 10,000 dollar appraised reverberating tone
that resonates with the present.

sound
not the absence of air
be the presence of motion
stillness in
song.

and the price of the ticket
3 trips across the pacific.

one journey home.

i have heard these conversations
his music
if only while i was asleep.

high society

“the master’s tools will never
dismantle
the master’s house
but we are not mere tools
so let us not speak of our troubles
yours
and mine
inside this castle..}
{this fortress
is fortified
by hands
crumbled under bricks
and lay against crushed clay mortar
as if moths between jars
and concrete;
metal hats
fit not our crowns
and royal jelly
dissolves our teeth.

our conversation
never meant was contained to be:
the word,when  &
the creator spoke silence
into nothingness

we are (and always halve been) -ness  and -ness
and -ness  and -ness,
less than a whole
but always together
more

———————
The beginning of the quote is the title of an essay on anti-racist, pro-queer feminism by Audre Lorde. The essay can be found here: http://lists.econ.utah.edu/pipermail/margins-to-centre/2006-March/000794.html

ruined

if the house
if you live in the house
or condo
or hut
or tent
or street
(because, we all once
came from the house)


if
the house
burnt down

what would you remember?

what

would keep you on the verge

of
tears

what

would keep you from spilling
and
poring
for answers

what

pile of ash
would be your

           family  portraits
           grandpa's violin
           christmas cards
           head tax receipt

lost belongings.
proof  of  life.
proof  of
belonging.

what would be left
if the A-frame closed in
on itself,
if dad could not save the roof
with a hose

if water
lost

to flame


would
the sidewalk
bare ashen prints
?


or
would
thebroken lot
bear ferns & grass. & seeds.
&vines
&thorns &twigs &trees,

your
ruins &
flowers

embers

Be warmed by the fires of love.
Be rocks drearily coaxed into slow, radiant heat;
bask baking bare to the breeze. Be the middle of the circle. the centre of family.
the baby born into the arms of grandmother and grandfather.
Be the beat of feet and soft bed of palms turned up to the sky.
Be the whispered moment. Be the background voices and the sound of mom. ear to warm chest,
like the ear to a shell. it is the ocean calling.
Be seen in the dancing shadows. Be the delighted shrieking children.
Be the hunters drinking mead.
Be the warm mug of coffee, cigarette in finger,
hands wrapped ’round glazing clay; looking down
into a bowl of stars.

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the
landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home
again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting- over and over
announcing your place
in the family of things.

Your love should never be offered (Hafiz)

Love sometimes wants to do us a great favor: hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.

Your love
Should never be offered to the mouth of a stranger,
Only to someone who has the valor and daring
To cut pieces of their soul off with a knife
Then weave them into a blanket
To protect you.

Stay close to any sounds that make you glad you are alive.

Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.

There are different wells within your heart.
Some fill with each good rain,
Others are far too deep for that

Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions.

Even after all this time the sun never says to the Earth, “You owe me”

There is no pleasure without a tincture of bitterness.


–by Hafiz