Treasure Island

john tiong chunghoo

(Jan 21,1960 / NEW YORK)

Year that trembled


year that rocked
trembled through my nerves
the summer of my life
spent in the midst of things so old
so much older than myself
in my attempt to make a living
from things that collect dust and years
the buddhas, the little irish biscuit box,
the necklace that could have been
the heirloom of a princess
the sparse customers
on this cursed island
i take lessons from the sea
the moon, sun
day in and day out
amid all the uncertainties
not knowing the days collected
near the waves, seas, grand mountain
would change the soul in me
inundate me with inexplicable verses

inspired by

Year That Trembled
YEAR that trembled and reel'd beneath me!
Your summer wind was warm enough-yet the air I breathed froze me;
A thick gloom fell through the sunshine and darken'd me;
Must I change my triumphant songs? said I to myself;
Must I indeed learn to chant the cold dirges of the baffled?
And sullen hymns of defeat?
Walt Whitman

Submitted: Saturday, May 14, 2005
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