YouTube Tuesday: Arrival in Ho Chi Minh

Back to the real world after my birthday – and it’s YouTube Tuesday again! Here’s “Arrival in Ho Chi Minh”, an excerpt from my book “City of the World”.

Arrival in Ho Chi Minh

It rises like a crescendo
Steady and quite sure
Then falls like a cliff edge
And I know of no cure

The turbulence meant nothing
But another leap to me
On my insane, lonesome voyage
To Ho Chi Minh City

I forgot my education
(Wait – what’s my name?)
If everything were to go wrong,
Then I would be to blame

It rose like a crescendo,
Fastened onto my heart,
Then fell like a cliff edge,
And pierced me like a dart

I had done it! Reached a place
That I knew nothing of;
Despite the fear inside me,
One that I would come to love.

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page to purchase a copy of the book: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

Introducing “Writing Tips ~ Exploring The Writer’s Path Volume 1”

Many of my writing tips are featured on Creative Talents Unleashed and in their anthology Writing Tips Volume 1: Exploring the Writer’s Path – check it out here!

Creative Talents Unleashed

Writing Tips Volume 1

Introduction

Do you dream of being a writer? Have you already dabbled with words, but still need some help finding your style on paper? Or are you one of those who have so much to write, but just can’t find the time to get the task done? This book could be your saving grace. Put together by a group of talented writers from the Creative Talents Unleashed family, Writing Tips Vol. 1 is for any level of writer.

I believe everyone can write. If you can carry on a simple conversation, then you are capable of writing. Some just don’t know where to start. You don’t have to be educated or have a degree to be a good writer. Some of the greatest writers in the world didn’t have that opportunity when they started writing. If you’ve written in a journal or a letter, you’re already an author. You just…

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YouTube Tuesday: City of the World

Here’s a short one for this week. The first poem from my book “City of the World”, also called City of the World:

City of the World

So many faces, so many names!
How am I to immortalize them all?
The marvels, the jokes, the many joys
That belong to every one?
Around the globe, from East to West,
We came to sample the fruits
Of the home we found together
Far beyond our simple beginnings

If you enjoyed this, please visit my author page: http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

Christmas in Vietnam

No carol singers at the door
No cards bought from the local store
No presents sitting on the floor

No tinsel hanging from the tree
No table topped with fat turkey
No time spent with the family

A single day away from class
A holiday doomed soon to pass
A quiet, pleasant, brief Christmas

© 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

No Winter Blues for Me

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The call of home drew many in the winter,
Beckoning with snow and home comforts;
It was a season of changes and upheaval.
They pondered for hours over their options,
Then packed their bags and bid the rest of us
Farewell, some for a month and some for good,
Weighed down with gifts to lavish friends
And family with trinkets they were proud to carry;
Others came at New Year, seeking fresh adventure,
Seduced by the idea of travel at a time
They associated with beginnings and resolutions;
And some found new homes and new jobs
Without leaving the taste of their venture behind,
New employers offering them delightful wages
To fill their pockets – after longer hours and
Harder lessons; still some of us remained behind,
Perhaps loyal, or perhaps foolishly devoted
To the company that first gave us work in Vietnam
And breathed life into our imaginations.

Those we lost were missed, a hole left behind
That could not be filled; as they went the new arrivals,
Who replaced our co-workers and friends with
Their own outrageous personalities, were no less
Welcomed than their predecessors, no less
Our family than anyone else had ever been.
They came from England, Scotland, Wales,
From Europe and America, all of them with
Wide eyes that reminded us of our first day there;
We became the elders, and so we pretended
To know Vietnam; we assured them that their
Worries and their longing for home would fade
Away in time, once they settled here with us.
I marvelled, quite astounded, that in winter
My home did not holler and tempt 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

