Excerpt for The Yearning to Be Free and Fly by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Yearning to Be Free and Fly


Hoang MinH Tran

The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Thế Giới Publishers Hanoi - 2017

2 3

The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

I’m broken and torn,

These wings of mine can no longer fly. The feathers of hopes and dreams, Are shed and long gone.

Only the flesh and bones of my existence remain. But still I dream of taking flight,

To soar into the open sky,

And become something else, anything else, More than this nothingness I call my life.

More than the nothingness I feel inside. My youthful hopes and dreams,

Had been discarded and thrown aside, Like yesterday spoiled meal,

That must be let go,

That must be toss aside to save what is left of my life. To continue to embrace them,

To feed my starving soul with such decaying hopes and dreams, Would only lead to my demise.

Despite these broken wings, And the years of failure,

The shattered hopes and dreams of my youth,

4 5

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Are scattered in the wind, to the four corner of the world,

Just as Osiris was deceived and slain by Set and his body dismembered and scattered all over Egypt.

And in this empty void,

Once so full of hopes and dreams, Now only darkness shine.

Like a black hole,

With such ravenousness hunger,

That devours all even the light of the sun. But deep within this evil monster's belly,

A shard of hope still remains,

Like a fruit pit that can't be digested.

A shard of hope that still pulsate with life. That give me what little reason left,

To continue this empty meaningless life, To continue to yearn to be free and fly. In this poverty, in this desperation,

On the ground, in this concrete jungle, Far far beneath the canopy,

Where the sunlight don't shine,

Where only poisonous mushrooms can grow.

In this world of darkness, rot, and decay, I once thought and believed,

And in my desperation,

That eating one of these magical mushrooms, Would send me into a high, into a trance,

And give me the power to transform into a bird and fly. Like priest, shaman, and prophets in Siberia and Indonesia, Like Fairies and Fay worshiped by the Celts.

But sadly such methods are nothing more but fairy tales. Instead of vision of dreams,

And powers to shape shift and fly,

This living hell transformed into the kingdom of Hades on earth. Faces I knew became distorted and obscure,

Like tormented souls in the underworld.

Their speech I no longer understand and recognize, Like the wailing and cries of the forever damned.

This waking nightmare transformed, Into the ensuring chaos during

The destruction of the universe.

6 7

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Where colors rages and clash so violently.

Where every little sound became a lion’s frightening roar, the king of the jungle.

Instead of giving me powers to shape shift and fly,

These poisonous magical mushrooms, with their vibrant colors, Of red, yellow, blue, and white,

And their playful nature,

Of growing in small nooks and cranny,

Like little children playing a game of hide and seek. Whose true nature are sinister and evil,

Like Loki, son of Odin, the trickster god of Asgard.

That deceived me and nearly brought me to my demise. While I was under Loki’s spell,

In my state of delirium,

My hopes and dreams grew and grew, So large and reached so high,

Like the holy ash tree Yggdrasil. In my state of delirium,

While under Loki’s spell,

The simplest thing can give me flight.

A simple four legged wooden chair, With one missing limb,

And covered in mold and mildew, From years of leaking rain,

That seem to groan under my weight,

Like a cripple burdened on his shoulder with a mountain of despair, Or Atlas, who must forever carry the sky on his shoulder,

Became the Flying Throne of Kai Kavus,

That majestic craft created by the Persian king To fly him all the way to China,

Propelled by mice running across the floor Like eagles taking flight.

A simple old and worn bath towel, When lay on the floor,

Became the Prince Housain’s magic carpet from Tangui in Persia, And sitting on it I soar.

Flying through the clouds in the sky, Over this valley of death,

Over this dead and decaying jungle,

Made of rotting timbers floor of my house.

Every little mold and every little water damage discoloration

on the timber floor,

8 9

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

From years of ceiling leaking rain, Are just scorched villages and towns,

That are raided, sacked, and plundered by the Viking, Then torched to the ground in their retreat.

Only blacken charred corpses and skeletons of burned down

buildings remain.

While under Loki’s spell, In my delirium I soared.

