I have a separate blog where I write poetry, with annotations to some poems to give either context or full story to them. I just finished annotating a collection of poems from an epic trip I had over 4 years ago to visit my home country of Viet Nam for the first time since I left as a child in 1980, and I wanted to share it for any readers here who might care for such writings.
Just over 4 years ago, in 2015, I returned to Viet Nam to visit for the first time since escaping the country as a young child in 1980. During this trip, I did a lot of reflection, as well as took notes on people, sights, events, etc. It was an overwhelming amount of information to retell, but I tried to summarize a rough version of it in a collection of 64 haiku formed poems, with annotations, I called Tales of an Expat Tourist. The poems are haiku formed because they are only haiku in form of 3 lines and some order of 5-7-5 total of 17 syllable lines, not following other requirements like lack of use of similes. I generally only write haiku for form, anyway, punctuating with dashes like Emily Dickinson.
I had completed the collection a few years back, writing annotations afterward that took longer. Unfortunately, I forgot about finishing it along the way, thinking I had finished annotations and postings. A search for something in one of those poems showed most had still been in draft posts, never published because I had not annotated them. After a marathon session today, I’m happy to say I have completed them and wanted to share news of that in this post. That’s because to get the poems ordered the way I wanted, I had to artificially back date them in a certain way that was set up a few years back, so they would not appear in the general feed for many readers.
If you care for such poems, thoughts, reflections, etc. I hope you’ll give them a glance or read, and I hope you’ll like some of them. Thank you.
Tales of an Expat Tourist
Teacher unions are constantly in contract negotiations around much of the world these days as contracts are constantly expiring and needing renewal in one place or another. Some of these can drag on and/or get rather unpleasant in nature. We are in the middle of a negotiation situation where I live. Some incorrectly perceive I’m not in a position to comment without being in conflict of interest despite having my individual rights of free speech, but I’m not here to discuss that. I don’t want that to be a distraction here, nor this to be the hill they die on. Instead, I’m here to share a familial story on teacher working conditions for perspective and documentation of stories not otherwise preserved beyond oral retelling in the family.
A few days back, I shared a short story I wrote about a very sad childhood experience I had in Viet Nam. I wrote it prior to returning to my home country for the first time in 35 years, ending with contemplation about how I’d handle helping ease some of the poverty I would experience there. Specifically, it was the street children because it was street children survival brutality that I had been exposed to as a child that one day of The Pho Incident story.
This past winter, I entered the CBC Literary Awards competition for Creative Nonfiction. In short, it’s a contest for style of how you tell a real story in 1500 words or less. The Long List was recently announced and I wasn’t on it, which meant I can now share it here with you! Entries published anywhere until now would have been disqualified from the competition.
This event had an impact on something in my near future at the time of writing, on which I contemplated and which has since passed. In a few days, I will post the follow-up to my contemplation at the story’s end.
I hope you’ll like it and thanks for reading. 🙂
While I was in Ho Chi Minh City last month, I got my cousin Oc to give me a ride through the city centre, side streets and even some pretty narrow alleys on his moped. While he did this, I filmed it using a handheld camcorder placed to the side of his head, and narrated it. Then I edited the footage to keep the highlights of the trip.