Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcome to Canada

Yesterday I met a man on the bus.
He found it offensive that we spoke Chinese in public.
He said, "This is Canada. We speak English here. And French."
He said, "Lots of people feel the same way but they keep quiet about it."
He paused.

"People are too tolerant," he said.

We arrived at his stop and as he got off he turned back, saying:

Welcome to Canada.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

June viewfinder

Indecision -
That devil which poisons all
and even permeates the impervious heavens

As in the skies, so below

How can we,
     mere human,

a lush cloud of leaves
blowing in the wind like a crush of emerald waves
in worlds of foam which crest and fall
hiding pearls behind their bubbly backs


soft spikes,
fruit like sea urchins
You take after your parents
Children, don't be difficult
for Time will take you even from yourself,

I meant to post this yesterday night but then I decided to take a nap... and ended up sleeping until 9:30 am. Oh well, I'd say that's well deserved after a busy school year. Need to refuel for exam week now.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Two Rain Poems

O Rain, have mercy --
Beneath the lashes of your whip we cower;
We run for shelter, and find you have captured us,
O Rain,
in those prison cells we call schools and offices and homes.

Wet Vancouver (a quasi haiku)
Wet Vancouver,
It's 4 days till June.
Why must you torture us so?

road trip

from Chilliwack to home
Silence in the car,
the clouds above cow country accumulating in warm, pregnant layers,
far-reaching and tearful as an overprotective mother.

I blink in the backseat,
fighting sleep until
I don't want to fight anymore.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Recipe for a Reedmaker

1 part talent
2 parts strength
Cane and thread of a considerable length

A couple sharp knives
Razor blades too
The knack for stubbornness through and through

Most importantly, 9 parts frustration
And 10 parts mad -
Now hopefully your reeds won't all be bad.

It SUCKS to be an oboist. Clarinetists think the have it bad but no, they don't even know the beginning of it. I must have been very annoyed on Monday otherwise I wouldn't have been driven to write a RHYMING poem, of all things.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

In Other Words, the Oboe

Oh my goodness, this is going to be my last concert in Vancouver for who knows how long. If you are around, please come.


Oh Maxine,

I've only met you once, and only for a few minutes, but that doesn't mean I can't be in love. You had me at first sight. I spotted you crossing the street, looking dashing in black and white. I crossed quickly behind you - I smiled as our eyes met. You approached me readily, naively, innocently, yet steadily. Your voice when you spoke was soft and sweet as a cat's meow. I wanted to hold your small slender body and stare into your large endearing eyes forever... but you saw your father approaching across the road and I had to pretend I had somewhere to go --

My dear Maxine, will I ever see you again?

                          Yours, in hopes that this will somehow find its way back to you in case I don't,

This is about a cat by the way. A cat named Maxine who I met yesterday while walking with a friend. It's basically a true story, except her father was actually rather nice and chatted with us for a while, and we really did have to run away for fear of being late to a rehearsal. Ah Maxine-the-manx-cross, you are so adorable. I nearly died from cuteness overload. Maxine, if you or your daddy are out there reading this, you absolutely made my day yesterday. I wish you all the happiness and cuteness a cat can have in her happy cat life.

Saturday, May 11, 2013


The table is set,
The board laid out,
The wood pieces thrown,
And mixed all about.

"Draw your pieces -
Begin," you say,
"You go first."
And we start to play.

The first word out:
"Sin? No, sine."
Now onto the next in line...

Oho! I wrote a rhyming poem. Aren't you proud of me? I have no idea why I suck at rhyming so much, but I do, and as a result I hate writing rhyming poetry, so I usually never do it. I'm so proud of myself today.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Predator and Prey - a mystery by Jacqueline Wong, Ashley Tsang, and Michelle Feng

