THE BEARING ĐỊNH HƯỚNG






TEARDROPS IN THE NIGHT

by Thong Ba Le



Cry of A Seagull

Words from my heart, this poem of mine
to tell the story of my life,
of those I have loved and lost
my country, my homeland, my mind.
I believed in destiny.
The sad days that came so quickly.
In the wake of the bloody war,
I sailed the last vessel to be free.
Words of a wise man once had said,
the "Rose of the East Sea" will set
on the end of Nguyen Dynasty,
Communists had come with bloodshed.
Day by day I try to forget.
I sit sadly watching sunsets,
I see the seagulls flying by,
then ponder words the old man said.
I feel so lost in my sadness.
I search for love and happiness.
My memories come back with pain,
The warrior was laid to rest.
'Til the good day will come for us.
'Til the sun shines, 'til then we must
remember always "keep the hope",
the spirit of a patriot.
The freedom will finally come,
Vietnamese abroad will go home
and hands in hands we shall rebuild,
Free Vietnam... happy day has come.

The Quest

He was awakened in the silent night,
by the voice he heard somewhere from up high.
He opened the door to the patio deck
the moon was hanging in the western sky.

He pondered the words said in a deep voice,
sounding like a command, giving no choice;
a task, a mission, a crusade of some kind,
designated to him with the word "Ahoy".

He sat down on the cold patio chair
supported his head with both hands holding
his hair. He felt old for this kind of quest,
like the aged clown in the last country fair.

Nature surrounded him with a strange sound,
echoed by the insects winging around.
They uplifted his spirit, so he could
reach out to his star, once it had been found.

He vowed to fight, but this time in his life,
with a pen, never a shot being fired,
and tell the world what really had happened,
judgement day would come, quest of a knight.

A Far Away Land

The night his country was falling apart,
with the desperate sorrow in his heart,
he stood silently by and watched sadly,
the disappearance of his motherland .

In the dream he leaned over the deep cliff .
He looked straightly down on waves too swift?
Far away a ship sailed the sea to find
his memory and his love in the mist .

Among the cloud he flew into the past,
over the ocean that once his ship passed
and the mountains, the islands, the rivers,
to cry and to see people were so sad .

With the upwind, he traveled through the time,
to the moon hanging brightly in the sky .
He could see the land he had lost that night,
on the further horizon of his mind .

In his heart the far away land to be
the mother, the father, and the east sea,
the mountain, the river, the tropic sun
that nourishes his life, his love overseas.

The Picture of A Life

The old chariot stopped at the dark oak tree.
The tired old horse exhausted.
The old man leaned on his trembling feet
checking the loose tread wheels,
shaking
He drank from the old military canteen and fed the horse.
He did not move to wipe off the fly
that was sucking salty sweat off his neck,
feeding.
Just like the old miserable country,
suffered from destruction
from napalm bombs and famine,
in a long yet ended war and
surviving.
The people were bored.
Those powerful dictators too.
There was nothing left for them to collect...so
depressing.

He cried in many endless silent nights,
awakening...

Liberty Dreamer

Liberty Bell, you're standing alone
Your many cracks, the history of which
are seen from across the Convention Hall.
In the Declaration's birthplace of this
country of freedom and opportunities,
life, love and happiness are preserved
as well as the pursuit of liberty,
so justice, the human rights can be served.

Liberty Bell, spirit of the Land,
keep healing the world with your freedom sounds,
the right to live is placed in people hands
'til people discover dreams can be found.

Liberty Bell, you have not been standing alone
without your sounds, human rights would be gone.

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 braves
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 Lost Memories

In the darkness of silent winter nights
deep down in my heart I had tried to find,
the sweet memory from the past
that seemed to be lost in my mind.

In my dream, I returned to the past,
with the wind I flew back to the places
where once hand in hand we walked,
under the sky full of sunrays.

On the levy along the town river,
the guardian, the buffalo preferred,
in the sky, two cranes were flying?
the clouds were hanging further.

