Category Archives: Wander + Wonder

spontaneous freeverse poetry from a wander in Asian lands


Home is something i’ve never known
I only how to go, go far
by train by van by thumb by plane
by my weary legs with viking calves

To be clear, from grade 1 through 4
I lived in the same house
Near a Guildford forest
Now a shopping mall
I built tree forts with abandoned lumber
Explored burned out wreckage across the dirt lane
Where i found a rusty hammer handle
Charred with reason unseen

Since then, no where longer
than three years
i don’t count the places
as i can’t determine a criteria
what’s to be included
when all is transitory

Motels for months
Uninvited couch surf for a season
Roommates unwanted
A parked van for happy nights

Years when tents and tarps
Out-counted a solid roof room
I can light a fire in the rain
Just can’t put it out

Communes, communities and rest area
wooded campout national parks
thwarting eviction by limitations
by rangers claiming beachlands
as their authority

Destinations not near as important
as the ways and the means

Frankly i’m not particular
but partial to somewhere calm
of transport conveyance
public or private
not as interesting as dirty or clean
and most often importantly
slow, or at least not deliberately swift
though speedy and secure will suffice

Some ramblers love airports
the commotion and details
i shut off senses and try to avoid
conversations with strangers
who looks like me

Give me the awkward lost ones
the folks fumbling through
not the seasoned jaded sharpy
others can interrupt train tables
whereas i can only figure
north or south
from the town i leave
and when it might arrive
Noting: if overnight, make sure stops after 9
when the coffee shops are open
workers on their way
i’ll pause to fill a cup with cream
stir in too much sugar
for false hope and energy

I wrote instructions for other to hitchhike
must add a disclaimer to ensure no damage
i can’t be held responsible for randomness
rushing highway on-ramps, just hold a sign

While a freighter stateroom is ideal
an empty cabin might have to do
to peer out the porthole
and see the same sea each day

Fringed by sand or trees or
ports requiring approval
inky stamps are a weakness
and to think 100 years ago
a passport was rather absurd
of course you are from elsewhere
present yourself
because they already know you are here
commit to your cover story
whether lies or truth indifferent

Just become who you say
before it catches up with you

Bosphorus Float (poem in process)

Towards the Yangtze (poem + pictogram)

Poem: Yangtze Morning, cards (handwritten)
Poem: Yangtze Morning, cards (handwritten)+

Towards the Yangtze



4AM Shanghai

Me, insomniatic as usual

Watching light rise 

Through pollution skies

To illuminate building designed

By a committee of Dr. Seuss, Salvador Dali and MC Escher


The ship pulls out through endless gauntlet 

of all the ships in the world

Each their own world

Tiny houses on giant barges, flags, cigarette and a wave


Yangtze River wide

As a sound

Cozy as an African watering hole

Herds of barges graze

Like wildebeests lady to fall into stampede

When hyena party boats of wedding revellers disappear into dark, 

Moored behind elephant cruisers

The bulls wait  beyond the marsupial floating dry docks 

Holding wounded deer craft 

Under gaze of manicured obedient flocks

Of bobbing cranes

Feeding vibes into yawning hippos accustomed to melons

Catamaran racers lean into wind, puny sailors lean to balance for the watches and cameras 

As peacocks might 

Beneath windmills grindingly faraway wheat


The wagon trail of floaters

Parade through river intersections

Obeying crackled jargon appointing times-subject to change

From typhoons, tainted waters, tides and an abundance of caution

And negotiation

Then the dispatch arrives

And like preschoolers, holding a string

The horizon redefines with tankers

Containers, cruisers, scoopers, prospectors, fighters, seekers, and free radicals 

Bearing industrial names 

Referred by diligent tugs

Pilots breakwater boundaries

And the wake and buoys ahead

Soon they will diverge to transient paths 

Using similar charts 

And common codes



Sparking Beedies
through the strait of Hormuz
considering the children I keep employed
tying tiny green strings, next to elders
snug around dry, burly leaves

Piracy warnings
lights off on the decks
to pretend to confuse
thwart grappling hooks 
avoiding a dramatic turn

Maneuvering fast around
sheep, minarets and sand dunes
lanyards grant passage
indicated by satellite

I’ll hide in the solarium 
or perhaps the engine room,
next to acetylene tanks and Greek captains
with nautical miles unequaled to date

Radio tubes dicate
“1 point to port” 
to provide mathematicians a hobby
the statisticians a muse

Auctioneers work quicker than cartographers
and even faster than a bullet trains
who at least have the decency to stop
at stations from time to time
to allow the slow minds
needed moments to breathe

Ship to Shore Communiqué

The buoys past behind
Soon this seabirds surrender
Pilot boat gives way
To empty depths beyond