“Last month, the police force apprehended the chief suspect of the recent string of serial killings, but another person has recently gone missing. All of the victims were men in their twenties and thirties, and were last seen leaving respectable pubs after an evening of revelry. Each disappearance occurred roughly one month apart, with the first being thirteen months ago. As the death toll mounts, it seems that the police have fallen upon the wrong suspect. One can only wonder whether they are up to the challenge. This has been Bruce Navid for the Crime Radio News. Thanks for listening, we’ll be right back after a short break.”
    The jingle of the newscast played for a few seconds, before being replaced by the sound of saxophones and piano keys. “Tired after a long day at work? Settle down for a relaxing dinner at Acheron’s Kitchen, voted the best comfort food in town.” The car radio was switched off abruptly by the middle-aged man in the driver’s seat.
    “Damn,” muttered Dan as the light ahead turned yellow. “That idiot Sullivan screwed up again. Whaddya expect...” After a moment’s impatient pause, he cranked the wheel and turned into an alley instead. Three-fourths of the way along he pulled into a parking lot behind a brick building. Locking and slamming the door, he strode up to the back door.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Lit Terms for Dummies - Internal Conflict

"To be, or not to be: that is the question." - Hamlet

I came up with this idea after witnessing a rather entertaining scene while brushing my teeth. Internal Conflict came to mind immediately. 

(A Bathroom in our Household)
Enter two sisters.
YOUNGER SISTER: Oh my god. What is that? Shelley, there's a bump on my forehead. What IS it? [squinting] Is it a pimple? A wart? Oh my god, it's a pimple. How do I get rid of it? I want to poke it... should I poke it?
OLDER SISTER: Don't poke it.
YOUNGER SISTER: If I poke it it will get worse. Should I pop it?
OLDER SISTER: Don't pop it.
YOUNGER SISTER: No... I shouldn't. Don't touch it, don't poke it, don't pop it, just walk away... But how do I walk away from my own forehead? [pained expression] Don't poke, don't poke, don't poke. I WANT TO POKE IT SO MUCH! BUT I CAN'T!

 To poke, or not to poke...
 THAT is the question.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ode to a Sandwich

O delectable baguette!
In a bite, your hard exterior betrays a warm and airy heart;
Your perfectly browned and crackled crust
Reveals your delightfully delicate flesh -
O pure and tender meat!
O sweet and gentle fruit!
O heaven of taste!

A very quick very random poem from the prompt, "tell a story in the form of a love letter." I realized I've been using capital letters a lot recently in my titles. At first I thought all lower-case looked better - softer, somehow - but sometimes you just need caps.

I would like to redo this one day and polish it a more... maybe put it in sonnet form... but chances are slim that I'll find the time, especially for the likes of iambic pentameter! (O elusive meter who doth always escape me!)

Saturday, April 20, 2013


springtime pairs wander
in green and secluded glades
scattered with puddles

Lollipop Biker Boy

Lollipop Biker Boy,
Sugar prep lollipop boy
Thought you were smoking a cigarette
But sweetness suits you better.

Cute boy with your canvas boat shoes,
You're lucky because it rained this morning but it's stopped now
And you're dressed for the weather.

My Adonis-like Lollipop Boy,
If you would only slow down and pull over,
Lean over and,
With one foot on the curb, not losing your balance,
Stop me on the sidewalk,
You'd kiss me on the mouth
And your lips would taste sweet...

Friday, April 5, 2013

you know,...

You know, what makes me hate a rainy day the most is the sanguinary tang of it - the stifling sting of metal and the emptied, sucked-out carcasses of worms leftover from a pitiful dawn.

Shostakovich - a poem in code

Saturday, March 30, 2013

two haikus

magnolia blooms,
like wind-blown spirits, bless this
white-petaled morning.


almost like summer,
yet on the sands the winds raise
goosebumps on my legs.

Monday, March 25, 2013

a poem that should have belonged to yesterday

How come I didn't write this yesterday is a mystery to me. I honestly don't know why I didn't think of it then. I didn't think of it at all until I was on the bus today, after writing another poem on a Tim Horton's paper cup-holder since I had no real paper. I guess I'm getting my inspiration back. I always get ideas on the bus. You'll see the Timmy's poem eventually... I can't decide whether to post it yet since I might incorporate it into another project. This one might end up in that project too. We'll see. And in case you're interested, there wasn't enough space on the cup-holder thing so this one was written on a receipt from the music store.

Today off the train
I met you, and then we met
an earnest old beggar man with a Gandalf beard.
He seemed like a sweet old grandfather,
if a bit dusty.

I gave him the box of cookies meant for you,
And he thanked me and said
"That's very kind.
Now I have a granola bar and some cookies."

