Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Favorites & Giveaway



if i could fly
i would soar over the sunset
the sky painted in blue and orange

i would spread my wings
toward the mystery of the horizon
floating on the clarity of clouds

listen to my heart beat
to the rhythm of celestial music
breathe in breathe out

exhaling
exploring
exhilarating

would i be free?
~ ~ ~
As the year draws to a close, I would love to share with you some of my favorite poems and photos from 2013. This year, I have really enjoyed taking pictures of nature, especially landscapes and sunsets. Birds in flight migrating to a warmer climate in the winter are such an inspiration to me, conveying freedom and peacefulness.



the last rose of summer
gently fades away in a starlit dream
and when i awake,
pink petals fall like tears from heaven-
i scatter them on my pillow
~ ~ ~
One of my other passions is taking photos of flowers, and roses are my favorite. I so miss the colors of Spring and, in the meantime, I will dream on. Dream along with me.



She remembered
the last time they kissed
under a street lamp,
the city became blurred
crowds disappeared

She was no longer
standing on the sidewalk
as if he had lifted her up,
and in that frozen moment
it all became clear, final

When she opened her eyes
his face was lost again
amidst the crowds,
the scent of his cologne
lingered on her silk scarf

She left it in the taxi
and never looked back
~ ~ ~
This year, I started a City Streets series of fictional urban poems taking place in New York City, and this is one of my favorites. The series tells a story about starting over and searching for true love. I have had so much fun taking photographs of New York City and look forward to continuing the series next year.
~ ~ ~ 
It's been a wonderful year of blogging. I have become friends with so many talented writers, photographers, and artists who enrich my world with your words and images. I appreciate your great support and your thoughtful comments. Thank you!
~ ~ ~
And now it's your turn to choose your favorite. Please pick your favorite photograph from any of my posts this year, and let me know in a comment. There will be a random drawing, and the winner will receive a print of the favorite photograph, matted and framed in a 5 x 7 size. I will ship it anywhere in the world. This giveaway is on until next Sunday, January 5, when I will reveal the winner. Enjoy and have fun!
~ ~ ~
Much love and Happy New Year to all! xx
~ ~ ~
Sharing with

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Embrace


embrace me, winter
with a cotton-soft blanket,
teach me resilience-
how does the oak tree stand still,
baring her soul to the sky?


Today, December 21st, is the winter solstice. And so winter begins in all its glory as well as challenges. Let's hope we can embrace it with the same grace as nature. This poem is a tanka, posted for the Sunday Mini-Challenge at the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Also sharing with Poets United and The View From Right Here
~ ~ ~
Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday Season!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sky Reflection


Why do they call it
morning rush hour?

Where is everyone
running to
or running from?

Stop

The pulse of the city
beats faster
and faster
and faster

Breathe

I look up
and notice
the fog has lifted
and the sky
turned the deepest
of blues

Freeze-frame

And in a split second
the train's doors
shut in front of me
leaving me behind

I'm late

But that sky
oh, that sky was worth
the wait


Hope you enjoy this little slice of life from my morning commute. The first photo shows a reflection of the Chrysler building and the blue sky in a glass skyscraper across from it. The second photo shows the Empire State building in the distance, and the entrance to a subway station. The last photo shows a subway train as it leaves the station. Can't tell you how many times I've missed that train. Smiles.


My poem is posted for Poetry Jam, where the topic this week is "inside-outside." I'm also sharing my photos with Skywatch Friday and Weekend Reflections. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Light a Candle


light a candle for all of life's bliss,
let it glow on earth's white mantle-
for those long gone you miss,
light a candle

let the power of love sparkle,
open your heart and make a wish
upon a star, be a shining example

spread glitters of hope in the mist,
as a peace dove, ever so gentle-
let it glow like a sunrise's kiss,
light a candle