A simple metal desk,

With its missing draws and dent and rust, Covering it from head to toes,

Like a leper so deformed and cripple, With missing draws as lost limbs.

This leper metal desk,

Shall not find any usefulness beyond my wall.

That shall only stir emotions of disgust, fear, and revulsion by others

upon sight.

But here in my room,

It can live out its remaining life,

And serve its purpose until it dies, But here in my room, in my delirium It is not a metal desk at all.

But the mythological flying machine Vimanas from the Sanskrit in Hindu.

Or King Ravana's flying machine, the Dandu Monara in Ramayana.

While under Loki’s spell,

In my delirium, as the world I see, Violently clash and collide,

Colors and sounds exploding like exploding stars, I tried to escape the madness.

I stole Helios’ Chariot of The Sun, And drove across the sky.

And when it rains and the ceiling leak,

The rain drops would flood the floor like a rising tide,

I stole Poseidon's Chariot of The Sea

To swim across the sea,

Driven by dolphins and Hippocampus That once were mice now transformed. And when it’s stormy outside,

With lighting clap and thunder roar,

I know that Zeus is somewhere nearby,

Too busy unleashing his power upon the world, Leaving his Chariot of Thunder idle and unguarded, And I would steal it and flee across the sky,

As I sat on my faded decade old couch. While I was under Loki’s spell,

Lost in my delirium, in this fiery hell,

A simple book with torn covers and missing pages, With water damages through and through,

Where the pages are bent and so stuck together, Like lovers in a tight embrace.

10 11

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

To separate the pages to read the precious knowledge within, Is to tear the lovers apart.

A little pull and the pages cries out,

Promises of love and devotion until the day they die, Can be heard between each sobs,

As the stuck together pages cries out when torn apart. Each flip of a page,

Is a pair of love birds destroy.

Some are strong enough to survive their heartache. While other die from their breaking heart,

As the pages are ripped and torn.

Just as Romeo couldn't live without Juliet.

Yes, a simple water damaged book,

Became the legendary Book of Thoth, Containing spells and knowledge,

That is buried with Prince Neferkaptah in the Necropolis. Spells and knowledge that can set me free.

Spells of teleportation that in an instant and a single invocation,

Can teleport me to the land of my dreams.

Spells of transformation that with a wave of my hand,

Can change and transform me into anything my heart desire, Instead of this empty nothingness I call my life,

Instead of this empty nothingness I feel inside.

Spells of illusions that can disguise me or make me invisible

So I can escape without notice from the demons that stalk my world. Spells of conjuration that with a single command,

Can cause priceless treasures to rain down from the sky. Spell of levitation that with a single word,

Can make me light as a feather and float away in the wind. Spells of summoning that with a drawn circle and invocation, Can command beasts of wings to come forth,

And carry me away into the sky. And though it pains me,

To tear these lovers apart,

These water damaged pages stuck together in their loving embrace. In this desperate poverty,

In this world of nothingness of mine, Where only darkness shine,

Where no sunlight can reach through the canopy top, Where only things of poisonous nature can grow,

In this environment of death and decay,

Sometimes one must sacrifice one own soul to survive. To bury our conscience,

To live with the shame and guilt until death,

Just to survive.

12 13

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

The crimes we must commit,

The sins that can never be forgiven, Just to survive.

To steal a loaf of bread to feed our hungry children.

To steal some warm clothing so our children won’t freeze during

the cold winter days and nights.

To sell our pride and dignity at such cheap a price. To sell our hair and body to lustful strangers,

What difference does it make? Be they men or women? Just to feed our and our children’s dying hunger.

Yes, it pains me to tear these lovers apart.

These pages stuck together in their tight embrace. But I must bury my conscience,

And do what need to be done, If I’m to survive.

While I’m under Loki’s spell,

Lost in my delirium, in this magical mushroom induced high. A simple pair of shoes,

With missing shoelaces and holes in its sole, Like little imps deceiving me into believing, That they are warm and friendly.

But outside my door in the snow covered streets, Each step I take they gnaw at my feet.

Their saliva coat my toes and soles, As their teeth sank into my flesh And deep to the bones.

