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Come along with me

Just come along with me to the town where long time ago I bicycled, walked and ran about whenever I wanted to smell the fragrance of Saigon where I raised my hand to salute the spirits while passing by the Lang Ong Shrine and bathing my body among the incense smoke drifting out over the streets and worming my way away from the crowds of fortune-tellers talking endlessly about their understanding of universe and keeping silent on their own. just come along with me to the town where I said hello to people in the Ba Chieu Market where they yelled and boasted about their bargain prices and always be prepared to load all their stuff on their shoulders and heads and run away from the police and jump over all the walls on their ways while scattering behind with sandals, sunglasses and hats... while throwing into the sky their yells and screams – and you see now, those sounds still vibrate in my heart. just come along with me to the town where I have left many parts of me onto the dirt trails of Dong Ong Co leading to my dharma uncle’s temple and please gently step into the village, please softly move and try not to break the standstill air here, where you will see my footprints still visible around the altar where decades ago I asked the old monk Thuong Chieu about the way of Zen, and then he smiled – and now I would surprise him when he first time sees a lady walking beside me. My dear, please walk gently here in my unchanged village, where you will see the cows still standing in the field with their heads staring at the far-away sky, the birds still reaching high into the sky, the monk still sitting there with his endless smile, and there the answer he gave me now still remaining in an original state: he threw a piece of tile against the wall and asked if I heard the sound and then said that that was the way of Zen – you now see that that piece of tile still remains floating in the air just come along with me to the town where everything stays unmoveable, and unbreakable endlessly, where the monk and me live like the unmovable statues. By Phan Tan Hai

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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Date: 7/18/2022 8:35:00 PM
Your love for your Homeland, specifically where you wrote about, is a special place that brings great memories that you cherish Phan. Truly a special place that you brought to life in your Poetry. Thank you for sharing, truly enjoyed reading. May your heart be opened to our God also, and that is Jesus Christ.
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Date: 6/29/2022 10:26:00 AM
I sent you a soup mail.:0)
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Date: 6/29/2022 6:39:00 AM
I like the casual feel of this piece. Although I have not traveled on those streets, you somehow made them feel familiar.
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