What is this country in my mind I've wandered through
for all these years,
this land of hills and valleys,
streams and rivers I have crossed,
mountains I have climbed, forests, meadows,
tangled jungles where I was lost
but somehow found my way to this place
filled with memories where I can see
where I have been and nothing is forgotten.
It's where my childhood lives
in a tiny house hidden in a forest
far from here in the long ago
where it's dark and hard to find, but I remember
living there, a little boy, frightened and alone,
wishing I could speak and be understood
when I cried.
But I became a young man who wandered like a gypsy,
a vagabond, happy to be traveling through my mind,
though there were times when I was lost at sea,
like Odysseus, not knowing if I'd ever find the beach
that I was searching for, always on a quest,
looking at horizons I thought I'd never reach.
And now, an older man, my mind is living
in this island town where my imagination has brought me
with all the landscapes I have known
the winding roads that weaved their way past marriages,
raising kids, working hard and lessons I have learned.
It's here, after all these years of traveling without a map,
of living with uncertainty, of making my geography
by creating who I am, molding, shaping,
letting passion and intuition guide me to this land.
It's here in my poet's mind where it's lovely and serene,
and I'm in the garden of my dreams
looking out at Saigon Bay glistening in the morning air,
or walking on the beach listening to the music of the waves,
still looking at horizons, but also at my feet
standing in the sand,
where I sing these love songs to my life,
these rhapsodies that overcome despair and rage,
so I can be as happy as I can, while I can,
loving this island in my mind and where I am.