Fall 2012, Volume 13

Poetry by Minh Pham

Plea Under Lotus Feet


Beginning bow.
Forehead touching
The carpet under
Gold statue
Of Buddha
Who steps
Onto pink lotuses
After birth.
Ong Noi,
My grandfather’s
First plea,

Don’t do drugs.


Middle bow.
My lips mouthing,
Nam mô a di đà Phật,
Sacred words.
Reflecting off
Rippled water
Mossed pond
Pebble jagged
Under gold
Second plea,

Do well in school.


Don’t become gay,

My father said,
Ong Noi’s
Last plea.

My father
Ong Noi’s
Last words
In hope I become his
Perfect son.
I press
My hands,
In front of my chest.
I ask Buddha for forgiveness.

Ending bow.




BIO: Minh Pham is currently working towards a M.F.A. in Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside. He was born in Saigon, Vietnam and became a Riverside, CA native at age eight. He began to gain interest in writing during his childhood when his father told him Vietnamese folktales and when his mother told him stories of how she survived through the Vietnam War