It snowed the whole day today. It was the perfect time to decorate the Christmas tree while watching snowflakes fall outside the window. One of the things I love about this time of year is a celebration of lights. As it gets darker out in the winter time, it's comforting to light candles or just gaze peacefully at the lights on the Christmas tree. To me, light is a symbol of peace, love, and hope. May it shine this Holiday Season and in the New Year. 
~ ~ ~
This roundel is posted for dVerse where the topic is Candles & Lights. I also prepared this post for Gardens Eye View for Seasonal Celebrations. Sharing with Poets United.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fire & Ice


What I like about winter
is not the dark,
but the lightness of being 
next to you

it's not the cold,
but the warmth of your love
shining on me
like sunrise

it's not the gray,
but the color of your words
speaking softly
to my soul

not the aches and pains,
but the way you heal me,
how you make this heart
of mine, whole again

What I like about winter
is this undying,
burning, melting-
You & I are fire & ice


Although winter starts on December 21st, it's been already very cold and we're expecting more snow this weekend. Nothing better than sitting by the fireplace on cold nights, snuggling up with someone you love! This poem is posted for dVerse, where the topic is "hearth, home, and common speech." I'm also sharing my black and white photo with Skywatch Friday. The sky can be quite beautiful on a snowy day. Enjoy and stay warm!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Festive Lights


that night,
the town lit up
in neon colors,
but amidst
the green & red,
all he could see was blue

even the street
turned
a deep indigo,
casting a soft
spotlight
on his face

and he became part
of a picture-perfect
moment,
yet wondered why
he felt so alone
in a crowd
~ ~ ~
Posted for dVerse and shared with Poets United.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Purple Sunset


i chased after a glowing sunset tonight
as if it were the last one to behold,
and captured it before it was out of sight-
remember this next time we kiss

our love is here for us to hold,
and when the sun goes down at night
it keeps us warm if it gets cold

but love is fragile in all its might,
love is rare like pure gold,
love is transient as a purple sunset-
remember this next time we kiss
~ ~ ~
A romantic roundel posted for Kerry's challenge at the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. Shared with Poets United and Skywatch Friday. I rarely write poems that rhyme, but the roundel form is so enchanting and charming and I couldn't resist. The sunset was memorable tonight, worth chasing after. I couldn't resist that either. Smiles :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Storm


lightning
slices through the fog,
it crashes upon
a tree branch,
barren
framed by my window

