The Web Poetry Corner
DreamMachineThe Web Poetry Corner is a Dream Machine Site
The Dream Machine --- The Imagination of the World Wide Web
Google

The Web Poetry Corner

S. M. Chen

of

La Crescenta, CA, US

Home Authors Alphabetically Authors Date Submitted Authors Country Submission Rules Feedback



If you have comments or suggestions for S. M. Chen, you can contact him or her at:
guest@loop.com (S. M. Chen )


Find a book store near you, no matter where you are located in the U.S.A.!


Cerzan

...the best independent ISP in the Twin Cities

Gypsy's Photo Gallery


Seafoam

by

S. M. Chen

How many times I've seen you dash
For near or distant shore;
Time and again have heard you crash
Against the rocky floor,
And frequently have let you wash
My cobwebbed mind once more.

That day, a day I won't forget
(At least don't think I will;
I say that now, with ease, and yet
When past the well-known hill,
Though I might make a scene and fret,
My mind may then be still).

That day, for me a special one,
A groundhog day (recall the way
He vanished when I threw the stone?)
The dead seal pup in seaweed lay:
Sea giving earth one of her own...
I would have liked to stay.

That day was when you spoke to me
Different than before.
You spoke of love, and verity,
Of what is less, and more;
Of what is caged, and what is free,
Of things that lay in store...

Now when I go and walk the strand
And hear the seagulls cry,
And dig my toes into the sand
And view the leaden sky,
I think I know why I like land -
The sea's a place to die.


I'd Still Choose You

by

S. M. Chen

When once, so long ago, we parted
And both of us were broken-hearted,
I thought I'd die.
I wanted you, but couldn't say
That fear had gotten in the way;
I had to fly.

I had to go and try my wings
And see and do so many things
All alone.
I didn't think that I could take
You on a trip I had to make
On my own.

Well, I've been here and I've been there,
And I've been almost everywhere
But where you are.
Yet almost every place I go
I see your face, and seem to know
That you're not far.

I've even prayed I could forget
So pain could die, and if we met
I'd walk on by.
Yet something tells me, in my heart,
That should we meet, and have to part,
I know I'd cry.

There is no rest, and is no peace;
There's no such thing as sweet release
From memory.
To my grave I'll go, still thinking of
What I gave up, and the great love
You had for me.

Now that many years have passed
I've come to realize, at last,
One thing is true.
They say 'tis better to love and lose
Than not to love; but could I choose,
I'd still choose you.


Suffer the Little Children

by

S. M. Chen

Yesterday I read
of a clever man
who knew what to do
when his child of four
was spanked for something
bad she'd done
but would not cry.
He held her down
and beat her
but she would not cry.
So he beat her some more
but still she would not cry.
So he beat her until
he was almost tired.
When he stopped
to rest, she said,
"I'm sorry, Daddy,"
then lay down and
died without crying.

Today I read
of a woman who
left two children
in the back of a car
with windows open
but a crack.
Smart woman, she
knew how to save
paying a sitter.
The following day
someone found the children
still in the car,
sprawled on the floor,
very, very still.

Tomorrow I'll read
of a childcare center
where men and women,
by treats and threats,
abuse the children
left in their charge
day after day,
year after year,
and the wounds they inflict
may never heal,
and some they abuse
grow up to abuse;
and I ask myself,
"When will the cycle end?"

And when I read,
the print gets blurred
because of tears
of rage and sorrow.
But, like yesterday's child,
I do not cry.

*

Too much reading,
like a little learning,
can be a dangerous thing.


A Tree

by

S. M. Chen

A tree, like man, is born to toil,
As leafage falls, lies for a time
In dormancy, then makes the climb
To start a life, through crust of soil.

If nurtured tenderly with care,
The sapling usually will thrive;
Takes what it needs to stay alive
From earth and water, sun and air.

Throughout the seasons, beginning to end,
The searing heat and bitter cold,
The wind and blight that make it old,
And topple many a fellow friend;

Through all the years of overuse,
Put upon by man and beast,
The tree complains not in the least,
Nor asks for respite from abuse.

Day by day, it seems to know
The One who made it, made us all;
So when it feels the final call
To leave its place in earth and go,

It yields itself for greater good.
In dying, gives itself to man,
Providing, in what ways it can
Warmth and shelter with its wood...

