Poetry

The Terrible Transformation

Being an artist is the most difficult thing I've ever had to be. Putting myself and my work out in the world. Responding authentically to what is in front of me. Not letting my mind slip back into sleep. Having clarity about my intentions. Being thoughtful about what stories I release into the world.

There are many times I would rather say, "I cannot do this. This is not for me."

It has been almost a year since I last sent out a post. I'm happy to say it's because I have been busy building up my intuitive energy practice. It is also because I have been challenging myself as an artist. This summer I trained at American Conservatory Theater's Summer Training Congress. For five weeks, I committed myself to being an artist.

I had no idea what that fully meant. For over 10 hours every day, I showed up to class challenging myself to be physically-emotionally-mentally present. Being fully awake was the most difficult tasks I've experienced in my life.

My poem, The Terrible Transformation, is based on a journal that I wrote during my training. It is a poem about change, the creative process and the lessons I learned about not only being an artist, but about being awake to life.

This poem is dedicated to all of us who are brave enough to wrestle with and challenge our lives.

The Great Movement

Despite the horror of the U.S. election results and the daily unfolding of vitriolic and hateful events happening around this country, I witness the beauty of people working together, standing up together and breaking down their silos to re-create and imagine community. This poem was inspired by Grace Lee's film American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs. Grace Lee Boggs said that "evolution is the revolution" and that brought chills to my spine. Here's to our evolution!

Hands Constructed 手工

From Sept 8-11, 2016 at CounterPulse Theater SF, I will be performing as part of Dohee Lee's exquisite and powerful ARA Ritual I: Waterways.

My dreams have been realized as I have had the privilege to be part of the creative team. I worked with Bay Area Bhutanese Youth, an amazing team of artists (Dohee Lee, Lauren Geiger and Jose Navarrete) and Peralta Hacienda (Victor Moreno) to workshop amazing youth voices.

I have also been part of CoRazOn, an Oakland collective of immigrant and refugee artists and performers. In this intimate and vulnerable space, we have explored stories of home, ancestors, hopes and dreams.

This has been a deeply meaningful process for me. Some of you may remember my story "Fulfilling a Dream in Theater" where I shared my mom's childhood dreams of dancing and acting. Performing in ARA is a tribute to my mom and ancestors who have dreamed of storytelling through art. I am also indebted to the many immigrants and refugees who have shared their stories with me and whose voices will be echoed in this performance.

Hands Constructed is a piece that comes from this summer's process. I hope you will join us to witness and participate in ARA Ritual I: Waterways. Stories are our medicine.

To purchase tickets: http://www.counterpulse.org/event/dohee-lee-waterways/

The Psalmist’s Cry

This month's poem is dedicated to my co-workers and friends who have spoken up for the truth. I and another colleague were fired last week. To date, 8 others have taken a stand and resigned.

To learn more about what has happened at Community Health for Asian Americans click: https://www.change.org/p/alameda-board-of-supervisors-save-oakland-services-at-chaa-for-asian-pacific-islander-immigrant-and-refugees/u/16744253

While our hearts are sad about the injustice of a few, the many will continue to bring seeds of hope and promise to this earth.

Peace, Amy

A New Revolution

This poem is a tribute to the memory and work of Grace Lee Boggs, activist, philosopher and writer. I am inspired by her words, "I don't know what the next American revolution is going to be like. But we might be able to imagine it if the imagination were rich enough." Here is to our next American revolution.....

Prayer to Mother Ocean

Every year, a healing ceremonial waterwalk is led by Indigenous peoples here in the Bay Area at Ocean Beach in SF.

Last year I had the privilege to attend and share in community, sending prayers of healing for our waters.

The Chinese character for ocean is pictorially depicted as "Mother Ocean". While I could not join this year's waterwalk, this prayer came to me from Mother Ocean to share with all.

Blessings, Amy