We strolled along the windy seaside,
the salty breezes carried our love up high,
among the clouds to unknown reefs
where they kept memories of mine.

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.

Sunrays on the Doorstep

His shadow fell on the crumbling brick walls,
the dark shape did not show his face at all
longing for memories of his beloved,
the house once filled with people, with love.

The sunrays on the doorstep followed
him into the room. The stream of light showed
the dust. He pulled the window curtains wide
and saw him in the mirror, multiplied.

The oak tree looked slim under the sunlight,
with the golden leaves that danced up high,
flowing with the wind and turning clockwise.
The broken handle rake stood lonely by

He turned around, the family picture
hanging on the wall, looking to future
to bring the memories back to his mind.
He swept, tears were running down for awhile.

The house, the soul, the love, the family,
he will make this place a sweet home to be.

The Untold Story

They removed the soldier's dog tag
on that rainy day.
The camouflage-uniformed people
then took him away,
throwing the helmet
that rolled into a mortar trench
and stopped, upside-down, battered and gray.

He knew that he had failed to protect
his soldier who was killed by a bullet
that made the unevenly shaped hole,
in the right side of the helmet.

He felt very cold in his wintry soul.
There was nobody here so the story
could be told,
aside from a friendly frog who hopped in
and sat looking at the morning sun.
Then a garden snake who lost her way
and slithered by him
through the hole.

Every night he stared at the dark sky,
Each time he saw a shooting star, he cried.
Somewhere there were young soldiers,
like his man, being killed.
And the war kept going on.
And the warriors continued to die.

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
perished in the minefield with others in vain.

Ocean Moon

On the sixteenth day
it must be,
the moon goes skinny-dipping
in the sea.
A quiet night the ocean is deep,
her hair is blowing
in the breeze.
She 's backstroking to see the night sky
where the far stars are so shy.
The universe is suddenly stopping her turn
and the stars are falling
to be free.
A school of dolphins
from the sea,
they are surprised and
stop to see,
then jump over the surface while they watch
the golden rays pouring from her body.
A bright cruise ship is sailing by.
All lovers are looking
to the sky.
Their sweet dreams along with their hopes
are flying with the moon
in the night.

Once a month the moon goes swimming.
With her beautiful body she keeps shining
to enlighten true love as she must,
and to bless the kiss of lovers as such.

Happiness Found

We were holding hands,
strolling along the boardwalk,
in the sand.
The beach was sleeping and the waves were snoring.
In the early morning, the fog was still
very dense.
The air was filled with sea breeze.
On the horizon the sun was
soon to be
surrounded by its colorful golden rays.
This magnificent scenery was only witnessed by
you and me.

The sea gulls took off as we came closer,
and whisked through the blue sky above
the dreamers,
making the sound like a whispered wish,
for the eternal happiness of
two lovers.

The sun had risen and brightened our faces.
We had found the decision that we would make,
to be together to the fullest
with unconditional love and care,
living in happiness until our
final days.

The Seascape

On the horizon the sun appeared with golden rays
and they brightened up the dark blue sea that windy day.
Its stream of light, a laser beam from the pink sky
showed the steaming air that vaporized up high.

A cresting wave was rolling...rolling like a shady hill.
A pair of sea gulls were hunting lazy fish for the kill.
The dolphins with their thin bodies were swimming fast
chasing alongside ships, jumping ahead and past.

The breaking seaweed was flowing in the tropic water
that carried them to the sandy beach where the birds flew over.
Far away one could see a warship sailing out,
on the horizon a vessel was among clouds.

And the white cloud was rolling from the ocean ahead
forming strange pictures in the sunny blue sky overhead.
The sea and the sky finally become a unit,
and covered the earth where life was nourished.

He sat on the rock with his spiritual mind.
He thanked God for the creation of mankind.

