borealis

deep white curtain
dancing green aurora
envelope of the earth's life aura
without it we turn
to dust

stars


mars

a foreigner

i am a foreigner
 only, i don't know from which land
 i am foreign to.
 here, in a nation called "Canada"
 i am not treated as a citizen. though, i was born
here
and qualify by the rules.

i am treated as an outsider
 within my own people,
 gossip passed in front of me,
 like a bottle of wine
 around a young child.
contents forbidden.

and when i go back 'home'
 i cannot read the signs in my language,
 only in English.
 i need a translator
 to speak to my elders.

and, though i try to find a home in the name of
 "wanderer"
 i do not really go wandering.
 if anything, i am searching,
 purposefully looking with intent,
 but the results are not easy
and as i dig, and dig, and dig,
the deeper i go, &
the wider the hole.
the wider the hole.
the wider the hole.

no train to china

i'll never give up my history
to assimilate into a culture
that has forgotten its name
a culture whose web
of ancestry.com videos
tries to sell back family history
that was lost
because it was more convenient
not to have to carry ID.
the stories of my people
involve telling white people
with white tongues
how to fill out white papers.
a white stamp on our head
tax certificate: a white lie.
the least wanted:
the most documented
and white i white my story,
50, 100, 150 years later
white letters turn brown
in well-whited archives
listed addresses in the white pages
never white delivered
to village homes
in red china.

still,lost
grandfather's secrets murmur
beneath white
blankets on gold mountain,
under a fresh layer of
white noise.

This poem was inspired by the ACCESS community television broadcast series Uncovering Gold, which discusses Chinese-Canadian migration through a multimedia format. Part 1 can be found here: http://youtu.be/eP5dakbuXG8.

mostly water (poem)

if i could see a drop of rain
from the inside
i would still
never understand
water

even in my bed
at night
my body somehow leaks moisture
and i am left thirsty,
forced to trek from my cocoon
for another drink

in a glass of water
a pencil becomes
a bended ray of light
pointing at impossible angles
and when removed
is again straight
the glass no less changed
than before

water is not the air i breathe
yet it is a part of each breath

water shapes the world
the morning dew from which bees drink,
the slow drip that smooths canyon walls
and hollows mountains,
the summer waterfalls over desert cliffs
the deep springs lapped from the lips of deer
water is more necessary to life
than air

we are born in water, and that is where we will return.
we are not dust turning to dust,
nor ash to ash,
but
we are water turning to water.

Midnight

Have I always lusted for the past?
Always longed to walk down Rouen
Avec une baguette in tow.
Always wished my present moment
Were coloured and blushed
With the pigment of nostalgic memory
Glossed with centuries-old ink.
Do the shards of heartbreak fester like a quill
Or does the spirit heal over them?
Dissolving like glass into glass.
Until the vase's cracks have reached perfection.
Stained windows, glowing in the moonlight.
A great intelligence, cursed by a speck of sadness.