Do you care?

Image credit: Dan Grinwis- Unsplash

Are you lonely

In the belly of the desert?

Are you aware

of the sand dunes ahead?

Do you care

that your path leads nowhere?

that each day is a despair?

and your heart can only bear so much?

Your shoes need repair,

your soul needs comfort,

all the wears and tears.

You say a prayer

And you stay your course

For you, are not scared.

This poem is a response to the #WhatDoYouSee Visual challenge prompt.


Catch the sunlight

Photo by Pixabay

You told me to show up

And never give up a fight

To get to new height

I’ll have to catch the sunlight

You said to forget and forgive

Take the positive and make up for the bad

Don’t be mad at life, be glad

For me, no longer chasing the dark

I’m here to catch the sunlight

To declare that rematch with life

Not with strife and not with hatred

This time I’m gonna do it right


We’d know

Photo by Pixabay

A tree growing up was pliable

Its leaves were weak and so were the petals

Then its physique changed for the tougher

Bark got rough and the leaves got hard.

That’s when it died.

When we were born

We were torn into this world

Our skin soft and our fingers curled

This whole new place was a blur.

And the years added on

Everyday from dusk till dawn

We were a step closer to bygone.

We were eons of anguish

We were decades of dismay.

We had overstayed our places on Earth

We got rough and numb

And we’d know it was time to go.


My father wasn’t an alcoholic

Photo by cottonbro

My father drinks

He wasn’t an alcoholic

He just drinks

so much

that I’m afraid he might sink one day

He finds fun

at the drinking table

He finds joy

next to the bottle

He never does anything wrong

Never stumbles where he doesn’t belong

Never raises his hands against anyone,

Never strays into any dismays


he still drinks

so much

that I’m afraid he might sink one day

in his own sadness


Poem: The Flip-Flops (Đôi Dép)

In high school, I was in a literature-specialized class. Needless to say, most of everyone in my class were girls. And what would a bunch of literature-crazed teenage girls like? — Love poems.

Not the poems we learned in class, the ones we liked were the ones we shared on little pieces of notes. They were the simple love poems that were raw, sincere and to us, utterly romantic. Till today, I remembered this love poem about flip flops, and how from then on, I have always found literature pieces with analogies of ordinary objects interesting. It was not the object of the story, but the ability to tell the story that made a difference.

Here’s a little translation of the poem

Đôi Dép

Tác giả: Nguyễn Trung Kiên 

Bài thơ đầu tiên anh viết tặng em
Là bài thơ anh kể về đôi dép
Khi nỗi nhớ trong lòng da diết
Những vật tầm thường cũng viết thành thơ

Hai chiếc dép kia gặp nhau tự bao giờ
Có yêu nhau đâu mà chẳng rời nửa bước
Cùng gánh vác những nẻo đường xuôi ngược
Lên thảm nhung, xuống cát bụi cùng nhau

Cùng bước, cùng mòn, không kẻ thấp người cao
Cùng chia sẻ sức người đời chà đạp
Dẫu vinh nhục không đi cùng kẻ khác
Số phận chiếc này phụ thuộc ở chiếc kia

Nếu ngày nào một chiếc dép mất đi
Mọi thay thế đều trở thành khập khiễng
Giống nhau lắm nhưng đời sẽ biết
Hai chiếc này chẳng phải một đôi đâu

Cũng như mình trong những lúc vắng nhau
Bước hụt hẫng cứ nghiêng về một phía
Dẫu bên cạnh đã có người thay thế
Mà trong lòng nỗi nhớ cứ chênh vênh

Đôi dép vô tri khăng khít song hành
Chẳng thề nguyện mà không hề giả dối
Chẳng hứa hẹn mà không hề phản bội
Lối đi nào cũng có mặt cả đôi

Không thể thiếu nhau trên bước đường đời
Dẫu mỗi chiếc ở một bên phải trái
Nhưng tôi yêu em ở những điều ngược lại
Gắn bó nhau vì một lối đi chung

Hai mảnh đời thầm lặng bước song song
Sẽ dừng lại khi chỉ còn một chiếc
Chỉ còn một là không còn gì hết
Nếu không tìm được chiếc thứ hai kia …

The Flip-Flops

By: Nguyễn Trung Kiên 

The first poem I wrote for you
Was the poem about flip flops
When the missing had become so deep
Even the most ordinary items would make poetry

The two flip-flop have met since ever
It wasn’t even love but they’ve never separated
Shouldering the running about roads
Up the luscious carpets, down the dust together

Both walked, both worn, neither one was better
Both shared the stomping of people
Either up or down, would not go with someone else
This one’s fate depended on the other

If one day, one flipflop was missing
Every replacement would just be crooked
Even if they looked similar, people would notice
Those two weren’t an actual pairs

Just like us when one was not here
Stepping crookedly towards a side
Even if there was someone else
Deep inside, the missing would still be there

The inanimate flipflops were side by side
Didn’t need any swearing but never faking
Didn’t need any promising but never betraying
Every path both were there

Couldn’t be without the other in life
Though one was on the right, the other on the left
But I loved you for the opposites
Together because we shared the same path

Two separate lives silently walking side by side
Only stopped when there was only one left
When there was only one meant there was nothing left
If there wasn’t the other one.

It has been fun writing for the Discover prompt this month.

Discover Prompt Day 9: Pairs.