I reminisced a lot about the past few years recently. It was a painful few years, filled with more heartaches than I’d pride myself to admit. It was funny how I could have lost everything, even those I thought I could hold on to. Admittedly there were shining moments-love, happiness, friendship, peeling off my old skin. Most of them are finally over now. I’m surely gladly I survived. 

Now I look back modestly - and look, with an earnest heart. Oh how I miss the time that has passed - but I’m never going back.



The more she cried, the worse I felt

Roll, roll, roll on John, 
Don’t you roll so slow.
How can I roll when the wheels won’t roll?

I asked that girl, won’t you be my wife?
She fell on her knees, she began to cry.

The more she cried, the worse I felt, 
'Til I thought my heart would melt.

I looked at the sun, was a-sinking low.
I looked at my baby, she was a-walkin’ down the road.

I looked at the sun, was a-turning red.
I looked at my baby, but she bowed her head.

Don’t the sun look lonesome, oh lord lord lord, on the graveyard fence?
Don’t my baby look lonesome, when her head is bent?

Roll on John, don’t you roll so slow.
How can I roll when the wheels won’t roll?

Roll on John, don’t you roll so slow.
How can I roll when the wheels won’t roll?





First Snow

I left the wooden dome on curious quests;

Down the hill we sled and often stumbled.

The icy road now looks so long, more crooked –

Silver trudge we left, once new now buried.

It’s not remembrance from the song on rain:

“I’m not looking for the rest of your life, I

Just want another chance to live” and so on –

It was a pathless walk we walked alone.

Now winter’s still the season I adore the most –

when pale flakes bury under the orange light

A Black Cat

It was around the time when I was eight; we used to live in a little village at the periphery of the city, next to a garbage dump surrounded by the farmlands. There was a black cat, perhaps wild, most likely some neighbor’s mice season pet, that came around every once in a while and sat quietly on a branch in a cautious serenity. We used to look each other in the eye. She would stare for a while, and then jump agilely among the branches until her slim figure merged with the dusty leaves. No one paid any particular attention to her, even when her gaze was so intense that a restless kid like me was constantly memorized. I thought she was some friendly ghost trying to speak to me, telling me secrets such as my power to control all feline species. Having nearly no control over any tangible things in life, I certainly believed so for a long time, and exchanged many conspiring smirks with various cats. No one quite reciprocated with a cementing look as hers.

I paid no attention to saying proper goodbye to her when we left, as I still don’t to most things. As a matter of fact, I forgot about almost every bit of her existence when we moved away in a rushing frenzy, amid the dull sounds of gunshots plaguing the village after a local butcher apparently raped the wife of a man later discovered to be the head of the notorious Blazing Rooster gang. I found out a friend, B, was killed during the unfortunate event when the kid’s parents were crying in our living room. For a long time that was all I could recall from that period of my childhood. It took me ten years to go back to the village and burn a little paper crane where my friend died. If I had known better, I would have done that earlier. Things you say no proper goodbye to always come back to haunt you.

As I said, it was only ten years later that I revisited my old home. The night before I went back, I had a startling dream where B was sitting on the top of a deserted tower. He was almost transparent like a melancholy ghost. His little limbs hang wavering in the wind. I was standing right behind him, thinking about the terrible things that a little child like him could do, such as falling off the tower and hitting the concrete ground. The thought was so horrid that I started yelling warnings at him. That little guy turned back, showed me a crooked smile and asked me to come closer. I did exactly what he said, only to catch him jumping off the tower, lost in the brooding forest underneath like a hapless broken kite. I woke up panting in bed, almost lost control of my trembling shriek. The noise interrupted Grandpa Lee’s shallow sleep. He came knocking on my door with his typical curse words. I apologized by cursing back. That was the only way I knew how to apologize those days. He went back to sleep, rumbling about how life was unfair and a little bastard like me deserved nothing less than going to hell. I sat frozen in bed for a while, wondering if he ever dreamed of his grandson the way I just did.

Afraid to wake Grandpa Lee up again, I stayed in bed for two more hours until the damp sunbeams penetrated the rugged closings of the curtains. It might not have been a coincidence that I dreamed of B. His parents called from the coal mine the night before. It was the only phone call in almost half a year. I knew it because Grandpa Lee was irrevocably pensive at the dinner table. He would usually curse at my cooking, but said nothing yesterday about the potato soup, which I myself could barely swallow because of the sour cabbage stolen from a dump of stale vegetables. We didn’t talk at all during the dinner. He buried his stern face in the soup bowl for most of the time, reaching for hot peppers on the table from time to time. He went back to his bedroom as soon as he was finished with the soup, making a resolved sound of placid sorrow while shutting the door. We all went to bed early that night because of an electricity shutdown. I struggled for quite a while to fall asleep among the incessant screaming of insects and the smell of sulphur in my sweat but was only annoyed by my own effort. Finally I decided to go wash my head in the cold water. In the hallway, there was a flickering orange haze emanating from the crack on Grandpa Lee’s door. I looked into his room, and saw him staring at a photo of B under the dim candle light with an expression I had seen only, well, on the black cat when she came over during the rainy season – drenched with an inexplicably vast capacity for sorrow disproportionate to the limited knowledge I had about her.  He looked even older and more solemn than he usually was, gazing intensely at the image of a little face that was nearly intelligible after ten years of repeated examination - a face I could hardly recall from my scattered memory except for the wicked smile you only expect from a spoiled child. 

2 miners killed in blast at Colorado mine; 20 hurt


Denver Post: Two miners are dead and 20 others injured after an accident at the Revenue-Virginius mine in Ouray, said Marti Whitmore, spokeswoman for Ouray County.

Twenty people, one of them in critical condition, were taken to hospitals in the area after an accident at the mine was reported to the sheriff’s office after 7:20 a.m. The mine is 6 miles south of Ouray.

All but two miners have been treated and released, Whitmore said.



Colorized Vintage Photos Make the Past Look Like Today

While black and white photography is an excellent tool for bringing out form and shade in images, it fails miserably at one aspect: reality. For the years before the 1960s – before color photography went solidly mainstream – we are left with imagery that often fails to look like it really happened. Thanks to modern digital colorization tools however, artists like Sanna DullawayDana Keller and Jordan Lloyd are updating the past, adding back in the missing element of color and giving us a window into history that’s more real than ever before.

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Beatles Cover

Shedding Ink

When I passed by a lake covered with light

Flecks of sun was rushing in the autumn air

The scent sadly tarnished by the passing years

It shed ink and soon streaked to meet the sky


Like a shadow you tried to clear from sight

But hid in guilt on the meadow seething with reed

Later you shut an eye and burned it down

The clay in black was drenched in rain and flaked


It’s when the dust began to fly from ground

When I packed a bag of wood but built a sea

Till you picked me up from the ground last winter in a blizzard

And sent me on a road where the real world blazed


From a scrawny cry the sun now rose and sank

With a shudder I walked by the bridge past the receding flood