El-Nĩno

They communicated to each other,
one dolphin with scars on his fin,
a gray fish, swam fast.
His porpoise-like friend just followed him.
The clear water had turned into
a muddy and odorous color,
in recent weeks by the chemicals from the shore
that washed out by the rain pouring down hard,
day after day there're nobody to take care for.
They realized that their lives would be bad,
rife with disease, the environment and the food at last.
The sea life, their home would be polluted too.
"El-Nĩno" that was what people blamed in the past.
On the way to the surface they observed,
the floating fishes and the dead birds.
Far away inland there were forest fires
breaking out by the lightning and the smoke
drifted over the hills and up to the sky.

They swam faster and further out,
the trail of death followed them... like a cloud.

Love Story

The happiness of the two young lovers,
like the drought that needed rainy waters,
to flourish the long life of living things
and to bring hope and joy for the dreamers.

The story from the "Titanic" was sad,
and then my tears are running down at last,
my heart ponders with their sweet final words,
to see two lovers being torn apart.

The sensation of body exploded
like about to play a part in "The Crow",
the justice, the crime, the hatred and love,
how lovely is the end of episode!

The perfect composition of two loves,
those are the different and far above,
from the characters of people who may
and think of what is true love, what is hate.

The Big Bang

The universe suddenly brightened its galaxies,
shaken by a Big Bang that rocked the starlit sky,
like the so-called "fire works" made by mankind
million of years later, above the screen of smoke,
in celebration of their lives.
They were shot out every where by "The Bang",
among asteroids, meteorites, comets and to their unknown destinations.
They traveled through the "Black Hole" gravitation,
and million of light-years away from their creation
Nine planets were finally drawn by its huge mass to the Sun.
The earth and the eight objects traveled around the sun.
The Solar system was formed, that tiny part of a galaxy,
named by the earth people as The Milky Way in fun.
Pluto, the outer planet, then Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter,
The Earth with the moon, followed by Mars, Venus and Mercury,
the planets and its satellites had lived as a happy family,
with the Sun, the God father to be.

They stared at the moonlit sky and pondered their ascertained answers:
Someday, they would return to the place that had created the lovers
waiting for another "Big Bang"...they kissed each other.

The Patriot

They were wearing the white head bands,
the women and her five year-old daughter,
rushed to the helicopter when it landed,
she held in her hands
her late father's picture.

The rain was falling down from a dark sky.
They came to the funeral, the mother and child.
The never-ending war took away a beloved man
from the family and no one
could know why?

The coffin that kept
the unchained hero, was covered
with the nation's flag
and laid flatly in the military truck,
then carried to the grave by the uniformed soldiers.

The chaplain was praying in a low voice,
among the gunshots that made a lot of noises,
The hero finally was set free,
his soul flew to the eternity.

They accepted the flag for his honor
The country, the freedom, the people
that what he once fought for.

The Twister

The tornado was seen coming closer,
the warning siren was sounding behind her,
she ran from the field to the nearby church,
and stayed low so she wouldn't be hurt.

The roof of a farmhouse was lifted up
and oak trees and the lamp poles were shaken up,
a pick-up truck was turned upside down,
in the air one could see a flying cow.

Explosions from high voltage transformers
that located in the path of the twister,
were loud... window panes were blown away,
power lines fell down flashing deadly rays

Pieces of metal flew everywhere,
turning counter-clockwise here and there,
they hit unknown targets and destroyed
with the strong wind that made a lot of noise.

It only happened in a few minutes
the tornado finally diminished
the devastating scene was visible
it looked like a dump site...terrible.

She pulled herself out with her legs first
pushing away what was left of the church.

The Canadian Geese

They were flying above snowy mountains,
in a formation that they long maintained.
They knew that time had come to head down south,
the next stop would be somewhere in the Plains.

Under their long wings there were five big Lakes
that reflected their shadows on the surface,
in the morning as they crossed the border,
between Canada and United States.

Once a year they had formed for the journey,
together they traveled over landscapes,
without any navigating tech aid,
they reached their destination, the warm places.

They stayed on the hills, oh all summer long,
gathering good foods and strolling along,
making a lot of happy noisy sounds
under the sunny sky in the swamp ponds.