the sky turns
dark,
i remember the cold
as if walking
on marble floors,
barefoot

it rains
a sliver of moon
and you,
silhouetted
against its light, fading
into me
~~~
Posted for Kerry's challenge in black & white at the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Grateful


I am grateful that I can see
the beauty in the world
despite its imperfections,
celebrating the good
and praying for betterment

I am grateful that I can hear
the sound of peace
even in trees losing their leaves,
there is always a new bud
longing to bloom in spring

I am grateful that I can sense
the scent of truth
keeping me aware
of long lost secrets,
it's all in the open

I am grateful that I can speak
my soulful voice,
no one can deny
freedom of expression
~ let creativity soar ~

I am grateful that I can feel
the love within me,
around me and 
from above
and especially from you

I am grateful for life itself
~ ~ ~
I still have pink mums in a pot that I brought inside and put on my window sill to brighten up the day. Wishing everyone a joyful Thanksgiving full of abundance and gratitude! Thank you to all my wonderful readers and friends for your support. Much love. xx
~ ~ ~
Sharing with:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Dream Buds


in the stillness of the night,
i have become a water lily bud
longing to unfold my dream petals
towards the sky, and let dew drops
fall on me like answered prayers


Over at the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Kerry invites us to write another tanka, a poem in 5 lines, as part of an ongoing series on this wonderful poetry form. I have enjoyed participating in the previous challenges with my offerings of tanka, The Last Rose and Winds of Change. This time, the characteristics to focus on are "a simple clear image with unlimited suggestiveness" and "stillness." I thought of a water lily as it opens up to possibilities. These are photos I took in the summer. There are no more water lilies blooming right now other than in our dreams. Smiles. Enjoy and have a wonderful week!
~ ~ ~
Also sharing with:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

City Moon


the city moon is like a streetlight, casting a glow on a homeless man


Unfortunately, in New York City, many are still homeless. It is a tough reality. There are several charitable organizations in the city, providing shelter and food to the homeless. This holiday season, I will be doing some volunteer work to help the homeless. 
~ ~ ~
This is posted for dVerse Poets, prompt on an "American Sentence," a poem in 17 syllables. Also sharing my photos with Skywatch Friday and Weekend Reflections.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

November Skies & Flowers


i wonder what lies beyond
November skies ~ do flowers
bloom over and above the moon?


I love how November skies look so dramatic against the golden and red hues of Autumn. There are still flowers blooming at this time of the year. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many colorful blooms--zinnias, daisies, and mums among them. I took these pictures at a nearby farm in the countryside of New York, and created a mosaic of flower macros. My haiku is contemplative today. I am just amazed by the beauty and mystery of the universe. And so that is the question that came to me. Something to ponder for the day!
~ ~ ~
Sharing with:
Poets United

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Color of Hope


What's the color of hope?

If a daisy could speak,
she'd say, just turn my face
towards the sun and take it all in,
until it becomes a part of me,
and when it's cold and dark,
my heart will still be ablaze
with the color of hope

If a tree could speak,
he'd say, just look within-
hope is already inside me,
if I don't take it for granted
and remember to say thanks,
until it blooms into spring again,
my roots are firmly planted

What's the color of hope?

It's a state of mind-
the leaves would say,
rustling under my feet
as I walk on this golden path
to find myself once more,
and believe that all is well
when I just ~am~


Today was another gorgeous Autumn Day that just spills with poetry. My poem is in response to two challenges. At dVerse Poets, Claudia invites us to write about "color" and what better season than Autumn to be inspired by color? At the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Kerry invites us to write a poem "in an idyllic setting, but with a person in blatant contrast." When I walk in nature, I always gather strength and hope. Self-doubt seems to melt away when I become open to something greater than myself. Enjoy!
~ ~ ~
Also sharing with:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

City Streets Part 5: Cafés


They loved going to cafés in the city, especially in the Fall when it started to get a little cold outside. It was nice to be inside, all warm and cozy, savoring a cup of coffee (decaffeinated for her). That Sunday morning in late October, the cab driver dropped them off in front of Central Café in Pershing Square on 42nd Street.

But they were in the mood for something Italian. They walked downtown and passed by Benvenuto Café on Broadway. She noted that Benvenuto means Welcome in Italian, so inviting. It was still warm out and some people were sitting outside the café at small tables on the sidewalk. But they decided they wanted to be inside.


So they went to Eataly on 5th Avenue for a cup of cappuccino and their favorite dessert—tiramisú. The aroma of the coffee reminded her of a vacation in Italy where life was not as fast as a New York minute.

