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ADELAIDE Independent Bimonthly Literary Magazine / Revista Literária Independente Bimensal, New York / Lisboa, Online Edition  

 




 

 



 

 

 

 

 

TRISTESSA
By T. William Wallin

 

A heavy downpour of lucid thoughts
And sensitive droplets of fuel for dreams
Ravaging the pale grey night
The banging atop the aluminum tin roof created
And manipulated shivers down the spine of the Kerouac novel
Whose words struck my heart and rang true
The innocent savage slavery of hands that grapple
And strangle a hold the junkie
No matter what country, America
Mexico
India
The manners and characters of a sick dog stuck
In Samsara
Unable to flee the obsession
But that is also what we beings, stuck in dillusion
All share in common
The collective conscious of suffering
No one unable to break free the chains
As the addict to the fix
Except when one can become awaken
Dive deeper into understanding
And inherent wisdom of no birth, no death, no coming, no going
To see the joy through sorrow and of sorrow
To see and feel love through hatred
To escape Mara the tempter
While these thoughts appear there is a break in the early morning storm
Of downpour to allow a brisk walk
For a wake-me up of fresh café as my southern brother would call it
And I contemplate the junkie, samsara, foreign ravage torn lands and myself
The mirror always reflects back

 

 

 

 

 

An American River Ramble

 

A rolling over of the mattress towards the window
Paints a picture of the days direction
A comforting overcast is making its way over the American River
Barreling down from the north
Tahoe has heaved a cold front down to the valley
as if commanded by Twain himself
Along the bike trail puddles start to emerge and fill up
Making new homes for creatures of the banks
The trail leads behind a college campus with students ducking for cover
Trying to stay dry from the downpour beginning to fall
Umbrellas are raised
I don’t see anyone dancing
The trail leads to the East
Through midtown café’s and tree tunnels
Again I see no one dancing
I follow the muddy path passed tent cities
People ive known and witnessed firsthand
Walked in the same lopsided shoes of debauchery
forced upon by society
Discovery park is full of life and death
I can’t stand the sight and my feet start moving themselves
There is a carnival fueled by both love and grief going on
I drift with the wind
Trying to be carried by the showering storm
Rain begins to fall heavier and heavier
Still I see no one moving their feet in rhythm to the liquid orchestra
Just ducking for cover as if acid is being sprayed from canisters
to unnoticed protesters on sidewalks
I graze behind garden state highway and cheap motel stays
Memories flood the gates of my mind
Until I get to the bridge
A familiar train rolls over, effortlessly, bringing destination exploration
The other golden metal link over the river is raised
like hands holding the sky in place, a bodhisattva of an older time
Grasping for the clouds but aiming for the moon
I can relate
I start to dance in the storm because that is what Whitman would do
and no one else is

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandfathers Last Breath



We spread your ashes out at sea,
at the dock, where you once fished
and brought grandma because it reminded her of Japan

the winds were fierce and blowing sand
from the dunes in every direction
your daughter and grandsons

we’re standing in silence,
trying to ease the pain
of your distraught wife

waiting for the rickety boat
owned by a friend
of yours in the war

the peninsula was empty
only scattered boats rocking at the pier
with no captains, waves breaking at the masts

we flew through choppy water
tasting salt and sea kelp
the engine was cut where the mainland became a mirage

grandma cried and sang
a song in Japanese I hadn’t heard
since I was a little boy

when she finished, her delicate
fingers wrapped around your urn
with trembling hands

a family of whales surfaced
blowing the sea into the sky, the wind
died and the air was silent

your ashes were scattered
like falling stars, absorbed
by the ocean

your last breath
assuring us
it was time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Okaachan (mother in Japanese)


My Okaachan is beautiful but crazy
raised by a mother still haunted by
Hiroshima, telling stories of death and starvation
Disowned for falling in love with the enemy
a young American soldier
who too was only 13 when WWII broke out
My Japanese ancestors were so prideful
I understand where my mother gets it
A school girl innocent as the cherry blossoms scattered
across Okinawa dirt roads
Big Buddhist statues guarding the village
like a glowing western angel
As her Sensei teaches her class math and history,
history is taken place North, student protestors
against the Vietnam war and American bases
on Japanese soil overtake Tokyo University
My mother is studying the Edo period
before Tokyo even existed
The first Asian to win the noble peace prize
is in 1974, the same year
my Okaachan was uprooted into the counter culture
revolution of America
6 years after Martin Luther King JR was assassinated
and the southern states retrograded into
segregation once again
Japanese are not welcomed in Georgia
and they let my Okaachan know
Dirty Jap is a common name spit
from prejudice mouths
on the overpopulated white bus
even the bus driver makes comments
about slanted eyes and white supremacy
There are no cherry blossoms to soothe
her degradation
she stays shy and quiet, trying to stay unnoticed
and a sight unseen, the shadows are her friend
empty fields a safe haven and loneliness a comfort blanket
My okaachan is only a teenager wondering
why the buddha said she should live in harmony with each other
and nature, but she does not experience harmony
Then a miracle happens, she moves to California
where there are communities of Japanese immigrants and citizens,
intermingling with every other race on this planet in one place
Excited and culture shocked, again, she matures
and learns normalcy, but harbors hate
and resentment from racial discrimination
that scars her psyche
My okaachan is beautiful but crazy
Using the wooden rice spoon as
a disciplinary tool to her wild trouble-making boys
She sometimes becomes sad, for no reason
I can think of, I try to make her feel better
as a tear rolls down her cheek
but the past surfaces when we least expect it,
shoveling down life experiences under masks
and pharmaceuticals, co-dependency
and materialistic waste
There are not enough Buddhist statues to guard us
reminding us of the beauty in all experience

 

 

 

 

 

She’s Asleep

 

she is curled up like a Maine coon, rolled in a ball
clutching the pillow
I lay behind her on my side listening to her breathing
and deciphered jibberish that exits with each exhale
words escaping her dream state unconscious into the reality
I am still awake in
I wrap my arm around her, clutching her smooth soft stomach
so as not to float away in space
she grounds me in an ungrounded world, a boundless
world with no attachments
I am awake and she is in another realm as most nights
I get pleasure from being able to old her
in such vulnerability, such nakedness, she is safe
and she knows this
all I want to do is protect her and shield her from the evil
that walks among us in both the physical
and spiritual realms

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

T.William Wallin

T.William Wallin is a Japanese/American studying journalism in Northern California. He has been studying Buddhism since the age of 12 and finds it to be his key source of inspiration. He writes of experiences as they happen through his own eyes and from what he perceives in the constant world around him in full motion. When he isn't writing he can be found in the woods or along the river banks counting his breaths. He puts to words what he feels through emotion and sense perception, interacting with as many strangers as possible to bring both smiles and hear stories of how others human beings are living life.

 

 

 




 




 

 

 

     
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