National Poetry Month

Photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

Would justice taste sweet

since in its absence, we weep —

how does justice taste?

If justice had a flavor, would it taste sweet? I’m asking for a friend. I know some may be asking yourself, how can justice taste like anything. But, hear me out. Synesthesia refers to a neurological disorder causing people to intersect senses. Yet, many writers use it as a literary tool to entice readers.

Lavender sounds quiet, and words can shine or stink. We’re not limited to describing nouns by someone’s initial sensory reaction. Writers can also use this device for more than entertainment. How…

It is the color of light,

descending upon a foreign plain.

Orange burns deep in a black sky.

And I remember pain.

I say to myself that I will not break.

Cause I am open,

and I am broken.

Maybe it is far too late.

A massacre I made of me,

and I end up breaking things…

like hearts.

As old wounds begin to sing…

I am watching myself

fall into parts.

Telling myself not to break.

Maybe it is far too late.

For I am open,

and I am broken.

Like an open book,

with a broken story.


Photo Credit | Allison Gaines via Canva

Filibuster comes from a Dutch word for “freebooter.” The term describes someone who takes booty, as in loot. We should nerd out on the irony a bit. After all, pirates stealing from Spanish colonies would have been taking stolen goods anyway. Europeans were not the original inhabitants of the West Indies. When someone uses the filibuster, they are “pirating” the legislative process. In America, the filibuster gained popularity in the 1800s. There is no mention of this bill in the original Constitution.

The text of the Constitution says nothing about the filibuster nor about preserving the debate rights of senators…


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Way before Baby Shark, and children’s music became a “genre” or created YouTube sensations there was the calm, soothing voice of Ella Jenkins. I discovered Ms. Ella’s warm voice in a box of tapes I inherited in my first preschool classroom at the legendary Spring School of The Arts in Philadelphia. The Spring School was a magical place started by the late Ardie Stuart Brown and her sister Patricia Robinson who are legends and pioneers in early childhood education, social justice theatre and performing arts in their own right.

I have a pretty eclectic taste in music and Ella Jenkins…

Photo Credit | Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock via Closer Weekly

While it wasn’t Meghan McCain’s first time making waves, this incident took the cake. In some ways, The View has become a microcosm for American society. Here we have a conservative white woman and a liberal Black woman with different values. They have to work together, have constructive conversations, and maintain a professional atmosphere. And while these women worked together for years, no one can say it’s been easy. Our nation faces the same problem. We have irreconcilable differences, but separation would be too costly. So, here we are, trying to get along. And the both-sides mantra won’t help.


Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Carefully prepared lunches
placed beautifully
in bento boxes
to keep them warm —

To fit in,
was to skip lunch
or to waste it,
the “right” answer
of what lunch
“should be”
was defined narrowly.

How insidious it is
that these requests
to discard your roots
and fit some defined norm
run deeper than some
wasted bolobaos (pineapple buns),
and extend to requests
to fragment families
over traditional community-based values
of filial piety,
labelled toxic and codependent
in individualistic norms.

It’s not just a discarded
box of xiao long bao,
but losing language,
losing hobbies,
losing community.


Photo by Loretta Rosa on Unsplash

“No takesies backsies!” The classic schoolyard phrase indicates something essential about humans: we regret things. And there will always be people trapping us within the consequences of our actions no matter how much we regret them.

Many Americans see Joe Biden as a do-over for America after Trump’s disastrous four years in office and the mishandling of the CoronaVirus pandemic. But I can’t help but wonder if the suburban revolt against Donald Trump in 2020- a key demographic he won in 2016- would have occurred if not for the pandemic. It took a virus ravaging the nation to finally expose…

Asian communities around the world are being scapegoated resulting in the rise of hate crimes.

The uptick in hate crimes against ESEA (East and Southeast Asian) Americans is likely to have increased when former President Trump wrongfully labeled the coronavirus as the ‘china’ and ‘Kung fu’ virus. And this likely has a ripple effect on hate crimes of Asian descent worldwide.

As the founder of the Asian Australian Alliance, Erin Wen Ai Chew told the Times, “What happens in America tends to replicate itself in its own way in Australia.”

I believe it’s this same narrative that has resulted in…

Made by Allison Gaines via Canva

You’ve heard the trope before — “Chinese people all look alike.” It’s a disgustingly racist stereotype which diminishes individuality and thus humanity. I’ve heard this said many times in a variety of settings. Yet, until recently, I’ve stayed silent on the issue. We all know it’s not true. But, when we continue to stay quiet, we become part of the problem. When people say racist things, we need to pump the breaks.

As an ESL teacher, I’ve taught hundreds of children within the past few years. They are primarily Chinese, many of who live in Beijing. None of my Chinese…

Photo by Suad Kamardeen on Unsplash

I have a unique name.

Purely a figment of my mother’s imagination, I’ve grown to love and appreciate my name more with each passing year. Even as a kid suffering through the inevitable pause from teachers before half-hearted attempts to pronounce it, I loved my name.

(Although it is worth mentioning that when I was really young, my mother had to correct me on my own pronunciation of my name because I had gotten so accustomed to my white teachers mispronouncing it.)

It’s because I’ve always been so fond of my six little letters that, growing up, I always responded…

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