Two Poems by Phillip Chiao
We each hold a corn
on the cob with both of our hands
and right in our faces.
For a moment, we are just
two chipmunks, digging in,
mouthful of golden nuggets.
I want to sing it loud:
“How Sweet It Is
To Be Loved By You.”
I sweep across the corn field
like a John Deere harvester, each bite
takes down a few rows
and a few columns.
I’ve cleared one last swath before
giving my ear
a quarter round turn, looking up:
the cob has taken a big bite out
of your smile, but
there is a twinkle in your eyes.
I manage to say:
“How sweet it is!”
Autumn in LA
Autumn in LA — all but a line in the desert sand.
What is the chance of Japanese maples — trapped
in the courtyard of our apartment complex, stripped
bare by the gardener, now teased
into unfurling folds
of green, apple green buds, only
to be burned, alive
and again, on the stakes.
You, too, a delicate and exotic transplant, yielding
to the first ocean breeze, falling
for a love that has all of the promises
of a desert spring but the brutalities
of a desert summer.
Tomorrow is winter solstice.
Tonight I will dream of you, and
of waking up to rain drops falling off the tips
of green, apple green maple leaves.
Philip Chiao is a resident of Pasadena. He was born in Taiwan and spent three of his teen years in Libya before coming to America at the age of seventeen. He was a graduate of Belmont High School, Los Angeles. He holds a B. A. in Environmental Design and a M. Architecture. He had practiced architecture for more than 40 years before retiring in 2017. His personal perspective has been greatly enriched by the variety of life and cultural experiences. Since retirement, he spends time with family, friends and volunteers in local communities. His hobbies include painting, writing and studying the history of Asian and Asian American laborers in the salmon canning industry of the America West.