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

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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

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

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