And we went on our way.
You never got to try my cookies,
and now all we have are strawberries which are a bit squished and not very filling;
But our hunger means little on a day like this -
I'll live off the warmth of your hands


It's been so long since I posted anything. It seems like all my ideas from last month ended up unfinished. Somehow I lost momentum. But now it's officially spring and I feel like it'll be coming back. A poem that was actually from last week:

There's the chill from the sheets when first I crawl into bed,
The light dance of raindrops helpless outside my window and
The blued edges of vision as night makes worlds vulnerable;

But between the sheets there is safety,
As warmth spreads from my core to extremities
And my toes become warm.
It is there in the familiarity of the pillows
And the purring of the cat curled up alongside,
A picture of peace,
Exalting in the silkiness of his fur,
Stroked meditatively until sleep pulls me away and my hand

And his purrs fade smoothly away like waves on the sea
Into soft, slow snores.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

february viewfinder

Imagine you are a tiny insect in winter, crawling over a vast tree-land. The bark ridges become mountains capped with snowy fungus, and the spongy mosses hard-hearted coniferous forests. With unsurpassable determination you scale your way over peeling cliffs of mint-white fungus; insurmountable single-mindedness carries you through the deep, dark brush and tendrils which tower above your hardy, exo-skeletoned body. Hidden in the shale-like folds of fungus and the understory of gentle green, you are at least sheltered from the wind and sun. You make your way homeward, with the self-sacrificial determination only an ant can possess, across the wide organic landscape that, deep inside, pulses and grows along with you.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dear Beautiful - another love letter term 2 project

I can't believe I haven't posted for so long, but there's been a lot of travel and I haven't really been able to stay in one place long enough to perfect something to put up. I started so many things in the last few weeks but never properly finished any of them! There will definitely be more things posted in a few more weeks.

For our term 2 project we were supposed to redo a journal entry from term 1. That was really hard for me. I had some okay ideas but they never really worked out. In the end I had to fall back on an oldie but goodie - another love letter to a stranger. Well, I shouldn't really say "fall back" because it's more like fall forward, she was so inspiring for some reason. So here's my term 2 project, "Dear Beautiful"...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Society Versus Women

Whoa, I'm using a lot of caps in my titles these days. This is important too. It really touched me. This is such a shockingly eloquent portrayal of how women are still judged in society, even in the 21st century. All you need to do is look at the picture. You will understand.

These days we may feel as though women's rights are a problem of the past, if you just look around you - on the TV, to everyday conversations - you will see that there is still something seriously wrong with the way society views women. Women may have equality under the law - Canadians are relatively forward-thinking - but in society, there is no such equality.

Many prejudices against different groups exist in society today. It makes me wonder - when will people be truly free to express themselves and be who they are? be happy?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Being New School

Hi! You may have realized I actually use capital letters in the post title for once. Well, that's because this is a very important post.

Remember I mentioned making a video some time ago? Well I made it. And it could win me a full or partial scholarship to study music in New York, at Mannes the New School for Music! It's certainly far from perfect. I'm a musician and a writer, not a film director. And I did write the music and words myself. You can see them on the crumpled up paper. I apologize for my terrible handwriting.

Now you've seen it, I would really appreciate it if you would recommend me for this scholarship! Please go to the link below to leave a comment by Feb 10:

Yeah, I know I'm crazy to try and go into music. It's going to be tough. But I will be happy. So thanks for your help!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

a very innocent poem

for Crystal

peaked blooms of aerated cream
flower lush upon the smooth delicacy below --
Your pink flickering tongue laps kittenishly,
warm and wet,
and licks a crumb from your soft, sugar-coated lips
and your teeth like candied chalk
which nibble and bite
part with the sour-sweet pleasure
in spooning up the five-minute morning sin that is
buttercream and lemon


This is a very innocent poem. It is about a lovely lemon buttercream cake, quite possibly the best cake I ever ate, that my dear friend Crystal made. She is very talented. One day she will be the top pastry chef in a fancy patisserie, which is good because I will no doubt be a poor (or poor-ish, at the least) musician who can't afford expensive cakes... unless I have a very close friend who was in on the dessert business. Lucky me!