He sat on the rock by a tall palm tree,
with a binocular watching the geese.

Love and Destiny

Hand in hand on that evening,
together you and I had seen
a pair of white doves flying fast,
and we made a wish and a hint.
When the birds carried our dreams
among the clouds to the sunbeams,
with the wind to eternity,
there we stayed to become a team,
and with the sea current our hope
went deep down with the seaways slope,
and rode on the back of seahorses
to the Sea Kingdom there we stopped.
On the iceberg we wished to hold,
to be shipped to the north pole,
where our love would last forever
with the long life of the deep cold.
And our destiny had been planned:
to be free or to fight with hands
with the world and the universe,
for the right, the honor we stand.
We believed in Resurrection.
The bodies from all directions
had risen from earth and the death
to be judged by their actions.

Love and Destiny were planned,
our destiny, our loves happened.

The Act of Mother Nature

There were fires under the water in Hawaii
that were pouring down from volcanoes to the sea.
There was the destructive ice floating in the Poles
how could the phenomenon of the earth be told?

There were wild forest fires for days in Mexico
the smoke had covered over New Mexico
and the mud slides were all around Los Angeles,
the deadly drought lasted for months in the Southwest.

Many states declared a state of emergency,
due to the flooding that had damaged early,
when rivers overflowed and then crossed the banks
people could not be able to stop with bare hands.

Tornadoes touched down in half of the country
It was a catastrophe and a tragedy
a strange act that was created by Mother Nature
El-Nĩno had come, La-Nĩna'd be in future

Was the world soon to perish in raging fires?
Would the moon be covered with destructive ice?

'Til The Day

My love, I am your worshipper,
my darling, I am your lover
'til the day the river runs dry,
'til cherry trees bear no flowers.

My sweetheart, you are mine to live,
all my love I wanted to give,
to adore you with all my heart
and to show you what true love is.

There will be no walls between us,
there will be no bridges as such
and we shall face any challenge,
'til that day has come then we must.

'Til the moon quits the western sky;
'til mountains have no rocks to climb
and the birds sing no more love songs,
my love, I lie awake long nights.

The Widow

She was sitting on the floor in the room,
wondering.
Her shadow was moving slowly on the wall,
dancing
with the light of the red candles,
flickering.
She looked pale, she was desperate and
sobbing.
The three coffins were seen vaguely and
fading
through the screen of tears running down on her face.
Her son, her husband and her mother were all killed on that day
by an artillery shell that fell down from the sky,
through the roof of their house on that New Year's Day.

He changed her destiny by pushing her body inside,
and just laid down next to her outside.
He became the shield for her life
and he would be happy having saved his wife.

Her son and her mother were sleeping across the room.
They never wake up from the sound of a boom.

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 and their relationship
had created a nature of the friendship.

The Frienship

O friendship, you are wonderful,
you're always there for friends, depressed,
to comfort. Your care is thoughtful,
which takes away their loneliness.

O friendship, the miracle that heals
the wounds of those who've suffered
the failures in life and until
you touch your friend's heart with love

O friendship, the gift given by
the kindness, the goodness and love,
like the clouds flying in the sky
or the sea rushing to the cove.

O friendship, he admires for what
you had done for him in the past.

Melody Of Love

This moonlit night, stars fill the sky. I pause
at my window, watching weeping willows
heavy with leaves; out there the wind blows.

The world of love and noises tha endure,
compose echoing notes, so very pure
I ache so with love and I want no cure.

The sound of insects echoes my desire.
As fireflies dance wildly in the dark night.
I look up and reach out to the bright sky,

And try to wrap my fingers around stars
though I know my dream of desire is far
nature's orchestra is playing a tune of jazz,

that wakes up the emptiness inside me
with the melody of love, it must be.

Children In Poverty

They are holding their dirty, empty bowls,
waiting for food, patiently forming lines,
just like a dark-skinned snake moving so slow.

