A Poet's Kiss

Albuquerque poet Mary Oishi puts poems, pictures, and thoughts here for her family and friends, and for lovers of poetry everywhere.

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States

Thursday, October 19, 2006

letter to my daughter who called today from laos

thank you for raising my conciousness again today.
as i listened to what happened to those people in the indochina war
the story of the little boys and the waterfall
the river with so many dams being built upstream
i felt like such an insolated, superficial american
worrying about my petty pleasures, focused on decorating.
while rivers choke on coal dust
whole peoples get denied their lives downstream
gone a lifestyle rhythmed with the cycles of waters
stranger to cash, gentle and ancient.

then there's the little boys who don't know what makes the waterfall.
who won't know what robs them of their lives
when the chinese are done upstream. unless someone intervenes.
but they didn't with the khmer rouge. i know nothing about
living underground for years to avoid the bombs. i only remember
four college kids getting killed for protesting nixon's expansion of the war.
i only know that when those fighter jets take off at kirtland
it hurts the dogs' ears. i can't imagine how a must child feel
when they're gunning for you.

today i feel grateful for my easy life. i'm up from feeling sorry for myself
to feeling major gratitude. i mean this, thank you! i'm so glad you're getting insights
learning so many things firsthand--the way they go in deeper
than anything you could read. thanks for sharing with me what you see.
i've always been astounded by your vision, even as a child, my precious one.
great that you and sky are getting clarity--how to proceed
to really make a difference with your big beautiful hearts and your capable brains.
i commend you, love. through all the changes and sometimes heartbreaks and

everywhere you've been all the way into adulthood
you have never lost your beauty and i have complete faith you never will.

when you asked why do they do this, mom? these people are gentle tribal people
who live in the forests--what reason could they possibly have to bomb them
underground for nine long years, where they prayed to lord buddha they'd survive

my answer: after world war two the military industrial complex needed to keep
draining the public trust, the excess labor of workers, so they had to keep us
perpetually at war to justify such massive thievery of our collective treasure
that could have gone to education, healthcare for us all, our human needs, but no

so while asians weren't really human, they just used the weapons over there.
howard hughes's lobbyist argued for extension of that war right to the end
so hughes aircraft could sell a few more helicopters. because asians weren't really human

don't say that, you said, we're asians and asians are human--
love for all the asians you have come to know in your year and more of travel
shaking your voice earnestly. love for me. love for yourself. i sense how
you really feel your roots now. i sense how i may have hurt you by saying such a

hurtful thing outloud. i sense that you are indeed blood of my blood.

gentle people are related all over the world.

mary oishi
18 october 2006

Note: Sky is my daughter's traveling companion in Asia and in life.


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