a poem about hope

POEMS

So this is what hope feels like when we’re feeling hopeless…

it’s a sunny day

i’m still

stuck in this impossible

purgatory.

but since the day has no regard

for how I feel inside
perhaps one day

not today

not tomorrow

not next week

but some day far away

things will feel no longer

feel the same.

Self as a Cultural Being

POEMS

It’s really the first time I’ve contemplated on being “a person of color” here in my now adopted home, the U.S..

One of the assignments for a class in multiculturalism is an art project on the theme of “Self as a cultural being”. My experience of being a “cultural being” often feels like a game of peekaboo with the world. Now you see me; now you don’t – depending how you reacted when you saw me. Every cultural aspect is the context through which I see, and through which I am seen.

In the following poem I wanted to capture a sense of how I get caught between the Chinese and Western cultures, how I perceive my identity as something fluid and dependent upon the cultural background and perspective of others, and a new-found awareness and sense of power to introspect and act against external systemic forces.

 

 

My parents gave me wealth,
a good home, the gift
of an education
across the oceans
to come back with a cultured
tongue
and a bleached
mind and intellect underneath
the yellow skin.
At home I see pride
and envy in their eyes.

But I know
I became a hybrid creature, a
confused chameleon
with two tongues
who need an interpreter
between my inner selves.

Everywhere I go
I have mirrors
made out of the Chinese
and the Western perspectives
monitoring me.

And I know away from home
I’m a tapestry of mixed designs
at once familiar and odd,
woven by as many hands
as I’ve come across.
My mother’s, slow but ever-present.
The schools and cultures from
Hong Kong, Britain or America
sew bold and too-tight patterns
with machines
scrunching up the fabric
of me.

I want to follow the loose ends,
the places where I fray,
where I look messy, out of place.
I want to dissect the layered knots,
to free and examine every thread.
I want to re-braid
according to new rules
that I make.

wrong choice

art, POEMS

(Wrote a poem to go with this painting I made)

Wrong choice of color

on the wrong choice of line

This is a labyrinth

of errors and design.

It’s an accomplishment

to stick to a plan.

But it’s a gift

to lose your way

and find

a new landscape.

The map was only

drawn in sand.

It’s gone the second

you leap.

the worst is always this

POEMS

The worst is always this:
You think it’s all your fault.

You kneel before the victory of your flaws.
Your inherent darkness prevailing.
“Unlovable” seems to be the ultimate truth.
Don’t put your arms around it.
Don’t bring it with you.

Hear the angry screams of “why couldn’t you”
“why did you”, “you didn’t even” –
Listen, that voice assumes you could.
It believed you could.
Anger knows your power.
Let the pain burn and churn you
until you’re a pile of dirt
moistened by your tears,
ready for new growth.

And then, let morning
pick you up like a child.