Anyhow. Such a good cake! Oh my goodness. So tempting, so irresistible - not that I tried to resist. It was a cake that demanded a seductive poem. But really. This is a very innocent poem. If you don't think so you should have read the original version. This is the edited and censored final edition. As my other dear friend Howard says, art shouldn't be censored, but... even I wouldn't have felt comfortable posting the original un-censored draft.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

another love letter... a stranger on the bus. I write too many of these, although I've never posted one here before. Sometimes when I see someone on the bus or on the street and they have that je-ne-sais-quoi... charisma, I suppose, and I can't resist writing something. I'd like to meet these people in real life, talk to them, but at the same time not really because I'd be afraid of being awkward. I'd prefer to just be awkward on paper. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to write one of these and actually give it to the person. I wouldn't have to talk to them but... it would be a start. What would you feel if someone came up to you as they were getting off the bus and left you a love letter like this? Wouldn't you feel flattered and happy that someone would think of you that way? I would. Or maybe you'd feel creeped out that someone was watching you the whole time. It would depend on the style of writing, I suppose.

This is not very good, I think, but I like it somehow. I guess I'm just a creepy people-watcher.

to a cutie I never knew (this would go on the front of the folded-up paper if I ever went through with it)

Cute blond boy on the bus with brushed hair and
kind eyebrows,
You seem so humble with your canvas jacket the colour of yellowing summer grasses
And your sky-gray scarf and worn-looking backpack.

Your expression so soft and gentle,
I want to ask you out for coffee.
But I am scared -
You seem so sweet that I am afraid you'll be uninterested,
or that you're already seeing someone.
And plus I'm a wimp
And this is my stop

Stepping off the crowded downtown bus
onto a gray and puddly street,
I look back wistfully.
Goodbye, cute boy I never knew.

Monday, January 21, 2013

flower toast and a tall tale

I spent Friday afternoon surfing the internet and looking at food and craft ideas. So this was my breakfast on Saturday morning. Took way too long to make, I definitely need to practice making this. If it weren't for my incredibly competitive perfectionist nature I would have given up after the first like... 4 attempts.

Oh well. Since I seem to have an aversion to cooking anything other than eggs, rice and dessert, this will be something to add to my repertoire.

Other than that I have a very interesting story for today. It almost sounds like a tall tale, it's so interesting. But I assure you it is true.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


"stars like salt crystals scattered across black asphalt"

I was walking outside one night last weekend and, lucky me, for once it wasn't raining. It was pretty near freezing though, and as I hurried along the sidewalk with my shivering elbows tucked in as close as I could, I looked up and I looked down and that's what I saw.

I like the feel of the words in my mouth, especially "asphalt". Such lovely consonants. Not sure if this will end up in a poem or something else yet. We'll see.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

prompt from Andrea Hoff - senses

a musty smell of old crumbs
cloys the dim-lit room,
having sunk itself into the stained carpet that peels away to reveal the
yellow linoleum below,
and having leeched into the plaster walls white as day-old snow
and stagnant air

the comforting, peeling scent of cracked old libraries honeyed with age

the light flickers reassuringly as I enter and
breath in
( inhale )

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

a scarf and a submission to New Shoots

island winter
we are smothered     cradled in

rainforest snow
     , drips,

Sleep through the icy clouds of dreams -
The snow calls forth nightmares and yearnings which grow hot in our hearts.
We eat and
cinnamon twigs

Cling to one another and air the embers.

the world cries and flutters and straightens itself
in winter
we live

seafoam snow, bright as magic

I hold in my hand a ring of diamonds that leaves me cold and poor,
So I wrap myself more tightly
and disappear into the melting peace.


This is a poem for cold weather that I submitted to the New Shoots publication. Snow makes me feel so good, don't you think so too? Too bad we almost never have it in Vancouver. What is the point of it being so cold if it doesn't snow?

I suppose it gives me an excuse to knit. I finished this circle scarf/cowl thing on Christmas eve, well technically Christmas day since it was past midnight, after being sick for a few days and having no energy to do anything except read, watch movies and knit.

Here is my beautiful scarf modeled by my beautiful cat. His name is Pasha. I think it suits him, no? He looks very glamourous. Like a cat movie star.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

another year...

My New Year's resolution is a bit of a misnomer because I made it this afternoon. This year I resolve to post more often on this blog. So watch out world..... here I come........

Starting tomorrow. 'Cause tonight I have to study The Picture of Dorian Gray.