Sage advice is sometimes free.
The message of this simple verse
Is: we could do a little worse
Than take a lesson from the tree.


To Oblivia

by

S. M. Chen

I know not that for which I search -
Its face is veiled, not shown to me.
Its form is shapeless, grey, and hid
Midst clouds of thought I cannot free
Myself from. If the nature only
Were revealed, a shaft of light
Would pierce the void, the darkness would
Be broken. Day might come, the night
Vanish with the stars. The quest
Resumes, as stumbling I do down
The crooked path, turning each
Stone over, asking with a frown
(For long ago the smiling ceased),
"Are you the answer to my quest?"
Knowing, even as I ask,
I may not tell the worst from best.
I am not happy with the status
Quo - there must be more to life
Than this, I cry. "Where is the peace,
The hope, the calm, the end of strife
Within oneself?" No reply
Is heard from out the gloom; now here
I realize, as never quite
Before, the answer is not there.


Stonethrowers

by

S. M. Chen

See her stagger
as they drag her
through the city street.
Hear them twitter,
watch them stare
as they set her,
without care,
at the Master's feet.

See her cower
as they query
what to do with her.
Watch Him, weary
of their evil games,
stick in hand,
write in the sand
secret sins and names.

Now all are gone
save two alone.
He wipes her tears,
dispels her fears;
does not condemn
her more than them...

Many a stone
I have thrown;
yet, had I thought
(as well I ought)
a bit more love,
I should have known
glass is what
my house is made of.


Treefall

by

S. M. Chen

One winter day he felt it;
an ache (a hurt from wrongs
of long ago?) deep within
the substance of his pulp.

How long it'd been there
he couldn't say. A day,
a week, or maybe longer.
Who knows when termites
in the quiet night
begin to gnaw?

Within himself he sensed
a mad, misguided missionary
converting good to evil,
yielding fetid fruit.
If only he could reach
inside and pluck it,
tall again he'd stand,
leaves green once more.

But when they had him split
as for a sacrifice, they
found the founding of their fears.
They had to close him up
to face the worst of nature
on its terms.

So he went home,
knowing that the thing
inside him would not rest
till it had sapped him
dry; only then, would it,
like him, cease its labor.

The anorexia and the inability
to eat, the pain that bored
and bored, and wouldn't remit,
the weakness and the loss
of will (this most of all)
to live, to fight
the fight of one who knows
he's going to lose
(how do you make a fight
like that look good?) -
we saw him suffer these
and so much more,
yet were as helpless,
though less hopeless.

Through all of this
the one who suffered most
next to him was the one
who shared his ground.
She shed the tears
he could not shed
(but how he cried inside)
and smiled if he was able
to keep down a meal, or two.
Always by his side,
what little energy she had
flowed ever to him,
a flickering light
in his darkness.

We watched him wither,
leaves drop one by one
at first, then in clusters,
ever faster, and when,
roots rotted by the blight,
the trunk toppled and lay still
in final rest, we,
branches of that tree,
all died a little.

One winter day he felt it;
an ache (a hurt from wrongs
of long ago?) deep within
the substance of his pulp.

How long it'd been there
he couldn't say. A day,
a week, or maybe longer.
Who knows when termites
in the quiet night
begin to gnaw?

Within himself he sensed
a mad, misguided missionary
converting good to evil,
yielding fetid fruit.
If only he could reach
inside and pluck it,
tall again he'd stand,
leaves green once more.

But when they had him split
as for a sacrifice, they
found the founding of their fears.
They had to close him up
to face the worst of nature
on its terms.

So he went home,
knowing that the thing
inside him would not rest
till it had sapped him
dry; only then, would it,
like him, cease its labor.

The anorexia and the inability
to eat, the pain that bored
and bored, and wouldn't remit,
the weakness and the loss
of will (this most of all)
to live, to fight
the fight of one who knows
he's going to lose
(how do you make a fight
like that look good?) -
we saw him suffer these
and so much more,
yet were as helpless,
though less hopeless.

Through all of this
the one who suffered most
next to him was the one
who shared his ground.
She shed the tears
he could not shed
(but how he cried inside)
and smiled if he was able
to keep down a meal, or two.
Always by his side,
what little energy she had
flowed ever to him,
a flickering light
in his darkness.