They sat at a table in the corner and talked about everything from the meaning of life to the meaning of tiramisú. The waiter said that tiramisú literally means “pick me up” because the rich flavor apparently puts you in a better mood.

They smiled at his translation. “See, the tiramisú is already working,” the waiter said, smiling back and swiftly returning to the kitchen for seconds.


She recounted her trip to Italy and how she fell in love with the culture, the history, and especially the warmth of its people.

“Did you ever hear of the Italian expression, il dolce far niente?,” she asked him.

“No, what does that mean?,” he asked back.

She said: “It means the sweetness of doing nothing. And not just when you’re on vacation. But taking some time every day to enjoy a special moment. A wonderful thought, don’t you think?”


He nodded and scribbled something in Italian on the paper napkin. It was misspelled, but she resisted the urge to correct him. Why spoil the moment?

“I love you, too,” she said, as she shared with him another bite of tiramisú.


life can be sweeter
if you take the time
to share dessert
~ ~ ~
This is the next installment of my fictional urban poems and haibun, this time with a café theme, Italian style. I just couldn't resist. Smiles. :)
~ ~ ~
You can find my other urban writings here:  City Streets,  City Streets: Part 2,  City Streets: Part 3, City Streets 4: The Bridge Enjoy!
~ ~ ~
Sharing with

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Winds of Change


in this fleeting moment
a soon-to-be memory, slipping
through our fingers—if we let go
of our grasp, it stays forever
imprinted on the palm of our hand


trees know when to surrender-
they shed themselves
of the old, and embrace the new
baring their soul, until
nothing is left but their shadow


we sway up and down with
the wind of change; it carries us
to a higher plane, returning
us to earth, where we belong
amidst blades of grass


This weekend, I'm sharing with you a set of three poems written in the tanka style, a Japanese poetry form in five lines. My poems are in response to the Sunday Mini-Challenge at the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, where Kerry invites us to explore this lovely form. One of the characteristics of classical tanka is to evoke awareness of things which are beautiful but transient, as life constantly changes. And so I was inspired to write about embracing change, while being aware of the beauty of each single moment. I took the photographs in the countryside of New York as Autumn continues to amaze me and uplift me. Enjoy and have a wonderful week ahead!
~ ~ ~
Sharing also with:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

First Date


love at first sight
sight of crimson trees
trees reflected in the lake
lake full of golden leaves

the kiss of autumn
autumn crisp and tender
tender hearts ready
ready to surrender

a walk in the woods
woods with twists and turns
turns from green to amber
amber and love that burns


This afternoon, I went for a lovely nature walk by a lake in the countryside of New York on a beautiful, sunny Autumn day. I love seeing how the colors keep changing from green to gold, crimson, and amber at this time of year. The reflections on the lake are so pretty and inspiring. It was such a refreshing and joyful walk. What a magical season!


My poem is posted for the Sunday Mini-Challenge at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, where Grace invites us to write in the style of Loop Poetry. The last word of the first line is the first word of the next line and so on, with a rhyme scheme of abcb. I had so much fun composing this poem inspired by my walk by the lake. I especially enjoyed running into the two cute puppies in the woods. Love at first sight, don't you think? Enjoy!
~ ~ ~
Sharing also with:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Autumn Sky


Remember
that day in October
colored in fuchsia and chiffon
adorned with satin ribbons
dreams, uncurled and set free

Remember
that day in October
dressed in roses and intricate lace
pearls of love beaded in my hair
my brown eyes, deeper than the earth

Remember
that day in October
falling from the Autumn sky
into your arms, standing by you
on nature's altar

Remember
that day in October
vows woven into silk
to have and to hold
never look backward

Always catch me if I fall
~ ~ ~

Sharing with:


Sunday, September 29, 2013

City Streets 4: The Bridge


she met him half way
between light and shadows
on the bridge’s promenade,
where it seems easy to fall in love
again, to get lost in blue skies
and the magic of sunlight
sparkling on the water

it was on this bridge,
so wide and old and wise
that she felt a connection
as infinite as the city’s skyline,
her heart of glass, vulnerable
yet wanting to be reflective
of what is pure and kind


it was on this bridge
that she learned to let go,
to leave the past behind
and walk across into a new life
not knowing whether
it would work or not,
but better than standing still

she did not want to be rescued
only to be loved unconditionally,
maybe it was the blueness
of the sky, the water, or his eyes
but she saw hope in all of it
and she held on,
her hand tightly clasped into his


This is Part 4 of my fictional urban poems, now taking place on the Brooklyn Bridge promenade, featured in the first photo. I enjoyed taking these photos this weekend on such a beautiful early Autumn day. The promenade is renowned for romantic walks by the water, while admiring New York City's skyline. In the second photo, you can see the Statue of Liberty in the distance. In the third photo, the Freedom Tower is on the far left.


