The Vietnamese - American Poetic Spirit

My Slipping Away Memory

Thong Ba Le
In memory of Vietnam War

Old Shoulder Boards Journey

They lay in the old wooden frame.
The shoulder rank, two golden three-striped blackboards
among the pictures, certificates of fame.

They didn't prefer that sad way.
They closed their round loupes and got aboard.

Aboard the ship that transported. The sunless sky
gave off no rays, there was no star-fire,
flowing from the east. And the sea had high waves
and ragged winds, because of loosing faith.

They didn't prefer that sad way.
They closed their round loupes and got aboard.

Aboard the vessel once among the brave
who fought the bloody war that lasted for days.
They were desperate. And the intense battle
wasn't strong enough to save their land.

They didn't prefer that sad way
They closed their round loupes and got aboard

Aboard to when they were bright and shine boards
on the shoulders of a warrior with others
like themselves. They were so proud to be called "Commander",
put on shoulders then saluted by Officers.

They preferred to be this way.
They got aboard that dream and there to stay.

The Last Race

She crossed the line and then collapsed,
trembling and falling onto her forelegs.
She's given her all in the final lap
and giving more when she had nothing left.

She knew it was a matter of honor,
she had been selected to represent
her country, which relied on her record
and wore the hues of the nation as planned.

Before she died, she had realized
her dream to become a race horse
not only seemed to be finalized,
but with her last race she was endorsed.

Both her sire and her dam would have been proud.
The training staff was standing with heads bowed.

Two Lost Stars

Two shooting stars, leaving the sky for a journey
to the top of the universe up there to stay,
starting their new love lives as two planets,
they were millions of miles far away.

And they wished to fly side by side as a team,
between asteroids, meteoroids and sunbeams,
to be together, through the Milky Way,
looking down on the earth once they dreamed.

The two lost stars will begin to build their new world
and to nourish the new life, the soul of their works.
parents of generations of mankind,
only knew the words of love and peace of mind.

In a lonely night somewhere by the inland cove,
he looked up to the moonlit sky and he saw
up ... up high two bright stars shooting away,
he closed his eyes and silently prayed.

The Canteen And The Helmet

They lay on the field and they wondered,
why they were here but without their owner?
The raven haired, brown eyed soldier,
they'd fought under the blue sky together.

The battle was over when the sun set.
Only the canteen, the helmet were left.
The warrior's body vaporized
among the dark clouds where his soul was kept.

And the full moon blazed with whitish rays
over the helmet and its shadow played
on the canteen buried in the mud,
in the cold night, waiting for a new day.

The canteen, the helmet, the unknown man
died in the minefield with others in vain.

The Sailor and The Sea

Those whose lives linked to the sea would find
the challenge, the courage and the adventure
that enriched and enhanced their pride,
more than anything, they lived with the nature.
The stormy sea only strengthened their ability,
the raging wind lifted up their spirit
and the magnificent sunrise at sea,
sailors could witness and treasured it.
The love for the sea is a true love
for those who have embraced and nourished
that love will live on like a pair of doves
or any great love on earth existed.
The sailor, the sea, their relationship
had created a nature of the friendship.

The Vietnamese Exodus

Upon the collapse of a whole Army,
the people of the use-to-be prowess
and generations of integrity
had decided to migrate to the west.
The sadness and the gross denigrate
denied their willingness to live in shame,
the warriors wanted to save their faces,
they killed themselves along with their fame.
Two million refugees had escaped
and scattered all over free countries
They left behind thousands who could not make,
some lost their lives for the freedom at sea.
The "Red Rose" had bloomed on the East Sea.
The exodus was set by destiny.

Thong Ba Le