Scrub

I love Jesus but so do a lot of

other folks so even if He is God

Almighty and Himself as well He’s spread

pretty thin or is that thinly but how

can He give us all individual

attention no matter how powerful

He is and after Sunday School I posed

the question, posed is fancy for asked, to

Miss Hooker, my Sunday School teacher, and

she answered Never underestimate

your Father who art in Heaven and for

a moment I thought she was telling me

that mine had died, my daddy, but

she meant God, everybody’s father and

He couldn’t die though some folks say God is

dead but then that’s how grownups talk sometimes,

they’re got to do something with their brains, but

so I said Yes ma’am, after all, if God

is God then He might as well be pretty

damn powerful but I forgot to o

-mit the damnomit means leave out, say on

purpose, and her face went red like a rose Continue reading “Scrub”

Wet market

Its eyes were murky, the last gasped for air,

the fish was prepared for the chopping boards.

The butcher grabbed a fowl, he said his prayer.

Best served with Choysum[1], the tiny yellow cords!

 

Ah je[2] invited us over to take a closer look

at the USA plums she had sprayed water on,

housewives fought for those without a flaw

and chaffered, they smiled, then happily gone.

 

The Red A lamps hovered above the eggs,

credentials both Arabic and Chinese.

Bottles of soy sauce were loaded onto the truck.

Some asked the coolie why he had tried so hard.

 

Some kids ran and shoved past him.

(Fai d lah)

He shrugged and worked and waited for home.


[1] Chinese flowering cabbage.

[2] A Middle-aged woman

 

 

By Pamela Ho

 

That arrowhead

I found it while digging in the back yard.

It could have been an arrowhead.

But, then again, it might have been nothing

but a stone coincidentally shaped that way.

Who’s to say it didn’t pierce an enemy’s chest?

Only the elements, perhaps,

the wind, the rain, that hone so much.

 

It sat on the dresser of my room

along with posters of my movie heroes –

did they really risk their lives fighting bad guys

or were they merely Hollywood lounge lizards,

wife beaters, war-dodgers, drunkards?

a couple of sporting trophies—

was it talent or mere luck?

 

My father said he couldn’t be more proud of me

did that mean he could be less proud?

and, every night, like maternal clockwork,

my mother kissed me goodnight—

through duty or genuine affection?

 

I still have that arrowhead. Or that rock.

It’s hard to be comforted

when it’s one thing or the other.

 

 

By John Grey

 

Boo

One day when I’m dead I’ll be all over

with except for memory if that counts

and the life to come which I’ve come to then

and if there’s a third way I’m not so sure

that I know it but maybe I’ll find out

when finding out’s too late, it’s right funny

how that works, at least from life’s side and if

not from the other then I expect to

 

know if one can know anything, I know

I can’t be alive forever, enjoy

good and avoid bad even as I make

bad happen, somehow I just can’t help it

and if there’s such as thing as sin that’s it

though I should know more when I’m no longer Continue reading “Boo”

Laksa soup

The soup

is of golden glow.

Waves

break in against the shore,

beancurd puffs are exuding

like doormats on a rainy day.

 

It is a tropical fiesta.

Coconut breeze from a nearby island

is stealing spicy ripples under sporadic leaves.

Prawns leap

and immediately dive

to join the fish of white flesh.

 

Sail a boat of egg yolk,

snug as a baby dreaming

of a mythical creature

in her cradle.

 

 

By Pamela Ho

 

Bad luck at Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery

Valentine’s Day, 2020, Bachelor’s Grove,

Cemetery, Midlothian, Illinois.

 

It was Valentine’s Day, 2020,

and a newlywed couple, George and Annabelle

Henderson were looking for something fun

to do for a special date for Valentine’s

Day. George wanted to take his new wife

to Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, a cemetery

in Midlothian, Illinois, that had been rumored

to be haunted. Many ghost sightings had been

reported over the years, where two hundred

graves existed.

 

Nobody knew why it was called

Bachelor’s Grove. But when George was a

bachelor, he used to go there with all his

buddies and get drunk in the cemetery.

They never saw any ghosts, and they

would be drunk and laugh at the old

wives tales of the past. Continue reading “Bad luck at Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery”

The flood and its aftermath

Brown waters sweep over the banks,

flood the farms on one side of the river,

the town, on the other.

 

Squirrels scramble to the tops of trees.

Families eye the rooftops for possible safe harbor.

They wonder, should we leave or stay?

The answer is a cop going door to door.

 

It’s too late to save

the bedding, the stuffed animals,

the books, the photographs.

The orders are

if it doesn’t breathe

it has no place

on higher ground. Continue reading “The flood and its aftermath”

Wonderful

One day when I’m dead maybe I won’t be

so naughty but in Sunday School today

I fell asleep again, up too late last

night reading Wonder Woman comic books,

my sister’s, I prefer Superman and

Batman but Diana Prince will do in

 

a pinch and she’s got that magic lasso

that she wraps around your waist and you must

do her bidding and those bracelets that break

the speed of approaching bullets and she’s

as strong as an . . . Amazon, I guess strong

 

-er, and if she can’t fly she surely can

leap but anyway when I woke in Sun

-day School standing there before me as if

I was God and she a new, dead soul was Continue reading “Wonderful”