Palm Sunday

My heart swells with blissful anticipation as I welcome spring each year, red-breasted robins feasting on worms and early morning birds chirping in the quiet distance. Happy days of drenching rains nourishing all that is life and all that brings joy to the world. I eagerly wait for another Palm Sunday, a most festive day for my family and me as we celebrate the memories of so many loved ones who have died and left us to remember their lives of grace and integrity and so much soulfulness.

My father woke us early to attend Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston’s South End. I remember the long procession of parishioners as we slowly made our way through the colossal church while Cardinal Cushing spoke those odd Latin words that all of us, somehow, understood. This Catholic tradition, still deeply ingrained in our Palm Sundays, except that now we are without Uncle Joe, as he accompanied us each year and loved us all as he loved his own child. I never thought he would die. I always believed his love for me would keep him alive forever. And when I kissed him goodbye, his icy cheek wasn’t real anymore. His lifeless body, gone perhaps, but his generous spirit lives eternally within those of us who loved him so much. Continue reading…

Before You Send Your Son to College

You know the day is coming
when you will have to go to these events
because your son is a high school junior
and he is talking about college
every night at the dinner table.

So, you go one evening
to a MEFA presentation,
you are given a brochure
and a free pen, you are so sleepy
through the first half
that the rest makes no sense at all, but
you don’t want to ask questions
because the topic might have been already covered,
you don’t want to look like a total fool
among Chinese parents seriously concerned
about their assets, equity in their homes,
things they had worked so hard to acquire,
all the vacations they skipped
in order to pool the money,
and you feel a kind of bad for them.

Oh, yes, the MEFA person is still there,
and you suddenly understand it all,
she looks like a tulip.
Some people look like their
cats others resemble horses or hippos,
not that you yourself weren’t compared
to a funny animal in the past,

but this person resembles the bright Dutch flower
with such accuracy that
it stings because you start thinking of tulips
in bloom on the day your mother died.

You turn to your right
and look at the person next to you,
he looks familiar too,
you don’t know if you are making it up now,
but he has features of Simo,
the dog who was fed by your father,
when your father died Simo refused to take food
from anybody else,
and was dead himself within three days.

This thought torments you more
because it isn’t covered with dust
of the time passed,
and you wonder how many people in the room
feel the same pain
for the money they will have to part with
before they get invited to the graduation party.

Ticking Time Bomb

James Joyce once said that every story must have an “epiphany”. In the dictionary, epiphany  is defined as ‘a manifestation of a divine or supernatural being’, or a ‘moment of sudden revelation.’ The reader’s world is changed through this revelation, and the change is permanent. What’s true for stories is also true for poetry. It is […]

Continue reading...

Alone by Edgar Allan Poe

From childhood’s hour I have not been As others were; I have not seen As others saw; I could not bring My passions from a common spring. From the same source I have not taken My sorrow; I could not awaken My heart to joy at the same tone; And all I loved, I loved […]

Continue reading...