We watched him wither,
leaves drop one by one
at first, then in clusters,
ever faster, and when,
roots rotted by the blight,
the trunk toppled and lay still
in final rest, we,
branches of that tree,
all died a little.


Lost Cord

by

S. M. Chen

Young, she believed
for a time
in the tooth fairy.
Older, she married
for a time
a tooth doctor;
descended, with grace,
the staircase
from light to darkness.

She, over the years,
smoked too much,
drank too much,
loved too much.

In her hovel she
played cards,
played the lottery,
played out life
as the numbers dictated.

Open, then closed
as the breathing hole
in her neck,
a whale on land,
she lived what remained
on terms of her own,
vanity-enforced silence
a deafening reminder
of her condition.

We, upon finding her
on the ground, ant-covered
as a fallen lollipop,
suddenly realized earth
was merely claiming
one of its own.


Immuno-(un)compromised

by

S. M. Chen

Tall, dark, and rather handsome,
stone-worked nose and chin,
he wore a beard to hide
magentoid marks of death.

A writer, he
led the lonely craftman's life,
struggled over syntax,
wrestled with words,
parried turns of phrase;
lived from article to article,
sold to editors he didn't respect
of magazines he didn't read.

He had his code of ethics
in life as well as work;
decided, upon discovery
there lay within him
seeds of self-destruction
planted not by hate
but perhaps love,
to keep unto himself
from that time forward.

Curmudgeon that he was,
would not seek affection
nor acknowledge that deep need,
but when reached out to,
could not restrain himself
from embracing with intensity
surprising even to him.

Wanting the brass ring
if only for the moment,
he wished it to have mattered
he was here at all.

And though in life he didn't find
much of what he hoped for,
when, short of the half
century mark he left us
for a place more worthy
of his kind,
we'd like to think
he had shaken hands with peace.


Limerix

by

S. M. Chen

A greenthumbed beauty named Mauna
Said, as she steamed in a sauna,
"Though I have a yen
For Japanese men,
I much prefer bonsai to fauna."

The appendix resembles a worm,
Though it doesn't burrow or squirm.
It's largely ignored
'Till a surgeon is bored
Or his bills have made HIM infirm.

A young Hindu maid from Tujunga
Said to her friend, "Cowabunga!
Rock music I hear
So deafens my ear,
The Din I prefer would be Gunga."

Strange is the name of the manatee,
Who're not afflicted with vanitee.
They don't care how they look
When their picture is took
(Which for ladies amounts to insanitee).

The warthog is terribly warty.
It has a million and forty.
You would think it would seem
A dermatologist's dream
To catch one while out on a sortie.

My daughter swears somebody told her
Of a Far Eastern man, who, though older
Than some of the rest,
Could contort with the best,
And was known as "The Manila Folder."

A short little man from Quebec
Had a toothache, and went for a check.
When he wanted to know
Why the tooth had to go,
He was told, "Ees Toulouse, Lautrec."

A hunter a lioness spied,
And decided to go for a ride.
The lion awoke
And ate the poor bloke,
Thinking he'd injured his pride.

An overweight vulture named Marion,
When others had eaten, would tarry on.
She was slow to embark,
Which caused the remark,
"Your excess baggage must be carrion."

Lucky's the beast called the kudu,
Which has very little tudu
But sleep, eat and drink,
And that's why, I think,
It has much less stress than yudu.

An oft-married actress from Cannes
Was known for her men and her tannes.
Alone, she awoke,
Stretched slowly, and spoke,
"It's good to feel like a new mannes."

While Tweety's well known for his chirp,
And Pluto's trademark is his slurp,
For human fame
One needs a name
Like Wyatt, famous for his bEarp.

A strange-sounding beast is the gnu,
Whose name I pronounce with some rue.
The cause of my fits
Is, were all names like its,
Just think how we'd have to spell gSue.

Many females wear a B-bra;
Other are proud of their C-bra.
But were there a prize
For purely grade size,
It'd have to go to the Zebra.

Bizarre is the word for Van Gogh,
Who cut off his ear, as you know.
When he wanted it back,
What made his mood black
Was the fact he had not learned to sew.