The Motorbike Taxi

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Left

Right

Zip here

Zip there

Pick up speed

Slam your breaks

There’s always a path

Through the traffic

Xe om xe om xe om xe om

Xe om xe om xe om xe om

Left

Right

Turn here

Turn there

Don’t indicate

No time for that

So hug the driver

And don’t look back

Xe om xe om xe om xe om

Xe om xe om xe om xe om

Xe om driver rules the road

Forges a path with his bike

Xe om driver has no fear

Gives you the ride of your life

Xe om xe om xe om xe om

Xe om xe om xe om xe om

Xe om driver does not falter

Knows his way to anywhere

Xe om driver’s bold and reckless

Swiftly moves without a care

Xe om driver’s price is heavy

For those who do not know

Xe om rides should be cheap

Wherever you wish to go

© 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

Kindergarten

Little heads turn,
Tiny eyes widen,
Mouths hang open
It’s English time!
Language lessons
Are important here,
So English begins
At kindergarten.
There’s not much
A teacher can do:
These kids barely
Speak Vietnamese,
So songs and colours
Are today’s subjects.
Numbers, songs,
Letters, songs –
Kindergarten teachers
Can lose their minds
When every lesson
Means repetition!
The kids gather
Around their legs
Beaming, speaking,
Screeching sometimes
In Vietnamese;
Too young for school
Undisciplined
Lacking control,
Their eagerness
Is infectious –
At least for a while.
And after classes
Kindergarten teachers
Want to curl up
In a warm bed
To get some
Well-deserved sleep.
High school teachers
Tell them it’s easy,
Singing songs every day,
But kindergarten
Teachers know better:
It’s easy to teach
When the lesson
Can be planned
From beginning to end.
They run, they shout,
They play, they dream
Of a chance to rest
All while surrounded
By twenty hyper kids.

© 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

Bui Vien

Sunlight cascades down from pleasant skies
Settling on the heads and shoulders of those walking round;
A street lined with bars, restaurants and shops,
Street vendors busy selling their wares at every door.

Air alive with enthusiasm, filled with sounds of motion,
Of taxis and motorbikes that dodge tourists’ feet;
Of hesitant foreigners looking for a gap in the traffic
Unaware the rule is to walk and never look back.

Banners fly high advertising food and drink,
Places to stay and day trips out, in eye-popping fashion;
By day hostels sell alcohol, their customers spilling out
Onto the streets, seated on uncomfortable plastic chairs.

By night hotels bathe the sky in bright, glitzy lights;
The sight a wonder to behold, the smells even more
Inviting: here western grub, there eastern food,
Scents mingling together in a delightful mixture.

Aromas waft under your nose, and your stomach rumbles
At the thought of sampling something never before
To grace your tongue. An invitation to explore, discover
In easy comfort: Bui Vien will cater to every tourist’s need.

© 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

District 1

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Pack, unpack, repack, unpack:
I moved around from house to house
From place to place, until at last
I settled on a narrow street
With neighbours three small steps
From the door, and thin windows
That allowed every single noise
From outside, no matter what,
To sneak into my room at night.

Others moved around still more
Not only between houses and streets,
But job to job, finding some solace
Unbeknownst to me, in being
The new guy all the time. It was
Sad to see some of these drift away.
They faded, emerging in an unknown
Location; their footprints left
Only memories in their wake.

Those of us who stayed were tied
To the one place that reflected
Us in mirrors designed to look
Like some basic form of home.
Where cinemas and bowling alleys
Welcomed expats and their cash;
Every leisure activity catered for.
In that place you could buy anything
From base desires to luxuries.

Where dirty, seedy acts were mentioned
Without a hint of embarrassment or shame
At being desperate enough to pay;
The district sprawled out like
A spread of delicacies upon a platter:
Ever tempting, what to sample first
A decision never easy to make.
We dipped into one and then the next
Moving house, but not moving home.

© 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

Of Man and Roach

A cockroach crawls across the floor
Twitching this way and that,
Avoiding the movements of my shadow;
I trap him beneath a cup
And watch him spin around in circles
Trying to discover a way out
Of his prison. I stand and note in triumph
That there is no escape for him.

Where he is trapped is physical;
For me, fate is not so kind.
In my head, the glass is there, unwilling to
Move when I place my hands
Against it and push, for I have become a
Prisoner of my own thoughts
And must now retreat to a place where I
Can try to wear the glass thin.

I tower over this cockroach, mighty in
My physical presence, but no more:
He has no reason to become a sunken,
Nervous wreck despite his cage;
But me, though I once beat the discontentment
Down to a pulp, can feel it rise
Once more into the forefront of my mind
Where it threatens to remain.

As I move the glass and crush him with my foot,
I see myself crushed alongside him;
How strange that such a pest can remind me
Of my personal vulnerabilities.
Inside, I have a broken body too, which has
Crawled across the ground, in failed
Attempts to turn myself into a strong woman again.
And as he dies, in part so do I.

© 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