Archive for April, 2016

“Seeing Crimson”

Posted: April 20, 2016 in Poems
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I wrote this poem for the celebration of Earth Day, last April 22. This time, I chose to share a personal memory because I wanted to get across the message that the fight for the environment is more than a societal cause–it’s a personal battle. When you fight to save the earth, you fight for your stargazing moments with your future kids, your beach mornings with your loved ones, your hiking days with friends. I wanted to tell you that when you fight for your environment, you don’t just fight for some far-flung, suffering villages–you fight for your own memories.

When I was but a little kid,
my dad and I used to lie on the street
just outside our house, gazing at constellations comprised
of billions and billions of shining stars
with but one pair of binoculars to share
seeing the night beautifully laid bare.
 
When I was a kid, my dad and I
Would spend hours staring at the evening sky
Him, contentedly searching for constellations,
And me, eagerly counting all the twinkling dots,
Thinking that they are mine to hold and own eternally,
Their subtle light to guide me unfalteringly.
 
But then I grew up, grew tired of watching the stars,
Started to care less of nature, and more of “progress”.
For years I ceased to watch for the twinkling starry host.
And so one night on my way home I was shocked to see
A sky as red as crimson, with a moon dimly lit and alone,
Having no constellations, no twinkling dots to show.
 
I was once a kid with a lovely, starry sky
to admire and stare at as the day bid goodbye
But now I’m afraid the younger ones won’t live to see
The night’s dark yet dazzling beauty
Unless we wake up before everything’s too late,
Before all efforts to save Nature be wasted away.
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There are five ways to save our beloved Mother Nature,
Five weapons against the world’s rapid rate of decay.
First, your selfie on SnapChat with hashtag SaveTheEarth—
Don’t bother knowing the increase rate of melting ice caps,
Or what carbon sequestration or greenhouses meant–
With the right selfie angle, they’re not important anyway.
 
The second way to play the superhero for earth
Is to participate in Coastal Clean-ups annually.
And throwing water bottle on the streets doesn’t matter,
Nor does the fact that you took more pictures than trashes,
As long as you had your international certificate
That would increase your school credentials drastically.
 
There are five ways to save the whole earth, and the third one
Is designing posters promoting waste segregation;
It’s fine that you never did it at home, not even once,
Or that you can’t figure out where to put your drained to-go coffee,
Or how you don’t really care, ‘cause the truck will mix it up anyway—
As long as you’re campaigning for the noble action.
 
There are five ways to save the earth, and the fourth way
Is joining a youth forum that says we’d last only until 2050.
It’s fine that you don’t know why the Amazon and other earth treasures waste away,
And it doesn’t matter that the forum’s resolutions
And plans of actions were never really carried out—
At least you’ve shown concern on earth’s welfare “sincerely.”
 
There are five ways to save the rapidly rotting earth,
And the fifth one is to go run to save a river.
Don’t mind that you were really just after the souvenir shirt
With its triple 10 number code that would label you cool,
And that you didn’t finish the run, as long as you supported it,
Because just like that, you’re now among Gaia’s hall of famers.
 
Really, if you’re acting out the superhero, you’re doing just great;
But this isn’t about heroics, nor is it about fame—
It’s about being a good steward while it’s not yet too late,
Of caring for what was left of the gift once given to us.
There are no five things, there’s just one way to save the earth—
To transcend pledges and petitions; to make word and deed the same.

Block of Wood

Posted: April 20, 2016 in Journals

Shall I fall down before a block of wood?

Shall you?

The idea may seem preposterous to many today.
But the Israel’s block of wood
had simply adapted various forms,
enticing many as strongly as ever.
Money. Power. Fame. Knowledge.
The illusion of love. The list is endless.

But shall I fall down before these blocks of wood?
Shall you?
Shall you bow down to idols?

The heart is deceitful above all else. Beware.
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