And here is the picturesque Brooklyn Bridge, built in 1883 in the neo-Gothic architectural style. You can actually walk on the bridge all the way across to Manhattan. A bridge can be so symbolic, and being there sparked an idea for this next poem in my urban series. You can find my other urban poems in this series at City Streets,  City Streets: Part 2, and City Streets: Part 3. Enjoy and have a wonderful week ahead!
~ ~ ~
Sharing with:

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Last Rose


the last rose of summer
gently fades away in a starlit dream
and when i awake,
pink petals fall like tears from heaven-
i scatter them on my pillow
~ ~ ~
Today at the Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, Kerry challenges us to write a Tanka, a Japanese poetry form in 5 lines. A classical Tanka follows a minimalist approach with sensibility, emotion and suggestiveness. As I was wandering around the garden, I was taken by a pink rose fading away with the end of summer, but still beautiful and dreamy. This is the emotion that it evoked in me, which I tried to express in my photo and poem.
~ ~ ~
Sharing also with:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Free Falling


caramel mornings~
oh the magic of you
turning into the color of eternity
like a thousand leaves,
free falling kisses

oh the sweetness of you
loving me like there is no tomorrow
i savor each moment,
you send me
to Autumn's golden skies

oh the breeze of you
renews me,
i become that leaf
floating in mid-air
suspended

and I want to stay there
in that little piece
of heaven
where I am lighter,
softer, happier


Today, I was inspired by a heart-shaped leaf, turning into Autumn colors. Although Fall is officially starting on the 22nd of September, I am already starting to see some signs. It is getting a little cooler, and I have noticed some trees beginning to change, standing out in the rest of the landscape, which is still green. I took these photographs today at a nearby pond in my hometown in the countryside of New York. What I love about Fall is the "turning" not only of colors, but a shift, a change. I think Fall is a romantic season, perfect for falling in love ... with love, with life, with hope, with trust, with faith ... free falling.
~ ~ ~
Enjoy my poem and photos! xx
~ ~ ~
Sharing with:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Memories of Summer

velvet sky, porcelain clouds
memories of summer
in a Polaroid shot, faded
clasped in your hand

as you greet the morning
with a warm embrace
a life to hold again, a present
saved by grace, grateful

listen to the voice
of peace
carried by the winds
of hope

it whispers: bring me home
on the path to freedom
so we can dance again
on fields of grass, not war

My poem is posted for dVerse where today's prompt is Poetics--Try to Remember. I imagined a soldier clasping a photograph of a loved one, of summers in green fields, holding onto happy memories and hope. With the recent events in the world, I pray for peace. This post is also shared with Poets United and Skywatch Friday. Blessings to all.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

City Streets: Part 3


She remembered
the last time they kissed
under a street lamp,
the city became blurred
crowds disappeared

She was no longer
standing on the sidewalk
as if he had lifted her up,
and in that frozen moment
it all became clear, final

When she opened her eyes
his face was lost again
amidst the crowds,
the scent of his cologne
lingered on her silk scarf

She left it in the taxi
and never looked back


This is Part 3 of my fictional series of poems taking place in an urban setting. The first was City Streets and the second was City Streets: Part 2. Thank you for your encouragement to continue on as the previous posts received a wonderful response. I'm having a lot of fun taking photos in New York City to go with the story line as it develops. It's about endings and beginnings, and the obstacles and learning lessons along the way.


The poem is my contribution to the Sunday Mini-Challenge at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, where Kerry invites us to write in the style of the Imagists. This poetry style is focused on "an image which presents an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time." I really love this style as my poems tend to be visual, especially because they are usually inspired by my photos. Enjoy and have a wonderful week ahead!
~ ~ ~
Also sharing with:

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer Colors


she
is
the color
of crimson passion
the shade of golden sunlight
she writes promises in the blue sky, revealed

she dances to the rhythm of gentle breezes
renewed by morning dew drops
open petals, unfolding
her name
is
Hope


This weekend, we went for a lovely country ride in Rhinebeck, New York, a little farther North from where we live. We came across a beautiful field of flowers in bright, vivid colors. What a pleasant surprise. Of course, I had to stop to take pictures! As you can imagine, walking through this green field in the fresh country air inspired a poem.


I'm participating in the Sunday Mini-Challenge at Imaginary Garden With Real Toads, where we are invited to write a poem in the Fibonacci form. Mine has the following word count: (1/1/2/3/5/8/8/5/3/2/1/1). I like the shape the poem has taken, like a field of flowers! I'm also sharing my poem with Poets United and my photographs with Shine the Divine. Welcome new followers and friends. Enjoy and have a colorful week ahead! xx