“Sakura” (Haikus)

Japan brought over

Light pink and white budding trees

Spring forever changed


The cherry blossoms

Or the sakura flower

Beauty either way


Tourist attraction

But money can’t buy the look

Of awe when first seen


Three thousand back then

Three thousand in the present

Oh, how times have changed


Pink clouds up above

Blanket our eyes from the sky

Petals raining down


Buried Bodies; Dug up Lives

“Buried Bodies; Dug Up Lives” (Ballade Poetry; Arlington National Cemetery)

Six feet under
The buried bodies lie
Yet where do their souls go? mourners ponder.
To heaven? To hell?
Above or below, purely dichotomous?
Or, do they remain in the soil
Penetrating the body’s decomposition with life?
Oh, they are one with the Earth!

Soldiers who lived a chunk of their lives
Below the ground
In the pest-infested, mud-laden trenches,
the submarines exploring the inky, mystifying oceans,
the underbrush labyrinths of Vietnam.
Now, wooden caskets envelop the men
A box within the land’s chest
Memories, admirable and traumatic,
Are preserved.
Oh, they are one with the Earth!

Onlookers may think the dead are Cemented
in this cemetery
Bound to coffins and gravestones
Names and dates, etched with a hyphen.
To even try to describe what glory, pain, suffering, triumph
Between those words and numbers is futile,
For their legacy endures.
Oh, they are one with the Earth!

Life remains underneath
Restored and renewed into new forms
From those bravely passed.
Oh, they are one with the Earth!

Buried Bodies; Dug up Lives


“Caged (by the White Line)” (Track)

Snow pouring, feet pounding, heart racing
That white line
At the end
By the flurries
By my vision
Sweat and flakes settle on my lashes
I lunge forward
“1:18!” my loud-voiced short coach bellows
That this workout is over

Breeze whooshes, feet pounding, heart racing
Propelling me backwards
Cold air pours into my lungs
White line
Gets further
And further
And further
From my sight

Sun glaring, feet pounding, heart racing
Just 100 meters left my racing shoes whisper
Past that white line
Separating the pain
The fierce competition
The weeks of training
The nerves
From the relaxation
The deep, slow breaths
The Taco Bell I will soon devour

That white line
A striking contrast to the red
Determines happiness of my personal record
Jealousy of the girl two meters ahead
Failure I couldn’t surpass expectations

How can so much raw, natural emotion
Be packed into
Artificial, chalky paint
A single swipe across the track

On this rubber 400-meter loop
I’m caged
“On your mark”
Into a line
into a circle
into a race

I’m released


Unnatural Nature
Student Wall
Feburary 2014
Perkins Library
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina