Monday, September 19, 2011

Stopping by pond on a chilly afternoon

by Sharon Ho

Whose pond this is I most certainly know.
His mansion is a walk away though;
He does not know this is where I go,
A refuge to mull things over slow.

Events at Thornfield Hall have been so queer
A strange laugh, a mysterious fire, an attacked guest.
Odder still is that he seems to hold me dear
Since I am poor and plain, I have to confess.

Our different stations divides us.
He is the master of Thornfield Manor,
And I am only his ward’s governess.
Can we ever be together, I wonder?

Gazing at my watery mirror,
I wish for a better reflection.
Someone more worthy of his ardor,
A rich beauty to match his adoration.

-Jane Eyre

This poem is an amalgam of three works of art: Claude Monet's 1876 oil painting Pond At Montgeron, Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and it is also a small tribute to Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Pillowy Love

Waking up pillow-less,
I crane my neck to check,
Sure enough, he’s commandeered
my entire pillow.
Sleeping with nary a care in the world,
Dreaming of Whiskas Temptations®.

Not withstanding the crick in my neck,
My heart wells up with love.
For my perennial pillow-hogger.

I’ve never like his type.
I’ve always thought
His kind was too aloof.

But someway, somehow,
He’s insinuated himself
Into my hard cynical heart.

Whenever I'm feeling down,
He uncannily knows.
He'll snuggle real close,
Melting into me like
warm comforting butter.

As I hammer away
At my assignments, or watch
A film for class, We sit together,
A mere feather’s breath apart.

Past bedtime, he saunters downstairs.
Blocking the computer screen,
He contemplates me in bemusement
As I bang away on the keyboards.

Day's done, we hit the sack together.
He snares a lion’s share of the pillow.
His warm body rumbles merrily along,
And his stout whiskers tickles my face;
A furry kiss, a pillowy texture of love.

The Gospel of St. Luke The Cat

(A Bible for Cats and their human slaves)

The Ten Commandments

All Cats art thou Lord,
thou should Worship no other.
thou shall Make only Cats Idols.
thou shall Revere and Honor thy Cats.
human slaves, Submit and Obey.

Thou shall rest all 7 days of the week.
Thou shall be perennial Cat burglars.
Thou shall blame thy neighbor.
Thou shall also covet thy neighbor’s fish.
Thou shall be promiscuous and adulterous.
Thou shall be murderous and vicious.
Cats, your Lord commands you so.

The Seven Sins

Thou shall lust.
Thou shall eat till thou vomit.
Thou shall be greedy in all things.
Thou shall sleep 20 hours a day.
Thou shall rain down thy wrath.
On any that doth disturb thy sleep.
Thou shall envy thy neighbor’s fish.
Thou shall be proud and vain.
These are sins if thou doth not commit them.

The Seven Virtues

Thou shall be wonton, not chaste.
Thou shall not temper one’s greed.
Thou shall be selfish, not charitable.
Thou shall be lazy, not diligent.
Thou shall be impatient and violent.
Thou shall be evil and jealous, not kind.
Thou shall suffer hubris, not humble pie.
These are virtues if thou follow them.

The Devil's Brother

Oh Stanley
He’s a Serval Domestic Medley
He’s an Evil Savannah Cat
When You See Him You Go Scat

He’s Oscar’s Brother
With Chuck for a Father
Luke His Surrogate Brother
And Fonda for a Mother

He is the Epitome of Evil
That’s Definitely No Fake Call
His Brother is the Devil
After All

His Paws Full of Claws
He Leaves Your Face With Scratchy Flaws
With Terrifying Toenails He Draws Blood
Oh My God He Just Caused Noah’s Flood

Biting He Unleashes His Razor Sharp Teeth
They are Most Definitely Not A Myth
The Ground Shakes When He Pounces
For He Weighs A Great Many Ounces

Where He Leaps He Brings Gloom
When He Lands He Goes Boom
As He Stares At You From Across The Room
You Know You’re Awaiting Your Doom

When Luke Sees Him he Trembles and Cowers
For Brimming with Evil are His Diabolical Glowers
He Mutilates Chuck’s Beautiful Flowers
For Dark and Evil Are His Malicious Powers

He is Definitely Not As Innocent As He Looks
He Only Does that to Get into Chuck’s Good Books
Hear Not His Plantive Yowl
For When He Attacks With Excruciating Pain You’ll Surely Howl

Evil Emanates from Every Pore in His Body
He is The Vilest Villain from Every Fairy Tale Story
Beware Stanley for He is the Devil’s Brother
Even Satan Sees Him and Falter

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Love Poem Riddled with Clichés

What is love?

Love is a blushing dove.
Love warms you like a glove.
Love is found in a hidden grove.
Love is more than a treasure trove.

Love is the water that feeds a cove.
Love is the road that gypsies rove.
Love is the scarf your mother wove.
Love is how hard your father strove.

Love smells like cinnamon and clove.
Love feels cozy like a hot stove.
Love is the light from above.
Love shines on a small alcove.

Love is in everything, by Jove!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Picnic*

This Labor Day at Coyote Point Park,
We had a lot of fun under the sun.
On grass fields flaked with eucalyptus bark,
It was perfect, like burger in a bun

Topped with sliced pickles, mustard and ketchup.
Tandoori chicken with basmati rice.
Sweet Jell-O shot to be slurped in a gulp,
Chilled Corona flavored with lemon slice.

Greek dolma lovingly wrapped in grape leaf,
Corn on the cob that's slathered with butter.
Thick, succulent, and well-seasoned grilled beef,
Pakora fried in gram flour batter.

This is the stuff that picnics are made of,
A great awesome way to spend your day off.

*While the poem, written in traditional sonnet form with iambic pentameter, seems to be obsessed with food, what I actually hope it does brings across is that the picnic is really about people, how friends of diverse cultural backgrounds came together to enjoy a traditional American Labor Day activity, as seen in the poem where verses about classic American barbeque foods are juxtaposed with that of other cuisines.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pho Garden Challenge

On Friday last
Right after class
We drove to the city
In about an hour fifty

To test our mettle
In a food battle
As we took our seat
Two pounds of meat

Plus two pounds of pho
In a bowl of broth duh
To finish in an hour
Using all our eating power

Else we had to pay 22 dollars
From our meager coffers
We had to sign a waiver
Yet we did not waver

At first we were so smug
All too soon our pants got snug
Those pho do pack a punch
Soaking soup up like a sponge

Near the end of the hour
The taste of noodles turns sour
So to save our fragile sanity
We reluctantly paid the penalty

It’s the worst idea we ever had
Why, we must have been mad
We wanted to win so bad
Losing just made us sad

How bruised our ego
To see our dignity go
Our tummies were in such pain
No more pho for us ever again

Poem written by Sharon Ho.
Photographs taken by Lu Zheng.
Challengers featured: Patrick O'Leary (right) and Ezekiel Luis.

Pho Garden, home of the Pho Garden Challenge, is located in San Francisco on
2109 Clement Street, between 22nd Ave & 23rd Ave. For anyone who is interested
to know more or deluded enough to try, you can check out their website for more
details at

Il Mare

(“The Sea” in Italian)

Inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s painting The Birth of Venus and written in the vein of Margaret Atwood’s Bread.

by Sharon Ho

You stand proudly on the prow of your ship Swift Katherine, named after your sweet fiancee, who shed copious tears unto your chest on the eve of your departure, tears which are not unlike the salty waters that your ship is swiftly slicing through. A salty sea breeze lovingly caresses the luscious hair that cascades down your shoulders, and it reminds you of the passionate lovemaking you enjoyed with Kate on your last night together. This memory elicits a smile on your sunburned face, and suddenly restless, you stride purposefully towards the ship’s railings. Gazing down into the azure depths of the ocean, you ponder its fathomless mysteries. What secrets lies yonder, you wonder. Perhaps mermaids, nereids and other mythical creatures do inhabit its boundless depths, all ruled by King Triton in the lost fabled city of Atlantis. Oh how you wish for the ability to breathe underwater, so that you may better explore all the amazing hidden wonders that the sea has to offer. Yes, although you do love Kate dearly, the sea will always be your first love, as surely as the lingering memory of Kate’s husky voice and lavender perfume is inexorably replaced by the briny tang in the air and the raucous shrieks of the seagulls who accompany you on your voyage.

The sea that you do so love has turned treacherous. As unpredictable as she is mercurial, she has sent a tumultuous storm to wreck your ship, as easily as though it was a child’s toy. You have been unceremoniously flung onto the watery depths, where you flay about fruitlessly to stay afloat of the roiling waves that slam into you every hour, every minute, every second. Your laughably pathetic attempts fail miserably as you swallow your weight in saltwater. After seemingly decades of this ceaseless struggle, your world fades to an infinite black. They say that in every person’s last moments on earth, a whole life of regrets flashes through your mind. So you would think that your last thoughts, as you drown in your watery grave, would be of Kate’s warm, soft lips as she embraced you with a longing desperate kiss before you board your ship. But no, in your last moments of struggle, the sole endless litany chanting through your mind is: “I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die...”

You wake up completely battered and bruised, as the hot blazing sun scorches your already parched skin. You hurt all over, even in places you didn’t know existed. The hard gritty sand under you does nothing to ease your discomfort and wearily, creaking like an old man of eighty, you slowly struggle to your feet to peruse your surroundings. You find that you have been stranded on a tiny island barely ten feet wide. Exhausted by even this slight exertion, you collapse once again by the shore. All your senses narrow to a single sharp point, which is the excruciating thirst you feel, the constant burning and stabbing pain in your throat. The waves seem to lull you to drink the cool liquid seawater, but you know that doing so would doom you even more. How ironic, you think, to die of dehydration surrounded by miles and miles of water. An immeasurable amount of time passes, and you find you can bear it no longer. You dunk your head into the waters and drink in long draught after long draught. Pretty soon you are seized by an even more unquenchable thirst, and slowly but surely you begin to hallucinate.

You witness the Titan Cronus using a scythe to sever the genitals of his father, the sky god Uranus. Cronus flings the genitals into the ocean, and from the white foam that formed rose the goddess of love, Aphrodite, who floats ashore towards you on a scallop shell.

Strangely enough, Aphrodite is the spitting image of Katherine. She looks like she always does, a vision as a diaphanous gown of sheer silk hugs the curvaceous contours of her body. She reaches out her hand to you, yet you refuse to take it for fear that everything will dissolve into oblivion once you do. The lavender perfume scenting her hair calms your fears, and at this point you don’t really care anymore whether she is real or simply just a figment of your imagination. As you reach out to touch her lily white hands, this thought crosses your mind: that although the sea may indeed be your first love, you love and cherish Kate more.