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

Who You Are Within – You Don’t Have to Try

Every so often you hear a song that really speaks to you (not because of the beat, but because of the message).  Try by Colbie Caillat is a beautiful and inspiring song about self-image.  It reminded me of a poem I wrote a while back called Who You Are Within.

Who You are Within

In the mirror, she stares
hoping that someone would care
how beautiful she looked
because of the amount of time it took.

She smiles and tosses her hair,
wondering what to wear.
She puts on an expensive dress
and shoes that cost no less.

She begins her mission
of putting on lipstick with precision.
Mascara, powder, cream
and jewelry that gleams.
She has it all,
standing gorgeous and tall.

Looking like a star,
she has accomplished her dream.
But appearance may not be
what it seems.
What she really lacks
is self-esteem.

Wipe off that lipstick!
Take off that powdery mess!
If you want success
that’s not the way to go.
All you need to show
is who you are within.




A blanket of darkness,
a bird’s eye view
of a million lights,
a glistening map
of the cityscape,
a glistening glimpse
into people’s lives.

Who are they
and what do they do
in the dark, dark night?
Is it a city of peace,
of the perfect American dinner,
of sweet, sweet slumber,
happiness and romance
all bundled into one?

Or is it a city of scandal,
filled with reckless behavior,
money-driven goals,
drug-crazy addicts,
bang, bang
gunshots and tears?

It’s hard to see
in a blanket of darkness
what the lights signify.
Who are these people
and what do they do
in the dark, dark night?

City at Night
– image taken from Google

Forever 21

I went shopping at Forever 21 today and snatched a great deal on an outerwear/bomber jacket that was originally priced at $44.80, reduced to $30.99, with an additional 40% off, resulting in a final price of $20.22 including tax.  It was awesome and I loved it!  My boyfriend, on the other hand, decided to wait outside the store while I did my shopping.  After all, shopping for clothes isn’t exactly fun for men, as I thought back of a poem I wrote many years ago.  Maybe about a decade ago, I went shopping at Forever 21 and noticed a group of men hanging out by the window, waiting for their girlfriends.  It inspired me to write this comedic poem.  It still cracks me up to this day =)


A row of men
by the windowsill
tweedle dee, tweedle dum
in front of racks and racks
of spaghetti-straps,
low-rise jeans
and cute little tops.

Fanning himself,
he mutters,
“It’s so hot.”

Inside she squeals,
“It’s so hot,”
placing a red top
against her chest
over her black
twirling around
and around,
staring at
her reflection,

her hair up,
her hair down,
it around.

They giggle,
her group of friends,
some in embarrassment,
some in envy,
some in private disgust.

Repeated over and over,
phrases and scenarios
throughout the store.
“It’s so cute.”
“It’s too tight.”
“That’s a deal.”
“Oh, my God!”
“They don’t have my size.”
“Hell, no!”

From day to day,
time to time,
and gossip.

A single girl
grabs a top.
“I got a boyfriend”
it says,
as she blushes
in thought.

“You do not!”
shouts her friend,
“I got a boyfriend,
and he’s hot,”
holding a black top
with just those words.

At the other rack,
a baby blue baby doll
reads, “My boyfriend’s out of town”
as a girl contemplates
naughty thoughts.
Tick tock, tick tock,

Alas she opted
for an army green top
that simply read
“I love my boyfriend.”
Tick tock, tick tock.

A row of men
sitting on the ledge
by the windowsill,
tweedle dee, tweedle dum.

He looks at him.
He looks at him.
He looks at the clock.
He sends a text.
Tick tock, tick tock.

Tweedle dee, tweedle dum.
He looks at him,
He looks at him,
“When is she done!?”
The days of


Forever 21 Store