The children, the orphans with deep sad eyes
were the products of a society
that ruined their nation by their war crimes.

The cruel war had destroyed cities
sending children to poverty after
their parents died fighting for liberty.

During hot days in the streets, they wander.
In long cold nights without blankets, they sleep,
homeless children live without a future.

The wound of this endless war is so deep,
with their faith in humanity, they keep.

My Romantic Poem

I wake up in the darkness of the night,
I begin to listen ... a voice ... outside
a fire glowing, dancing in the moonlight.

And I hear a poem spoken softly
a dream. I scrawl words from memory,
to later recreate its poetry.

If I remember that night-time poem
that will make someone and lovers of them
smile or wipe away teardrops of joy, then

my love poem will be worthwhile and so
I will write more poems that will enfold
our dreams and wishes in a loving hold.

My romantic poem will mean as much
to someone's heart as a lover's warm touch.

My Slipping Away Memory

On a fishing trip in the open sea
in the motion the upper waves like these
look down the others rolling to the bay,
the shore line is disappearing away.

Over the sand, sea gulls fly far from sight,
with its shadows lost in the blur of flight.
Low clouds gathering over ocean,
sunbeams glare and disappear from distance.

Memory is but a love melody,
which is reborn and in due time slowly
keeps slipping away through my mind like ghosts,
though I could not afford just to be lost.

The past adventure in my navy life
tries to catch treasured gold dust from the sky.

The Pain of A Refugee

(Who Am I?)

Tears blur my eyes in the moonlit night,
as two shooting stars go flashing by
like the ones I saw thirty two years ago,
aboard a fishing boat carrying people as cargo.

I came here with empty hands.
I traveled along lakes, beaches and riverbanks,
across green meadows of this vast country
watching sunsets and sunrises from the horizon at sea.
I wandered through forests, jungles, over mountaintops,
as drenched leaves, heavy with raindrops
wetting everything underneath, strain
and twist and undulate like a soul in pain,
dripping tears, as the keening wind blows
and carries away memories as they flow.
I wondered, then had only began to know,
my kind of pain that endured
and I was too full of sorrows,
awakening in many night, waiting for tomorrow,
thinking of what must be done for my future.
There were times when remembering
of the past would have not enough.
Times my restless spirit need an ocean for inspiring
not the river serene and simple as such.
My soul is still longing for the old country
that dominated by skeletons, ghosts and memory
by a war after another war,
and that pain always stays with me.
I worship in my sadness; I pray for
some goodness, happiness and more.

Who am I? A castle built in the sand?
A ghost of the past? A lost memory bank?
The shadow of my life follows me always
and finally sets me free in the wonder land far away./.

Sunset On The Battlefield

There were bomb shells
scattering and hanging.
There were tree limbs
breaking and burning
among parts of bodies laying next to themselves.
Guns and rifles
were broken like toys,
wrist watches, wedding rings, survival kits
canteens and helmets were taken by kids
who were wandering in the field.

People collected everything left from the battle
for living
in a battered country that had lost
its feeling.
They concentrated on what mattered most
and did not care of what might be lost,
by the not yet exploded mines:
their legs, their arms, even their minds.

The sun also rises
and torches the battlefield, then sets
over the valley of death.
Now it's the sharp damp smell of napalm gas
and now the war, the full drama of the war
continues on the burnt land so far.

Passionate Love

Two lovers unleashed their passion,
on a windy day on a grass-covered hill.
That hot summer evening, the clouds, in fascination,
Gathered and crowded, watching over the dreamers while
they exchanged their desire with kisses.
And the birds were singing
while the pine trees conducted nature's concert with
pure sounds and the cones vibrated in
the wind...like bells ringing.
'Til the sunset dropped its shadows slowly
with her dark gray petals.
'Til the chicken hawk broke the silence soaring
through the sky
and 'til on the bike route, a bicyclist pushed on the pedals,
the tide of passionate love still flowed in their bloodstream
and the lovers continued on their journey of dreams.





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