Wing Tek Lum (2014 Poem In Your Pocket)

Plum Blossoms

by Wing Tek Lum

Cold mountain winds scour the valley.
A hush descends upon the hard earth,

betraying no tears.
The gaunt plum hugs the river.

Its branches, shorn of leaves,
reach out like stark cries

in the Winter night, a spider’s agony.
Yet nubs of blossoms

nudge through the crinkled bark
on one twig, then another.

Buds nestle in crooks and crevices,
white as frost, grudging smiles,

a compassion nourished from within,
seeking air, seeking light.

From THE NANJING MASSACRE: POEMS by Wing Tek Lum with permission from Bamboo Ridge Press.

Wing Tek Lum is a Honolulu businessman and poet. His first collection of poetry, EXPOUNDING THE DOUBTFUL POINTS, was published by Bamboo Ridge Press in 1987. He is the 2014 recipient of an Elliot Cades Award for Literature. You can find out more about his work at

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