I’ve told you the fragility of my love
I’ve told you of the fragility of my love,
and yet how it endures like a leaf pressed into a book,
how the pain and inappropriately the hate,
like the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombs
left a silence where no man can speak…
It is this that is the fragility of my love,
knowing my awareness is pain; I leave you in my mind
the many times I think of the silence
wherein my mother’s voice should drone, but
the gentle hands released me to bed where the smell of kerosene
from the village lamp burnt past the hour of moths
when we shut the window to village crickets,
when the tender bamboo shoots, their new fragile leaves bud
in the fragility of my love for you,
as I want to travel blind with you as far into the night
until the sun rises in Japan, and I will sail my junk
into phantom waters. Yet, my love endures
like cloth flapping in the wind…
The Months Peel Away
There’s a woman, a cream color of light brown
In a faint smile, in a light gaze casts down;
She overlooks my simple room in chilly January,
And yet warmly lifts me above my penury.
There is a different woman in February, wee older,
Well-versed in the coming and going of marketplace;
Good with chores and stretching the ends to meet,
With the snow retreating, she makes me complete.
In March with winder gone, a young thing shows
Up spritely, when through the sun-cleared window,
Pink and white cherry blossoms light up the hills,
How necessary being here to see and write this Thrill!
On and on the months would progress, a pretty girl
Appears monthly to light my room; how I love the world!
But month after month I feel the ice when I rip them down –
Faint smiles, light gazes, and cream color of light brown…
In your free heart, the bird builds a nest
Home is where your heart is, my dear.
My countertop’s disarray, the cups and saucers
are conspiring with you,
plotting a coup, simply because
they don’t like a lone man’s furnishings.
Each time you grace my room, my dear,
you say, “Buy more steak and butter
and less typing paper.”
The sponges and dish soap you bring,
Bring order into my life!
Whereas, just yesterday,
I left the living to others, because
as I write, the four walls are a comfort,
and on each wall, I screwed in a hook,
a hook to hang my hat or coat,
my identity as a writer.
Now it is more or less real, my dear,
that I am a writer, because the revolution
you’ve engineered is complete!
My meaning now lies in the familiar.
The dishes are on the rack.
And I feel my feet, I walk my feet.
And I know the path, I walk the path.
To you, my dear, to you!
Koon Woon, born in China, grew up in the US, recently won an 2014 American Book Award for his second volume of poetry from Kaya Press, Water Chasing Water. Koon hosts the online journal Five Willows Literary Review http://fivewillowsliterarysociety.blogspot.com and he operates the literary press Goldfish Press in Seattle http://chrysanthemumupublicationinc.blogspot.com/ and you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org