A nation of car horns and serene waterscapes
women in masks, shields against the burning sun
a family of bandits,
streetside dining.

Nation of noise
I return for the tranquility.
Strong drinks and ice cubes, sweating
a firm opposition of to-go coffees
because if you have time to order one,
you also have time to sit down and enjoy it
in the company of others doing the same.

Weekend getaway to this island home
even in another language,
each gust of wind
whispers my native name.

Cutting open a ripe mango
its nectar races to my elbows.
In oceanside hammocks,
we’re laughing anecdotally of all the places we’ve been
and how home has never tasted
quite as sweet as this.

I did not win the scholarship essay contest you all so kindly voted me for. However, I’m not upset, because I landed an internship at a PR agency which directly relates to my school studies! My blog numbers and being part of this community translated perfectly to how I managed to get the job, and so while one door closed, a larger, MASSIVE door opened! Thank you all for following up with my personal studies, and I hope you’re all doing well too!
This piece is dedicated to my parents’ home, Vietnam. Have you ever been somewhere that felt like a second home? Tell me about it in the comments!

Thank you all again for supporting me.



60 thoughts on “30

  1. Pingback: Nation Of Noise – The Militant Negroβ„’

  2. Elle, I personally think your poem was the best and I’m at least happy to see that you got something, maybe even better, from your beautiful work. In the long run, this may turn out to be a blessing. Your poems are beautifully written from the heart. I wish you the best in the coming years. You have a special talent that should take you far in anything you do. Stan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s wonderful! My parents were born in Vietnam and I was born in Canada, but when I stepped foot onto the soil when I went to visit, it felt so warm and comforting. A second home that burrowed itself into my heart–I hope you feel the same about Ghana! Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh, I was struck by your “second home” question. My journeying around The Philippines involved love affairs, so naturally that factored in to my ongoing affection for that country. I probably spent three years there, total, spread over a number of trips. Colombia I was just in for 26 days—mostly an immersion into Ayahuasca (a whole ‘nother story) and tribal cultural aspects pertaining to that. People there are just wonderful and it’s as lushly beautiful as anywhere I’ve ever been. GO! Meanwhile, congrats on your internship (I voted for you several times). Your talent will continue to win over new friends and fans. You’ve got what it takes. Cheers,Mark

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you for sharing such a colourful story! The world is really one big home, as long as you’re ready to try it out. Thank you for your supportive words! Fingers crossed πŸ™‚


    1. Thank you, John! That idea is so wholesome, my heart melts. My parents sold my childhood home when I was 20, and I still dream about the house sometimes. Always fondly, always comforting. I hope you feel the same when you step in their doors too. How sweet.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. jdrodgersblogger

      Hi. Thanks for liking my writing, Walk On Mars. I tried to the hit approve button. I accidentally hit delete. Anyway, I’m glad you liked it. Thank you

      Liked by 1 person

  3. At 1st I thought I was disheartened that your pleas for support to the blogging award did not become fruitful, but then realized there are thousands who are also a bit disappointed from their loss as well.
    It is a much greater achievement to be recognized for your attributes by those who can further your career, and I hope you do well with it too; as I love your writing.
    I have been to many places I could call home, both throughout this country, and your neighborhood as well; especially Cambodia and Thailand.
    Both my younger brother and I, had to stand by helpless in ’73, while the slaughter of potential educators, practitioners and politicos were condemned through association.
    To return there would only cause me more anxiety and suffering for that which we were unsuccessful in achieving. Independence and freedom. I have Vietnamese friends who were either not born in those days, or were never taught about them by their parents, and know nothing of the Chinese regime which dominated the lands then.
    But my mind and my heart will never picture the beauty it has become because of what I was a part of. I still ask for forgiveness everyday because of it.
    Put your heart into to every assignment and challenge, and I think you will shine young lady…you are great.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was upset to see that I had not placed in the award, but further research into the company, I have yet to see any proof that /anyone/ has won the scholarship in its long history–and you’d think someone would’ve exclaimed their success on Twitter or any sort of platform! But to each their own, I’m still happy with what I’m walking away with, a community of friends who support me, and an internship in my field! Everything works out anyway. πŸ™‚
      Wow, what a story you’ve got, Philip. Definitely a lot of history on those lands of hardship and of pain, I can’t imagine how those have shaped what you remember of it. The world really has no corners unreachable; I hope you find comfort in your quiet memories one day. Thank you for coming by.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so happy I’ve read this today. I’ve been meaning to write about the small town of La Mata in Spain where I spent many summers with my parents, most definitely a second home for me, so this poem might be the nudge I needed to get the ball rolling. The details that you celebrate from a place I’ve never been are different yet not too dissimilar to my own nostalgic memories, the small things that stand out as worth remembering. Though our scenes are very different they echo the same feeling, which is really something special.

    I’ve only just started following your blog, so am a bit out of the loop with the award that you were hoping for, but I can see that you don’t need to worry about it. Your way with words and the engagement with your followers are such a testament to your talent that they render any external validation redundant anyway.

    Keep up the great work!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi!! Yes, absolutely I was hoping to illustrate this idea that we all have a second home somewhere on the planet, and that we all feel the same way about it, that it’s comforting, it’s quiet, and it’s full of love. I’m excited to read your piece! Thank you for your kind words, see you around!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hey Elle! CONGRATULATIONS!!! Oh, that’s just wonderful!!! Yay and Cheers! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— (that’s a standing ovation!)

    And this poem is SOOO lovely!!! Brought so many smiles and You made me cry at the lines, “…each gust of wind whispers my native name…” Great picture too. I’ve never been there but have heard it’s wonderful!

    After 32 years of being gone from my childhood island….I’ve been home for the past 6 years and it’s where I’m going to stay. Funny, it truly does feel like this place knows me and “gets” me. The moss, the trees, the ocean, the people. Crazy.

    I’m so happy for You! ROCK ON!!! :)β˜€οΈπŸ¬πŸ˜„

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Loved Viet Nam when we visited for 10 days in 2008. Flew into Saigon from Australia. An Binh homestay (Mawp Hai Ba… Yo!), Saigon, Apocalypse Now Bar, Hue’s seven-storey pagoda, My Son, Ha Long Bay, Water Puppet Theatre, Tai Chi with locals by the lake in Hanoi before we flew to Xi’an… to name a few… highlights.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That is so wonderful to hear! There are so many negative ideas about Vietnam that people can’t fathom how beautiful of a place it is. I definitely miss those late night drinks–a city that really never sleeps. Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have great respect for the honesty, ingenuity (in defeating the Mongol fleet in Ha Long Bay, for example) industriousness and courage of its people and, above all, their capacity to shrug off adversity and forgive. I have about five or six posts back in 2012 after I restarted my blog on WordPress in 2012. My dream was/is? to return to the Mekong and take a peoples’ scheduled boat upriver to Cambodia to see Angor Wat.
        Would have to do that one without my wife. She is more cautious than I. Using the search button will help people find the posts. Vietnam and/or Viet Nam should turn up most of them.

        Liked by 2 people

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