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Best Poems Written by Bernard Chan

Below are the all-time best Bernard Chan poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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The Secrets Of Mornings

Each day dawns laden with secrets.

The morning dews are crystal balls, 
each holding a secret trailer of 
a fragment of day.    

The birds, chirping incessantly, 
gossip among themselves about the
delightful things you’ll find at 
the weekend market. 

In the crevice between the sun's 
virginal light and last night's shadows, 
an old friend waits for a 
scheduled chance encounter, 
bearing a gift of forgotten memories.

Fresh brew drips into the carafe of your
old coffee machine, tapping out
a Morse code of the new 
thoughts and feelings that will percolate 
into your brain in the hours to come.

And the curtains billow with echoes 
of the laughs to be laughed.

The day is waiting to confess 
its plans for you.

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2017

Details | Bernard Chan Poem


Through the water they glide, 
an immense mosaic of millions of silvery fish 
on their migratory run, 
obeying a call immemorial, 
a mystery of aquatic unison 
choreographed by instinct primordial. 
They billow,	
a grainy smoke cloud 
in which light drowns.   

A ruffling,
like an enormous bedspread 
being shaken out in slow motion 
by an invisible giant.  

They turn into a mesh,
glistening, spinning around, tightening, 
a net woven with fish for catching water. 

They stretch, 
a submerged galaxy 
unspooling into a braided rope 
in a blue universe. 

They bank, 
and silver ripples across the shoal, 
a wheat field touched by a soaking breeze. 

Then they move on, 
flashing by, 
like underwater rain falling sideways. 

Before the predators get to them,
my eyes are feasting.  

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2017

Details | Bernard Chan Poem

Kissing Snowflakes

                              Like ballerinas airdropped from on high, 
                              Snowflakes pirouette to damask the air, 
                                 Tutued geometries dimpling the sky, 
                             Veil our stinging eyes with arabesque fair. 
                            Downy fields we walk, where aureoles tide, 
                          And white breaths upon your face softly flare. 
                           As my swooning kiss to your frail smile dips, 
                              A wayward prism alights upon your lips.

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2018

Details | Bernard Chan Poem

The Lost Years

The photos stopped 
when you were 10 or 11.
Around that time, you started refusing to 
have your pictures taken.
A few candid shots are all I’ve 
managed since then.
In them, the look on your face is growing inward, 
as a cocoon slowly encloses you in a 
translucent mystery,
turning you into a dark silhouette 
as you start to construct your 
own parallel universe,
in a tug of war with a thousand things 
you are just starting to learn the meaning of, 
morphing into what the world will know,
what I will, with any luck, 
recognize only with squinted eyes 
when the cocoon reopens.   

For now, I can’t see you.  

All I can do is wait. 

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2018

Details | Bernard Chan Poem

No Prettier Sight

                                  The Eiffel Tower gives up its power,
                               When seductive Paris we travel through.
                                  Mayfair is oft-huddled in a shower,
                               Tahitian lagoons lose their dreamy blue.  
                                Little awe Greek islands inspire in me,
                               The romance of the Taj Mahal does pall,
                                   An aurora’s magic I’m slow to see,
                                Each place we go I feel I’ve seen it all. 
                                  The eye no Saharan sky can excite,
                                  Few vistas thrill on a hot air balloon. 
                              The Arctic presents no breathtaking sight,
                                     In Rio I’m hardly over the moon. 
                             The loveliest scene pales next to your face,
                                And no glimpse of paradise can amaze. 

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2017

Details | Bernard Chan Poem


His hand is strafing the castellation on his trumpet, the valves moving up down up down like deranged pistons under the random machine gun fire of his fingers. Each note is a projectile that concusses the air, chases the one before it, nudges it from behind, bleeds into it, and is itself tailgated by the next one, all the way down the line in unrelenting succession, until all the distinct notes fuse, compacted into a single, furious, careening soundscape that leaves the ear always half a beat behind, struggling to catch up, out of breath, high on an overdose of heard adrenalin.

sounds supersonic    
air graffitied with contrails of soaring notes
solo flight  
Still they come, the notes, jostling and pouring from the bell of the trumpet glinting in the small cone of spotlight, the man’s puffed cheeks like a magician’s hat from which all kinds of disparate, crazy things - playing cards, rabbits, ribbons, doves - appear and instantly cohere into a hyperventilating sonic dream. You’re caught off guard by every note: you never heard it coming, then you hear it, and you’re snatched by it and all its brethren, and carried into the kinetic night.

ears beguiled
vibrations collide, collude, segue

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2017

Details | Bernard Chan Poem


                                            The canopy of leaves
                              sieves the morning sunlight into beams
                                  as if from an opaque, porous sky,
                            laying bright polka dots on the forest floor.

                   The hiker slaloms around the shafts of light as he goes, 
                                   crosses an imaginary finish line, 
                                     arms raised in mock triumph, 
                          unaware he has finished last behind a field of 
                                  resident elves, gnomes and fairies 
                                              racing him unseen.

                           [“Komorebi” is a Japanese word meaning the 
                                 sunlight filtering through tree leaves.]

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2017

Details | Bernard Chan Poem


in the end, we were there-not there
two present absentees 
sharing an apartment vacated by a relationship 
and the worst kind of loneliness
   - feeling solitary next to someone
partners in the crime of abetting mutual misery
though neither of us can really be linked 
to the crime scene, can we? 

we’ve got each other’s alibi

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2019

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Harvest For The Senses

                         Before gathering gloom takes away our eyes, 
                             Let’s fill them with dandelions’ dance. 

                    Before our mouths are closed by the curfew of age, 
                            Let’s deposit in them the taste of kisses. 

                                   Before dusk deafens our ears, 
                       Let them hear the just and the righteous sing. 

                                Before sweet scents are sent away, 
                       We’ll feast on the potpourris of wines and seas. 

                         Before the world is a stranger to our hands, 
                       Let the sun press into them the shapes of light. 

                           And when our hearts can no more crave, 
                    They shall declare, “O, my riches. You have no idea.”

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2018

Details | Bernard Chan Poem

Once Upon A Tomorrow

                                   When birds mass in ebony flight,
                                  and skim brightness from the sun,
                                      light shall not flee your eyes. 

                      When laughter fades from the languages of men, 
                                     and ears have forgotten song, 
                                          I shall hear your voice. 

                    When nothing can be embraced but the bones of fire, 
                                          and mouths are icicled, 
                       the warmth of your body shall still flicker in mine. 

                          If ever the tides are too tired to reach shore, 
                                 and sleep is heaped upon the seas, 
                                       you shall flow through me.    

                            Boughs may flare naked like broken veins,
                                  and dead leaves flood every road,
                                      but once upon a tomorrow,  
                                   my way back to you I shall find.

Copyright © Bernard Chan | Year Posted 2018