… And a Dance

Two dragons,
Each composed of two grown men;
Another man dressed as
A large, golden Buddha.
They progress around the room, pausing
At each table
To spread smiles
And bring cheer
To their audience.

On the stage, they dance
And twist, flashing colours
Before our eyes,
Filling our vision with rainbows
Of red and gold.
However long they spark amusement,
Time flies by at double speed.

We see ourselves as strangers in our homes,
Outsiders looking upon
Our own cultures, wondering
Just as we are marvelling,
Viewing Christmas lights
And Easter eggs
And media obsession with royals
With alien meaning and intention,
All understanding lost. For this
Is who we are,
Watching the dragons dance,
Observing without knowing
Blind although we see.

It makes the moment
No less beautiful,
The evening no less enthralling;
We have no bias, existing
Purely to enjoy
And nothing more.


© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City Of The World”

Please visit my author page and share my adventure:
http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

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Tet: A Meal …

Lunar New Year is a time
For relaxation, celebration, salutation
And great joy for all. Flags unfurl,
Hanging from every building,
Swaying with the same energy that infects
Everyone below.

We take a break
From all our efforts, joining
Together to observe the celebrations.

There’s a large meal put on
For all the teachers, organized
By our boss, enough
To impress
The stockholders. We inhale
The scent of good food
And our stomachs answer in earnest,
Begging to try everything.

Tables laid out in perfect design,
Each a splendid replica of the last;
Vivid pictures in our minds
For years to come.
Melting on the tongue,
The food takes centre stage,
Lighting up our mouths with
Unique and wonderful flavours.

Then the drums begin
From somewhere behind us,
Confusing our ears
As we search for the source
Of the sound.

Thud, thud, thud
And thump, thump, thump
And rat-a-tat-a-tat;
They make our fingers tap.
The sounds infect our bodies
Until they feel as though
They come from inside of us.

Where is that noise coming from?
It grows in volume, intensifies
Until we could explode
From the vibrations coursing through us.
Then through a door
That bursts wide open
Comes the evening’s entertainment.


© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City Of The World”

Please visit my author page and share my adventure:
http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

Mui Ne, A Break From Teaching

Some days pass by without a hitch
My senses never have to twitch
In anticipation of a struggle;
Working hard, my pressure doubled:
Time to avoid potential troubles

Then there are days when nothing goes
As in my plans it is supposed;
Before I can predict disaster,
It zooms towards me, even faster
Than me, something I cannot master

So there was a decision made
To pick up a bucket and spade,
Transfer from the city to a beach
Without a lesson there to teach
No focus on work, no goals to reach

A hotel in a secluded place
With miles of quiet wandering space
To walk around and celebrate
With free gifts on the special date
When I was born – and a free cake

It’s good to have a mini holiday,
To find the time to break away
Though I cannot stay for long:
The peace and tranquility feel wrong,
In a busier place I belong

When it’s over, my concern:
Do I want to stay or return?


© Laura Marie Clark

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has purchased a copy of my book “City of the World” this month! This is another excerpt from the book – I hope you enjoy reading it!

If you’d like to know more about this book and the others I have contributed to, please visit my author page and share my adventure:
http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

… And a Dance

Canvasimage_jpg

Two dragons,
Each composed of two grown men;
Another man dressed as
A large, golden Buddha.
They progress around the room, pausing
At each table
To spread smiles
And bring cheer
To their audience.

On the stage, they dance
And twist, flashing colours
Before our eyes,
Filling our vision with rainbows
Of red and gold.
However long they spark amusement,
Time flies by at double speed.

We see ourselves as strangers in our homes,
Outsiders looking upon
Our own cultures, wondering
Just as we are marvelling,
Viewing Christmas lights
And Easter eggs
And media obsession with royals
With alien meaning and intention,
All understanding lost. For this
Is who we are,
Watching the dragons dance,
Observing without knowing
Blind although we see.

It makes the moment
No less beautiful,
The evening no less enthralling;
We have no bias, existing
Purely to enjoy
And nothing more.

© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City Of The World”

Please visit my author page and share in my adventure:
http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

Tet: A Meal …

Canvasimage_jpg

Lunar New Year is a time
For relaxation, celebration, salutation
And great joy for all. Flags unfurl,
Hanging from every building,
Swaying with the same energy that infects
Everyone below.

We take a break
From all our efforts, joining
Together to observe the celebrations.

There’s a large meal put on
For all the teachers, organized
By our boss, enough
To impress
The stockholders. We inhale
The scent of good food
And our stomachs answer in earnest,
Begging to try everything.

Tables laid out in perfect design,
Each a splendid replica of the last;
Vivid pictures in our minds
For years to come.
Melting on the tongue,
The food takes centre stage,
Lighting up our mouths with
Unique and wonderful flavours.

Then the drums begin
From somewhere behind us,
Confusing our ears
As we search for the source
Of the sound.

Thud, thud, thud
And thump, thump, thump
And rat-a-tat-a-tat;
They make our fingers tap.
The sounds infect our bodies
Until they feel as though
They come from inside of us.

Where is that noise coming from?
It grows in volume, intensifies
Until we could explode
From the vibrations coursing through us.
Then through a door
That bursts wide open
Comes the evening’s entertainment.

© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City Of The World”

Please visit my author page and share in my adventure:
http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

A Reminder for All

Applaud yourself
For what you’ve achieved;
Let no one do it louder.
You are not egotistical
Or self-centred
When you give yourself praise
Those times you deserve it.
Let the good things overcome
The pitfalls and the errors;
Be positive when you do well
And convince yourself
That tomorrow you will do
Even better than you did today.

A Matter of Respect

Canvasimage_jpg

A million voices rise yearly
In their thankful respect,
Cheering in warm delight
Giving praise where praise is due

Unheard of in England,
We marvelled at the sight
Of young students presenting
Flowers to us on Teacher’s Day

It taught us all a lesson
When we witnessed that homage:
The reverence we received;
The rewards of appreciation

It was never a part of my education.
The media, the public, the students;
From every direction I learned only
To disrespect my teachers

This refreshing show of courtesy,
Giving teachers their own day:
In Vietnam, we found this a relief
From disdainful home customs.

And so on that day I paused
To ponder my own ignorance;
When children admire their teachers,
It shows within their results

It is a method of mutual respect
I never knew between my teachers
And my young self; so I decided
To bring that sweet ovation home

It raised a question of our opinions,
Our image of greatness in this world:
Without venerating our educators
We reveal a darkness in society

We bow in respect to this system
But pay little heed to hard work
And every child in every school
Is taught to despise their teachers

But the best part of the day
Was by far the celebration:
On Teacher’s Day we drank and drank,
With no need to teach lessons!

© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City Of The World”

Please visit my author page and share in my adventure by purchasing your own copy of City of the World:
http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

How Lucky We Are

We gather together
A mockery of hunger
To eat and to indulge
As often as our excuses will allow

For every celebration,
Holidays and birthdays,
We fill ourselves to the brim
Until the next bite could be our last

With songs and merriment
And rivers flooded with wine;
Basking in the afterglow
Of our mutual greed and satisfaction

Somewhere far away
Another family rejoices
For today, after many months,
There has at last been rain again

How easily
We forget
How lucky we are.

Sibling Love

The glasses clinked together at the other end of the table. Small chuckles grew into roaring laughter, and before long everyone seated at the table was grinning – save for one. More clinking, more drinking, and finally the birthday boy, Roger, stood on wobbling legs. Silence fell at his end of the table, creeping from person to person until it reached the other end.

One of the other lads, who seemed to think he was very clever, shouted ‘Speech!’ as though nobody else had twigged onto what was going on. The laughter erupted again – this was obviously a very amusing thing to say – and in his attempts to calm them all down with a wave of his hand Roger almost tripped over his own feet. The pint in his hand was sloshed around, some of the beer spilling onto the table top. The same clever sod who had shouted before applauded Roger’s drunken behaviour.

Roger waved his hand without tripping over this time, a blush rising onto his face. ‘Ah, shut up,’ he muttered, before going into a slurred and misguided speech about becoming eighteen that would have made his parents wince.

