Monthly Archives: January 2014

a reminiscence (for Lan)

sitting on the bed I watch her sleeping
her face has still the charm it had
when we first met in the midst of war
all those years  all those heartbeats ago
has still the grace and beauty that drew me
to her simple open unpretentiousness
just now I remember the day
we took a boat ride on the Sài Gòn River

somewhere there’s the photo I took that day
she stands in three-quarter profile
smiling    her white áo dài’s panels stirred by breezes
the silk trousers shimmer in the sunlight
she’s poised to step into the boat for our tour
along the river    the boatman holds the craft
near the bank with his push-pole oar

aloud she says  If I fall in the water  Anh
will you jump in after   to rescue me?

but  Em  I don’t know how to swim  I say

you’ll learn quickly  Anh – you must   to save me

she stirs in her sleep   she whimpers
or is it gentle laughter from that day
so many heartbeats ago  so far away

*    *   *

© Gregory V Driscoll  2014

Note: In Vietnamese, lovers, husbands and wives, use familial terms in addressing each other: Anh means older brother; Em means younger sister.

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haiku – a winter’s night

stars hide among clouds
sparrows nest deep in hedges
the wind goes searching

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© Gregory V Driscoll  2014

trapped by snow (for Lan)

these shards of mother-of-pearl falling
are my prompts for wooing you    each one
seems so like the others but is   in fact
so much different    together they make
a blizzard of unkempt love that packs
the heavens with shimmering pearls
the little flashes from the streetlamps
skirring through the snowy whiteness
are sparks from my soul    the fire of your hearth
dawn with its colors hiding    day with its surprises
dusk with its shadows    night with its love songs
all shall be our bed linen wrinkled with pleasure
warmed by our bodies in long embrace
thus we together will build the springtime
kiss by kiss   touch by touch   sigh by sigh

*    *   *

© Gregory V Driscoll  2014

mirror images

with what rancor they quarrel
they complain of murders
while being murderers themselves
what grief    truth slain by so many empty words
what pain    life buried under so many lies
drowned beneath so many tears

no matter whether the bullets are leftist
or the triggers pulled by capital’s fingers
the bomb delivered by young martyrs
or the missile guided by invisible hands
it doesn’t matter one bit
for  in any case   beyond doubt
the dead are still dead
the maimed are still maimed
crimes are still crimes
but now
they each have Torquemada for a saint
each believes the End blesses the means
and all forget
we cannot clean our hands
with our opponents’ shit

is this “the will of heaven”
is this “being a nation of laws”
is there any answer
oh yes – both sides now
draw a bead on me   fire their weapons –
supplied by the usual suspects –
then say my demise after all
is necessary and is just  of course
for it’s called for in their “holy” scriptures
whether penned by flighty angels
or wealthy deluded old men

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© Gregory V Driscoll  2014

the gift

little butterfly encased
in your crystal paradise
with its deathless flowers –
am I sealed up so in my belovèd’s world
with her unending beauty and her charms?

little creature   I know my dearest  my beloved
will position you upon her nightstand
to watch how moonlight dances joyfully
on your brightly tinted wings
to see how at dawn the sunlight kisses
your frail body and those idle flowers
all in a dream transfixed

but just what will she do with me
tell me  little beast  if you can

*    *   *

© Gregory V Driscoll   2014

haiku – gallery al fresco

snow sculptures  wind-formed
long arcs    domes   hollows   ruffles
winter’s mindless art

*    *   *

© Gregory V Driscoll  2014

haiku – in the moonlight

bushes capped with snow
gnome-like shadows frozen still
fierce wind   clear crystal

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© Gregory V Driscoll  2014