Lent Relentments

For Lent –
I’m giving up

03.01.17

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion.

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Notes to this poem…

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Media Obituaries

Every single day – the media reports
That someone well-known had died –
Movie stars –
Athletes –
Scientists –
Scums –
Or any number of sorts of people –
Half of whom aren’t even really well-known

Personally –
I don’t care to know about many of these deaths –
Most of them are neither worthy
Nor deserving of my sympathy –
Or – for that matter –
Any sentiment from the majority of the world

So unless the deceased is someone
Really of prominence –
Or significance –
To the world or to our society –
I plead with the media

Please!

Don’t cry wolf regularly with those obituaries
Because when someone really important
Then passes away –
Few will notice and pay attention –
And it will only seem like another ordinary day –
Which would be – both –
A great shame and a great disrespect –
To the deceased

08.14.95 – 09.27.95

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.

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Notes to this poem…

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The Vietnamese’s Viet Nam War Memorial

The American Viet Nam Veterans’ Memorial –
One hundred and fifty metres of black granite walls
Engraved with 52,132 names of dead
Or missing in action Americans from the Viet Nam War

If Viet Nam had such a Memorial
To remember and honour her casualties in that War –
All of an estimated two and a half million of them –
That Wall would be over seven kilometres long –
And it would have a moat around it
To hold all the tears shed by its visitors

The length of that wall would be more
Than the distance some survivors could walk –
The number of names on that wall would have to be
The most sombre pattern ever created by man –
The sight of that wall would give new meaning
To the phrase ‘looking at Death’

However – such a Memorial for the Vietnamese
Could never be built –
Many of them died in entire families
And will forever be unaccounted for

The lack of such a Memorial for the Vietnamese –
Though – is definitely a blessing in disguise

If you don’t believe me –
Then just observe the scene any given day
At the American Viet Nam Veterans’ Memorial –
Then expand that scene –
Forty to fifty times – say –
And you will know exactly what I mean

09.06.95 – 09.27.95

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.

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Notes to this poem…

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Media Blitz

On days when my mind is overwhelmed
By the modern media blitz
TV radio newspapers
Magazines telephone e-mail
And on and on and on
Where everyone’s got a cause to fight for
Where everyone’s got something to complain about
Where everyone’s got an opinion on everything
Where everyone’s got something they want
The rest of the world to know about
And on and on and on
My mind
It just reacts viciously
And selfishly and just shuts it all out
For a little peace and solitude
Or at least it tries the best it can
Then
All the media in the world –
Just sounds like
Rustling leaves –
Like those that can be heard
On some sunny day –
On some windy day –
On some hidden away –
Orchard

07.04.95 – 07.23.95

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.

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Notes to this poem…

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Floating Docks

As I sat on the shore
Of a lake one early morn –
When only I was awake –
I watched two wooden floating docks
Joined together by a short rope –
Slowly part and converge –
To and fro

The tiny waves in the water parted them
Until the rope joining them was fully stretched –
At which time they were drawn together again –
Slowly converging – hindered by the waves
Until they could converge no more
And were pushed apart again

On one dock – I saw her sitting –
On the other – I saw myself there –
Each on our own little float
With only a rope holding us together

It then occurred to me…

Wasn’t that just the way it was between us?
By strings the Fates wove were we
Brought and kept together
Within each other’s vicinity –
But all the other forces that surrounded us
All worked to keep us apart
Because unlike the waters of the lake –
One colour wasn’t adequate
To paint our portrait

We regularly came close to each other –
Only to drift further apart –
We never managed to get close enough
To feel each other’s beating heart

We held on to the hope
That some time in the future –
We’d be able to leave
That which we had been raised upon –
To jump in and test
The so called ‘troubled’ waters –
To be together –
Heart to heart

But alas –
As with the floating docks
That never touched –
In the end –
The ‘troubled’ waters –
Though since calmed –
Left us apart

08.19.94 – 09.19.94

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Copyright by Minh Tan on listed dated of completion
and published in Perspectives, ISBN 0-9686250-0-2.

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Notes to this poem…

Continue reading