From Portland to Maui

Recently, I unearthed some poems from the period of 2009-2010 when I was more active in writing poetry. I blew off the considerably thick dust and began sending them off in hopes they will be published. Nowadays I mostly write short stories, essays, and screenplays, but here are three poems from that period. And who knows? Maybe the dormant poet in me will reemerge soon.

Portland

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I know we’ve passed three coffeehouses, and just as many pubs
in one block alone, but you’ll note they’re all full.
Typical Sunnyside street, we have cuisine from all over the globe
and of course you can substitute tofu for anything you want.
Hipsters, rastas, punks, rockabillies, tortured artistes in black turtlenecks, mystics in Nepalese robes — all native species of this microcosm.  Please, now, look to your right, downtown is just a mile away.  And to your left,
the gentle roll of Mt. Tabor, our extinct volcano cone.
You can buy African drums, Thai pajamas, organic arugula,
hand-dyed yarn, and Tibetan prayer flags.
You can watch second-run movies, try your hand at ski-ball or air hockey,
pretzel yourself with yoga, get a new piercing, or smoke a hookah.  Or,
just stand right here outside the market
and touch all the velvety flower petals, one at a time,
and feel the earth come to a flowing halt.

–Originally published in the CityScapes anthology of poems presented by PDX Writers, 2009

Maui

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Maui was the only place that I brought me to tears when I finally had to leave and go home. Obviously quite opposite of Portland in many ways, but who says you must limit yourself in what you love? Something about Maui, being on the June-deserted beaches, made me indeed feel like I was at the end of the world, suspended in time.

Last days of heaven
Maui cradles the spring’s breath
Winter’s ghost gone

I marveled at how quickly scrapes and cuts healed in the seawater, and how the ocean seemed as limitless as the sky above it.

Two skies, two long lands
Diamond ocean cleans my wounds
Nothing hurts me now

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