A Moment of Doubt

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Am I missing something here?

My training was quite brief, it’s true
Over in two weeks; it’s little surprise that
My progress is a cause for concern.
Everything should have fallen into place by
Now – am I simply not cut out for this?
Teaching demands a more powerful ambition.

Oh, it’s all a learning process, of course
For how much longer, though? How much more can I take?

Do the others have these insecure moments
Of worry, thinking their skills are somehow lacking?
Underneath their confident exteriors, do they
Believe there are still countless improvements to be made?
The truth is, this might not be the place for me.

© 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

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Pho Sai Gon

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Image credit: Pixabay

I sampled many new foods
In that inspiring country;
There is nothing I enjoy more
Than the taste of something
I have not previously tried; whether
Sweet or spicy, mild or hot,
I tried it, though I did not always
Know exactly what I was buying
From the vendors on the street.
The first meal I tried, I knew
Would stay with me long afterwards:
After landing, tired of the journey,
And imagining a place to rest,
Pho 24 was my destination.
Beef noodle soup has never been
So good; with many options,
Too many to choose from, and
Flavours I would come to miss
When the time came for me to leave.
Pho Sai Gon is quick to serve
(And easy to pronounce as well!)
The beef cooks in the boiling water;
Aromas rise from the bowl
To tease and tickle the taste buds.
The meal was pleasing to the tongue
In any combination I desired;
And one to suit any mood, no
Matter how my day had gone.
From busy, stressful, troubled days
To those that passed me by without
Any strain or sense of pressure;
Days on and off, a filling dish
Cheap and refreshing, pho was there
Wherever, whenever, filling mouths
And eager stomachs with delight
A delicious meal never beaten.

© 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

A Matter of Respect

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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

5 Star Review for “City of the World”

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A 5 star review for City of the World is now visible on Amazon.

“Wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but pleasantly surprised. It is powerful and sometimes gentle, very easy to read. You can almost imagine yourself in this young woman’s shoes as she sets off on her amazing adventure to a far away country, leaving friends and family behind.
This book takes you on her ten month journey, from beginning to end in the form of poetry. Brilliant!”

Thank you to all of my readers and a huge thanks to those of you who take the time to comment and review!

City of the World is available from the publisher here and also on Amazon.

It Gets Easier

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They say that the more you practice
The better you get at something,
Which would help to explain
Why I no longer feel like a coiled spring:
Though I am still nowhere near what
I imagined I could achieve,
My gradual development has
Removed my heart from my sleeve;
Once a vulnerable young woman,
Now I am pushing myself to be
Noticeably better than before,
And to shed the cloak of the trainee.

© 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

O England

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O England, you have never been
So homely, so comforting to me;
In my lonesome nights I’ve seen
My thanks owed to technology

It’s easy to contact my friends
As their lives continue on back home;
A pity that my devotion ends
With laptops and with mobile phones

This separation pierces me deep
A physical void, bereft of touch.
Heartache strikes before I sleep:
O England, I miss you so much

I was so dominant, so strong
Before this distance struck me down
Though my time here has not been long,
Within my tears I could drown

They say this crushing pain will pass,
That homesickness is just a phase;
It may feel like holding broken glass,
But I must seek out better days

© 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

5 Star Review for “City of the World”

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A 5 star review for City of the World is now visible on Amazon.

“This compilation of poems is a meditative and intimate exploration of the writer’s time in Vietnam. It brilliantly conveys the exciting nature of being in a new and challenging environment as well as the anxieties and obstacles that come with it. Rather than bogging the story down in excessive and distracting metaphors and symbolism, the writer’s narratives are down to earth and literalist in their approach; blunt, cynical, and highly detailed in their appreciation for the experiences and people the author comes across. Thoroughly recommended.”

Thank you to all of my readers and a huge thanks to those of you who take the time to comment and review!

City of the World is available from the publisher here and also on Amazon.

The First Step is Failure

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Anyone who does not know the shame of failure
Has never truly wanted to achieve their goal enough

It begins in the first moments of defeat:
Victory abandons you in a flash, like a demon banished;
Your insides quake, shrink down towards your feet, as though
They wish for nothing more than to leave your body;
Your very being burns with the desperation to
Be anywhere but where you are, anyone but yourself

The first cut lingers; it is soon to deepen
As possibilities sting, leaving behind nasty scars,
Wishing you could go back to start over again;
The thoughts that were within your mind can
Corrupt you if they are left unchecked, uncontrolled;
Your failure becomes a tarnished mark upon your weary soul

But failure does not symbolize the end. It only
Shows that more effort, more power is required to achieve.
So, as I struggled to shape myself into the perfect model of a
Teacher, and the one that I could see in my mind’s eye, I had to hope,
To wish that one day my struggle would no longer
Look impossible, no longer hurt, but simply cease to be

I wanted, needed, despairing to achieve my goal;
The shame of failure struck me down, but ambition spurred me on

© 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

Twist and Go

 

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Here’s how I got around in Vietnam – a scooter and a plastic helmet!

Chaotic:
Do you dare
To join the throng of riders?
Merging, swerving, honking;
A confusion of colour,
Sound
And movement

Turn right
At any red
But remember, there are many
Impatient, persistent, unafraid
Who do not pay attention
Ever
To the lights

Insanity
Must live here
Sneaking from one engine to the next
Laughing, roaring, determined
To cause only disorder
Out
On the road

Scooters
An extension
Of their riders in the rumbling masses
Flowing, gliding, becoming
Second nature
With
Practised ease

If ever
It were possible
To think in synchronicity
Aware, as one, together,
Then it is here
When
Riding down these streets

© 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

Wolves in the Night

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They howled at the moon
Not fierce
Like wild creatures,
But with a hint
Of pack values
Nestled within their throats.

They rejoiced in the evenings,
Forgiving the sins
Of their mothers and fathers,
Their sisters and brothers,
Their friends
And their foes
Alike.

They were unified
By their beginnings,
United
Beneath the bonds of their flag,
Their shared colours.

They strode with confidence
Through the streets,
Their pack protective
But their gates open
To outsiders
Nonetheless.

They did not fight for dominance,
Neither over us women –
And we enjoyed being a part
Of their pack
Rather than the prey we had been
Whilst growing up.

Some of us stayed
On the outside of that pack,
Never getting too involved
In the ritual howling;
Some dared to get closer,
Though never pushed too hard
Or viewed ourselves
As leaders;
And some, always eager
To be involved
Dove head first into the madness,
Barking with glee
At the sight
Of such a close-knit pack.

Whoever we were,
Wherever we placed ourselves,
Or were placed
In the pack,
We belonged together
Under a cover of darkness
Where we
Ruled over our destinies
Like wolves in the night.

© 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