Muslim Minarets
and Portuguese forts
Equally fade to gray
Prayer calls too far away

Gangway long
Tucked in belly
Can’t lean over railing
With a foreign cigar
Due to Pirates seeking
A life of spoil

Ocean Haze

Ocean haze gives way
To Orion stringing his bow
To hunt hearts and wild boar
For a cappuccino empress
So divine she must be Nepali

The earnest one encourages perspective
Unforced and transcending documentation
To story to art to community
The pinnacle of us all
All of us

The landscape defines culture
Culture determines our fate
We evolved slowly from the mountaintops
Now deep undersea
Awaiting earthquakes

We slip over depth sounding
To gauge the draft
Through a gauntlet
Or derrick isles

Freighters preferred to skirt
Ransom-seeking buccaneers
Laden with weapons from a
Floating armory

Pistachios for Bedouins

Pistachios for Bedouins
Origins delineated by headscarves
Indications of savagery
Evidence of restraint

Ancestors exactly one hundred years ago
When marshes were laden with water fowl
And the deserts were undrained

The driest valleys
Criss crossed by salt water canals
Providing Sultanic dhows
Passageways to escape
The confines of destiny
And loneliness

Escape tyranny of washing plates
Just throw overboard
Settle next to treasure
And sunken containers
On the ocean floor

Rainy Mystery Alley

For reasons i don’t understand myself
I dream of downtowns i will never visit
I prefer to exist in tiny villages with a
Efficient post office, perfect cafe and bakery
Next to a bookshop with stationary
Fresh pencils and inky pens

But when i try (i only try) to sleep
Rocked by tracks or waves
Or a simulation of above
I am high collared coat and
Woolen scarf
Lost in a city i am unsure about

Devoid of knowledge or expectations
Tucking down alleys so narrow
I can touch each side
Intuition leads me to a diner or bar
With 8 seats or less
A barman asks me to finish a top-shelf bottle
So he can finally restock
Entirely impolite not to oblige

A lady en route to work asks me nervously
And tells me her real name without request
Immigrant dishwasher asks for five for a smoke
On the rainy stoop

Favorite music i’ve never heard
Faded enka ballads, and low fado
Improvised bass notes
From the Arco hotel

When i leave, only the lights gently undim,
As a gracious hint
Misty rain invariably falls
I steady with a cane rather than an umbrella
Which simply neglects the senses
Of acute tactility

Neither warm nor chill
Wool and silk release a fragrance
Of countryside hounds
And afternoon farm toil
The trousers are pressable to show again
A crisp crease and a scarf doubles as a hint
Of elegance and distracts from leather boots,
Muddied atop polish from a dirt road monsoon of
The non-fiction chapter of erstwhile reality


I dream of nowhere
My homing instinct is disappeared
Friends i suppose
But to what end?

Simplicity if includes
Conflicts resolved
easy pleasure

I miss nowhere and no one
I’ve stopped missing myself
Resigned to something like weakness
Or strength of another kind

I dream of notebooks
Crisp pages, inky pens
Taken by someone to transform
Into something grander

I sit alone with pen
Words come easy
But the amplification
Is not mine

Occasionally Free

My half life
Is the better part of me
up to you entirely
which half you want to see

Stolen library books
Or loud guitars
I exist
Somewhere in between

Diamonds and dungaree
Top floor hotels
Or a flophouse squat
Something in a middle path
On a train or out to sea

Weirdness follows along
Wherever i wander and roam
Tiniest palm islands
Or festival jamboree

Trails up mountains
Without a map
Trying to get lost
Cities with no language
Means or currency

My skills are entirely impractical
Sitting in patio cafes
Writing letters to loves i never knew
And drinking watery tea

I’ve minted banknotes on vellum
Carved ink stamps in balsa wood
And manufactured clandestine postage stamps
Printed in Singapore

Who will you choose when we meet
Out here on the globe
Will you recognize my face
As a friend or
Consider me an enemy

Three miles sideways
Just a couple of pals
Perhaps a lover and a best friend
Rotating walk-on characters
In a dramatic documentary comedy

Will you cast me in yours
If i perform well in your required auditions?

Scars from stingrays
A list of broken bones
Initials carved on noble trees
Scrapbooks full of secrets

I’ve heard of something called a home
But not sure where i left it
You ask me where i’m from “from”
I ask you where we are

Observe the world with binoculars
But a monocle shows more clear
Usually hidden behind dark glasses
To hide my joyful tears

Shortwave radio brings me
News from a decade or four ago
Explorers gone before me
Charting meandering paths
Pointing the longest way
To warmth and mystery

Maybe i can be the one
Who inspires or perhaps
Breaks you out of everyday
You are whoever you choose
As though i know
When reality suggests
I know a little except
How to be occasionally free