Luckily for Roger, his parents were not there. No, it was Rachel’s job, as his big sister, to sit through her brother’s eighteenth birthday piss-up with his wasted idiot friends. Someone had to make sure that Roger got home safely as as their parents sure as Hell didn’t trust any of his friends with that responsibility, the burden had been passed to Rachel. Judging by the amount the lads had drunk so far, that had been the right decision – but it didn’t mean that Rachel had to like sitting in the corner nursing a soft drink and being systematically ignored.

Actually, Rachel had decided as the night had gone on, it was not a bad thing that none of the lads were paying any attention to her. Sure, it was lonely sitting there quietly all by herself, but if their conversations were anything to go by then she was not missing much in the way of socialisation. At least she had managed to avoid the lengthy conversation about their toilet habits. She watched the clock at the back of the room tick slowly on as they became more and more bladdered.

By eleven pm, Roger and his mates had been wasted. They had been getting wasted for years, of course, but now they could do it legally they had a new excuse not to recognise their own limits. At half eleven, one of them had actually been so pissed that he had been forced to go home. Rachel had got up and helped him out of pity when it had transpired that nobody else at the table had enough sense left to realise that he genuinely would not recover by downing another pint.

At that point in the evening, the whole group was supposed to have gone on to a club, but – thankfully, Rachel thought – the lads had been so drunk that a whole hour and a half had passed before they had managed to gather themselves together enough to move. By then, there had been no point. The pints kept coming from somewhere, though nobody was getting up from the table, and it transpired that one of Roger’s friends had a brother at the bar, who was also serving himself drinks.

People began disappearing from the tables around them. Roger and his friends were the only people left in the bar and the staff were beginning to look annoyed. Apparently, only Rachel noticed.

Her brother fell off his seat to loud cheers, and Rachel rolled her tired eyes. She took out her car keys and rattled them as loudly as she dared. Nobody made any sign that they had heard it. Roger tried and failed to get back into his seat a total of three times before one of his mates decided to help him up.

It was ten to three before Rachel managed to get Roger back to her car. He threw up over the passenger-side front wheel and knelt down on the floor next to it, retching. Rachel did not remember being so wasted on her eighteenth birthday, but then she did not actually remember the vast majority of her eighteenth birthday at all. She couldn’t be too angry at Roger for letting himself go.

‘You better take good care of that car mum and dad got you for your birthday,’ Rachel warned Roger as he knelt there in the mud and filth. ‘Because next weekend I’m gonna invite all of my mates out to get pissed and you’re gonna drive me there and back. We’re gonna make tonight look like child’s play.’

‘You and your mates can’t party like us,’ Roger replied weakly. Rachel stared at him, her eyes narrowed into slits. Roger was lucky he was her brother.

‘Oh, you just wait,’ she told him. ‘You just wait. Next week you’ll be the one sitting at the end of the table, pretending you don’t exist. Now, that’s sibling love!’

May 22 – Time for Something Different

Today’s prompt for Story a Day’s May challenge is to write a story in a style/tone that I never use. You can read the full prompt here.

I feel silly *hides in embarrassment*.


LAURA’S CHRISTMAS LIST AGE 6

To Mr Santa (and Mrs Santa and all of the reindeer and the elves and your friends)

This year I have been so good I am a really really good girl. I have been the best. One time in April I punched my baby brother but that was because he was crying and every other time I have been really good. Please bring me these things for Christmas because I have been so good.

  • A new Barbie car because granddad sat on the one you brought me last year and now the screen has fallen off.
  • Green paint for my play shed because I like it.
  • Lots of money but don’t let mummy put it in my bank account please!!!
  • A new top. There is a top with flowers on in one of the shops in town that daddy won’t let me have because it is lots of money and I can’t remember which shop but I would like it so please send me that.
  • More chocolate than last year and please take away the vegetables for Christmas dinner we don’t want them.
  • A different baby brother OR NO BABY BROTHER.

Remember Santa I have been really really good this year I would like to wake up on Christmas day to all of these things or if you can’t bring them all then just the Barbie car will do.