San Francisco

~ photo by Jared Erondu

San Francisco
by Jenny Katherine Luu

I travel to the bay
on a beetle with yellow eyes
and a red tail,
through rivers of red and gold,
and rolling waves of cement…
I approach the man-made forest.

A thousand tree trunks
rise into the sky.
They’re only five feet apart,
barely space to walk,
barely space to breathe.

An elegant beauty where
a thousand tree trunks
are lit by fireflies
in the dark blue sky.

People, like squirrels, live in the trees.
People, like ants, swarm at the base.
I, like a fluttering bird,
watch mesmerized
at the organized chaos
between squirrel and ant
co-existing in the crowded forest.


Breathing in the fresh mountain air,
I absorb the landscape before me.
Standing tall beneath the wispy clouds,
the mountain embraces the river.
Sandy brown, granite gray,
with streams of white pebbles
flowing down the slopes.

Flowing to
a richer part of the mountain
covered with yellow-green grass,
surrounded by auburn trees,
next to the white pebble beach
by the blue-green water.
The sun shines throughout.

Standing on Kappa Bridge,
I look dull in comparison,
for I am only one color,
the color of my skin.
However, when standing next
to my brothers and sisters
from all over the world,
we are also part of nature’s beauty,
varying colors standing together,
living in harmony.


The Engagement

High on the mountaintop
in the dark of night,
we see a shimmering sea
of florescent orange lights.
A twinkle here, a sparkle there,
no currents, only man-made waves –
cellular, radio, satellite –
connecting you, me, and the world…
wide web, surfing an intangible
ocean, as the lights flicker
and shimmer.  We admire
the cool night breeze, the smell
of dry grass, the sound
of singing crickets, the feel
of soft dirt on the bottom
of our soles, as we breathe in
the fresh air, high above
the orange ocean.

~ image from Google

Poems for Manet

I’ve been having a slight writer’s block lately and can’t seem to be inspired to write poetry.  I decided to try something different and pulled out my book on Impressionists, hoping it would inspire me somehow.  Looking at these beautiful paintings did trigger me to think, feel and sense various emotions.  These two haiku are based on my reactions to paintings by Edouard Manet.

The Railway

Behind railway bars,
the little aristocrat
dreams to be free.

The Railway by Edouard Manet
Edouard Manet. The Railway. 1872-1873. Oil on canvas.


Plum Brandy

The ice cream’s melting,
wealthy youth stares at nothing,
life drip-drips away.

Plum Brandy
Edouard Manet. Plum Brandy. 1878. Oil on Canvas

The Vegas Facade

A View of VegasLights sparkle on buildings
and dance on water.
Red, blue, purple, gold
embrace the  night
with the magic of hope…

People rush to gamble,
to win, to hit the jackpot,
People rush to drink,
to dance, to get lucky,
People rush to be mesmerized
by Le Reve – The Dream.
People dream…
to be a star.

Shining brightly,
endless possibilities
for love and fortune,
unlimited opportunities
for debt and regret.

Here in Vegas, reality is blinded
by light and clouded by smoke
from fruity cigars.
When the lights go out
and the sun comes up,
it’s another city.

People without homes
beg for money.
Young, beautiful girls,
their faces and dreams
scatter the floor,
and you step on them.
Frankenstein, Mario
and many minions
wander the streets.

You feel slightly,
just slightly


Turkeys, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, food galore
Humbly saying thanks for things we’re grateful for
Appreciating the company of family and friends
Notating what sale items we want and when the sale begins
Kissing and hugging our loved ones until we go shopping
Sipping sparkling wine and eating yummy toppings
Giving thanks for great company and good food
Inviting loved ones to celebrate next year at your hood
Visiting with family is always a blast
If only the hours and days didn’t go by so fast
Now it’s time to leave and find deals galore
Giving thanks for Black Friday, that’s what this holiday is for.

Or is it?  Have the times changed?

Thanksgiving Dinner
image from Google