Posted in book review, Poetry

The Girl Without Hands

The devil came upon a poor miller
In exchange for wealth with luster
And wanted his daughter’s hands
Though it pained her in blood and tears.

Now the girl without hands wandered off
Day and night with her tears washing off
The pain she suffered from the promise
Her father made with the devil for riches.

The girl without hands came upon a garden
Where Tree of Fruits of Grace seemed to beckon
with the susurrus of leaves coaxing her
And she saw a besotted king approaching her.

The girl without hands became a queen
But the devil returned with a scheme
To kill her and her son for their pure souls
As bounty for his region against angels.

The girl without hands fled with her son
Deep into a forest where seven years began
Until the king found them in Angel’s Hut
And the girl with no hands was no more.

Posted in Poetry

Braveheart

Beneath a new visiting sun
Sees a woman through tears,
Sorrow of the heart she feels
As it deepens into a sea of pain.

Beside her an ailing old woman
Lies in natural amnesia for woes
She wishes to send away in vain
When a life’s grip is relentless.

Fear crowded, tension soaring
Zealots of God clad in weapons,
Fierce eyes searching for victims
Outside is the terror reigning.

Demands of life, duties of care
A caryatid bears on her head,
She faces the faces of terror
With a brave heart for the fate.

Author’s Note: Yesterday, I wrote about my essay on the current situation of Taliban-seized Kabul in Afghanistan but still could not take it off my head because I felt for their fear for unknown futures. An article of the day from Reuters was about the ordinary Afghans who had to make livelihood even against a possibility of danger that lurks around everywhere where thousands of people are attempting to escape from the new Taliban regime, often futilely. Therefore, this little poem, albeit insignificant willy-nilly, is my small tribute to the brave ordinary people on the frontline with life in Afghanistan who are just like you and me. The heroine of this woman is another Me in Afghanistan who shares a similar life story.

Posted in Miscellany

from this corner of the world

A beautiful field of flowers on a background of mountains and clouds

It was a great leap from northern New Jersey to southern California when I decided to relocate two years ago. At that time, I felt like a pioneer girl from Willa Cather’s novel or a Horace Greeley in his Overland Journey from New York to San Francisco. Now the not-so-long time has passed, and I still have the job I got first in California, but I am now not sure about being rooted here like a tree without luscious fruits, which is just one of many plain, common trees whose sudden absence will not be conspicuous. Amid in this existential tides of life, willful, fateful, or both perhaps, reading today’s article from the New York Times about a declining trend of relocation after the ease of Pandemic-related restrictions statewide seems to shake my already shaking ship adrift between Scylla and Charybdis.

The article reports that now that the post-Covid 19 has dawned a new era of remote-controlled employment, many people do not need to move to another state for their new jobs unless they are packaged with satisfying relocation fees. And staying put in their home grounds while working remotely for their bosses across the Rocky mountain or on the other side of the coast fortifies a sense of close-knit family and community that they feel strongly related and belonging by staying put in their home grounds. Further, the article illustrates a particular fragment of well-to-do middle-class people with professional careers or executive positions who indeed don’t have to take trouble moving their already content families to new locations. Finally, the article excludes the peripheral class that orbits around the lesser bright solar system whose life spans depend on a dominant sun’s brilliance.

People are still moving to and from for their uncertain futures, as I have witnessed so far, despite the Pandemic scare less than the existential threats of daily life. Hasn’t the journalist seen enough of the genuine fabrics of life by getting on a morning bus carrying a crowd of the middlings and underlings heading for their workplaces? Isn’t The New York Times proud of being one of the most liberal newspapers in the world? Or is it for most liberal middle-class only?

I still like to think of myself as a frontier woman in the Still Wild West, living with an elderly mother and an eleven-month-old tabby cat with chronically weak respiratory and digestive systems in a make-shift house on a pitiful homestead often besieged by the lawless and the uncultured. And I still don’t know my decision to move from here to there was a fool’s wish, acting on a foolhardy impulse neverendingly. Nevertheless, I want that all that wise sayings about hope and courage are truth and nothing but the truth, and I am sure that many people share similar kinds of wishes in the courses of their lives that today’s article excludes.

Posted in book review, Miscellany

Puss in the Boots for Folklore Thursday

Puss in the Boots is an ingenious trickster of a good sort. Who helps his impecunious master left with none but the Cat himself bequeathed by his father. The Cat’s goodwill to help his good master launches a creative series of playing the Game of Fortune:

bagging rabbits and presenting them as gifts from his Marquis master, turning an Ogre into a mouse and eating it, and commandeering its castle to the marquis’s own, all of which lead to the blissful marriage of his master to the king’s lovely princess.

Of course, the brilliant booted puss becomes a great lord in dolce vita. Who knows? Your molly and tom at home may be a puss in the boots at night when you are asleep. So, be nice to them. They know who you are.