Ben Thanh Market

The call of the t-shirt seller drowns out your voice,
Bombarded by vendors, colours and trinkets;
Your pulse races with the agonizing choice
Of what to get for those back home from the tourist market.

A fascinating array of marvels for the eager buyer
To touch and taste and smell, all at over the odds prices
But it draws you in, as it draws in everyone.

As the vendors seek to push their profits ever higher,
Come fill your ears with volume, your nose with rich spices
At Ben Thanh Market, let your wallet come undone.


© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City of the World”

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

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Banh Mi Woman

She served breakfast with a smile;
A smile too for lunchtimes,
Afternoons and evenings –
She worked all the time.
I wondered to myself often
How long she had worked there
On the corner
Selling sandwiches
At fifty cents a time.
Her eyes drooping with exhaustion,
Her face lined with age,
Whatever dreams she had hoped for
She now had little time
To accomplish them.
Surrounded by commotion,
Her life never stopped,
Though it repeated itself
Every day.
I pause to think about her
And ponder all the time.

 


© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City of the World”

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

Anh Part 2: The Teacher

You can read part 1 here.


During break time I took up my pen and sat in silence
Writing nothing because nothing came to mind:
No plan for the lesson ahead; no plan for anything besides;
Nothing to end the torment spinning in my brain.
In that time I desired to know only one thing,
One thing alone I deemed important enough to learn:
Why should I have a plan for my students, for my lessons,
When my teacher seems to have no plan for me?
Then began my journey of great discovery
With fire born from anger and no guarantee;
When I arrived in the next classroom with no papers
And a book that I had all but burned in my rage
The students were unable to contain their glee –
Which must be something that wears away over time
And with age, for never have I summoned such excitement
Since my youth, and long ago it seemed as joyous children
Paraded around the room bubbling and carefree;
It made me realize how odd it is to find
That when my teacher has no plan it bothers me;
In that overwhelming moment I felt I had to
Teach the children how to escape from their cells,
So I told them of the teacher and His betrayal
And in turn made them little versions of myself;
In their young minds the teacher’s image became
One He never would have painted on His own.
Afterwards, they knew nothing but hatred for the teacher
(“That monster!” they screamed in their anger,
“Are we a class that He does nothing but ignore?”
And though I did not wish for them to suffer any further,
They were caught within the emptiness I had created.
“Look! See how He leaves us in the dark without a torch!
Why does a teacher allow pain within His classroom?
Why does He present nothing helpful to us?”)
Though I could not hope to provide them with any answers,
I had created a group of doubters with great ease,
Moulded from my own doubts to spread disease;
When those students are older, and should their fury remain,
Then that responsibility will be mine and mine alone,
For that morning when I sat inside my classroom
Watching the students engage lazily with their task
Became the morning that my teacher saw my fury
And decreed that I should never be content.


© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City of the World”

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

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

Messenger

I wrote my name
Amongst the stars
Alongside yours;
Together we traced
Our fingers
Through space, between
Planets and moons
Suns and asteroids,
Amazed by the intricate details
Of those impossible places
Never touched by man.
I dispersed my being
Across the sky,
Every flaw exposed
And hoped
That when you looked up
At that sky,
You would see my message;
Wherever we laid our heads,
Whatever misery
Our separation brought us,
I was still with you.


© 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

YouTube Tuesday: Brought Together

It’s Tuesday (again), which means another poem from YouTube. Here’s one from my book, “City of the World”.

Brought Together

Brought together
By a common bond
Though we were born
Thousands of miles apart;
Here we are
Seated together,
A circle of faces
Of various races
Working and living
Side by side,
Pulled into one another’s lives
By the thrill
Of promise;
A desire to learn,
To know
Something more
Than everything
We have ever been taught.
We collide
In this spinning city,
Vibrant and chaotic,
Forming friendships
And relationships
Out of nothing
But a dream;
In and out of love,
In and out of sight;
We have all shared
This wish,
Looked up at the stars
And begged with our hearts
And our eyes
In our most intimate moments.
There is no rule
On who you are
Or who you have to be
Out here:
The hermit greeted by a lion,
Roaring with pride,
Standing strong,
His confidence encouraging
It to break out of its shell;
He rules the night
Without a pause for thought,
Defiant and fearless
Unlike the hermit,
Who comes with reservations
And a lack
Of the lion’s authority.
What they do not share in mind,
In spirit
Are the same;
Drawn into the same sphere
Of want
And belief,
Wanting to seek out
The unknown;
My family of strangers
With ambitions of
Pure delight,
United by our quest
To pursue something
Far greater than ourselves:
There for every celebration
There for every fall.

© Laura Marie Clark

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

YouTube Tuesday: Moving In

Welcome back to YouTube Tuesday! I’m really enjoying posting my poetry to YouTube, it’s a new challenge that lets me revisit old poems and look at them in a different way. This week, I present “Moving In”, from my book of poems “City of the World”.

Moving In

The thunder of busy roads becomes a constant reality,
Litter on the streets attracts a plague of misery;
Unwelcome guests can crawl inside underneath your door
A padlock is the only thing that keeps your home secure

There’s a three-lane motorway at the end of the street,
A shopping centre down the road with great places to eat
From western favourites to untried eastern delicacies;
All desires catered for with exquisite recipes

This narrow street feels separate from everything around
Lonely motorbikes and busy chatter are the only sounds;
Drive up the ramp into your house, park it in the front room,
Four or five bikes stood together in the gloom

The building is four stories high, a balcony at the top
The spiral staircase in the centre seems to never stop;
Ceilings high, spacious rooms, simple decoration,
Designs that do not fail to suggest a temporary location

This is not a place where you would have expected to live
But the more time you spend here, the more it seems to give;
Empty walls provide no more than a room to rest your head:
Your time is spent out in the city, occupied instead

A hotel home shared with others, also there to see
Everything that is on offer in this vast city;
Possessions few, a suitcase full of clothes and favourite things
But within this community you will feel like a king

Money aplenty to spend on food, on fun, on booze;
You’ll be surrounded every day by a world to amuse
And once you’re comfortable in this intriguing place,
You’ll find it hard to picture anywhere else as your base

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

YouTube Tuesday: The Hermit

It’s that time of week again – time for another YouTube clip. This week’s poem is “The Hermit”, an excerpt from my book “City of the World”. Check it out below!

The Hermit

The dream was simple
With a hint of something
Gloomier:
A shaky apprehension
Threatening to shatter
The illusion.
In the summer sun, anything
Seemed possible;
Even the crazy – turning
From a hermit sheltering in
A secluded corner
Of an empty beach
To a fully-fledged adventurer
Going where? Leaving when?
Who could tell?
A loner in the wind.
The crab listened with interest
To suggestions,
Fired from all angles,
Took new ideas on board, however
Out of character they seemed.
A claw dug through the sand
That was its shelter
And with intention,
Slow but deliberate,
The hermit followed.
The world outside beckoned
To it, calling
Attention to future possibilities;
So it scuttled away to discover
What the shelter
Could not teach it
On that little beach where it hid;
Plunging into the ocean, it made
The first step out
To sea, to the world beyond
Its protective shelter,
Where brand new memories
Waited to be found.

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

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