Ode to Hanoi

There needs to be a pulse in my city
To get the feeling of being alive.
Give me skyscrapers, looming and gritty
With snooty cocktail bars next to a dive.
I can lose myself in the crowded streets
Though my head hangs above the common man.
I find that the anonymity greets
Me with a cool evening without a plan.
I will just follow the arc of the moon
As it ticks away the hours of the night.
Somewhere out there waits my eternal boon
Which gives my adventure its starting flight.
For tonight, these Asian pathways are mine,
On its hospitable meal I will dine.

The Fairy’s Pool

This used to be a place of paradise
Before you created a road to here
Because, for man, its beauty did entice,
And you could charge a price for them to leer.
They could travel up to the waterfalls,
And take a swim in our enchanted pools.
But would they listen to when the fae calls,
And play victim to our list of strict rules?
Wading in our water may be a treat
Which will rejuvenate any old soul,
But your heart will become out nightly meat,
And you will leave having to buy that toll.
Your desire will remain in our hands,
And you’ll always long to live in our lands.


There are those that search for a great, big home
Filled with bookcases, shelves, and cabinets
Where they can catalogue every tome,
Memento, and knickknack they went to get.
They will huddle down in a tattered chair
Gazing out upon their great collection,
Bragging about how no cupboard is bare,
And about the choice of each selection.
As night creeps on, they will look at their things,
And wonder what stories they have to tell.
Is there importance in toys, clothes, and rings?
Why be entranced by the powerless spell?
To obtain a life that will really please
The best things to collect are memories.


This institution is about learning,
So kindly leave your wasta at the door.
Please quit pretending that you are a king;
You cannot know what you didn’t before.
Being able to say that you know who
Does not demonstrate what you do not know.
I would rather see that your learning grew
Than hearing about your people in tow.
What you can do should take priority
Rather than your latest self-centered need.
Can you show to me your ability,
And put in check you pedigree’s greed.
The world does not need a nanny culture,
Maintaining people’s life of indenture.

Wasta – a practice in Arab society where people use their personal relationships to gain favor.

The Neighborhood’s Haunt

A little further down the cobblestones
Is a place where the tourists fear to roam.
Here you will find the city’s older bones
Where the people who live here will call home.
You will not here the foreign languages
Come out of the unassuming front,
But the community that it bridges
Is one that is found on a homeward hunt.
Here, they will find the wine flowing freely
As they unwind from a rough day of work.
The company, they enjoy greedily,
While waiting outside, the visitors lurk.
This restaurant has been claimed by the hood,
Keeping its old spirit just as it should.

St. Patrick’s Day in Italy

Will there be complaints if my drink is red,
Instead of being traditional green?
It is not what the ceremony bled,
But it is the drink of my current scene.
There is still a fair amount I will imbibe,
So I can find the proper state of mind.
I do not want to hear your diatribe
Of how the island is not so refined,
But I find myself a lot further south,
And they still celebrate this holiday.
Something different goes into their mouth,
Toasting the saint in their own special way.
The bottle of red wine will do the trick
On the Venetian’s day of St. Patrick.

The Interloper

The town is hidden by the dark of night
As I traverse the empty city streets.
I get a glimpse underneath the road lights
Of how missing puzzle pieces complete
All of the picture which I cannot see.
There are stories being told in the haze,
And I’m just paying the admission fee
For my story is told during the days.
I am nothing but an interloper,
Trying to look deeper in the shadows
For an invitation that will never
Come. But still my curiosity grows.
How do I become a part of that tribe
When they will not allow me to imbibe?


Traveling down a long and winding road,
Closely tucked away around a cliff face,
The life we have lived is forced to be slowed
In this hidden accommodating place.
A long time ago a wanderer found
This unexpected shady oasis
Where water was bubbling from the ground,
Forming a swimming hole of relaxing bliss.
Here, I can wash away the desert sand,
Leaving my problems on the mountain top.
My life, I will once again take command
Because I have taken the time to stop.
Here, the earth can swallow me in its hug,
Ignoring responsibility’s tug.

The Sea of Death

As I traverse along the Sea of Death,
Watching the salt water consume the land,
I roll down the window to take a breath,
And ride the wind with the play of my hand.

The ticking clock does not dictate my day,
And there’s no rush to where I’m not going.
I know the sea wishes for me to stay,
But the wheels on the road keep on flowing.

I do hear your tempting voice luring me
To spend the afternoon floating on you,
But there are places I still want to see,
And I will come back after I am through.

You are a part of all our destiny,
Until then I will live a life that’s free.

The Wadi

The rocky path will not always be true,
But it will still lead you to the same place.
Out of the mountains, a wadi once grew,
And hid a paradise in the cliff face.
There is a stream that turned the valley green,
With time, eroding away the hard stone,
Leaving behind swimming holes so serene
That humankind could not leave them alone.
They will travel from every corner
To find some fun in this famous canyon.
What ails them, they think they will find a cure
After a week long holiday is done.
Don’t tell them that the wadi will forget
Every person it helped get wet.