As the snow melt and soak my sock and shoes thoroughly. Making my feet dreadfully cold,

More colder than the deadly coldness that hangs in the air. Yes, a simple pair of shoes

Became the winged sandals Talaria,

That I stole from Hermes to fly across the sky. But sadly when I wake,

And the delirium has passed, The trance has ended.

And I’m no longer under Loki’s spell,

All the high hopes and dreams that reached the sky, Are nothing more but illusions.

And that giant ash tree Yggdrasil,

Instantly withered and die and shattered to pieces, By the lighting strikes of desperate poverty.

When I awake and realize,

That the bath towel is just a bath towel, That the couch is just a couch,

That the desk is just a desk,

That my shoes are just a pair of shoes, And I fell from way way up high.

Way way up high in the sky,

My chariot, my throne, my magic carpet, my sandals of flight, Vanished before my eyes.

And I’m falling from so high.

I fell from so high, so far and so fast,

Into such indescribable despair, sorrow, and pain.

14 15

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

It rose up from beneath my feet And swallowed me in one gulp,

Like a leviathan leaping out of the ocean below,

To swallow a falling fly from broken wings within its belly. In the darkest and deepest depth,

Of my pain and despair,

What should had been my final hours,

As the acid of hopelessness eats away at me, Rapidly dissolving my peace of mind, Rapidly unraveling my sanity.

I stumble upon that shard of hope that can't die.

That fruit pit that can never be digested,

The yearning to be free and fly.

In my hand, its soft glow and warm touch, Like the Resurrection Stone,

Brought me back to life,

By gently rocking me to sleep.

In my slumber, my mind is at ease. In my slumber, my sanity is restore.

As I held it tightly in my hand while I slept,

The shard of hope that remain from my shattered hopes and abandoned dreams,

It's this leviathan one and only weakness just as the uvula that hang

in its mouth.

And this leviathan of sadness, pain, and despair,

As I slumber grasping the last shard of my shattered hopes

and abandoned dreams,

Caused this beast to regurgitated me back up. Before withdrawing back into the depth of my mind. When I’m awake from my slumber,

Though weak and weary, But I’m myself once more.

Among the piles of digested bones of its countless victims, That the leviathan regurgitated,

I found a single feather light gray with black tip laying on the ground. I gazed and pondered of the bones beside the feather.

What creature once was, that this feather belonged to? To be able to satisfy the appetite of that leviathan,

It must not be some mortal fowl. Perhaps it once belonged to Jatayu, That giant demi-god in vulture form,

Who fought and perished by Ravana's hand in the Epic Ramayana. Whose body was then fed to that leviathan.

Just as Andromeda was sacrificed to the sea serpent of Poseidon. Had I known that Jatayu was here from the start,

In my youthful days, would had allowed this leviathan to swallow me whole, To enter this monster belly to rescue Jatayu from his fate,

Just as Perseus rescued Andromeda in the nick of time. So I can ask him for one small favor,

16 17

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

To grant me the power to shape shift and fly, Far far away from this desperate poverty.

But now I’m afraid it’s far too late. Jatayu's corpse is nothing but bones.

And this Resurrection Stone that I found,

This shard of hope from my shattered hopes and dreams That restored my peace of mind, and brought me back to life, Can't restore Jatayu’s soul to a body that is no more.

All I can do for him now,

Is give his bones a proper burial, And say a pray and blessing,

And hope this feather still bear some remnant of his divine power. I held it to the sky, and tried to fly.

A single feather to lift me so so high into the sky. But at last I couldn't fly.

Though it couldn't give me flight,

But the feather ruffled and fluttered in the wind, clearly there're some power within,

Too weak and too little, and slowly dripping away with time. Then an idea came to mind,

Like a morning glory blooming at sunrise. This graveyard of scattered bones,

May contain many wonders.

Unknowingly gathered over time by this leviathan, With each new victims it devoured.

Untold riches and priceless heirlooms, Cups of gold and plates of silver, Scepter of queens and crown of kings.

All hidden away in the caverns of the leviathan's belly,

Just as the Treasure of Llanganatis of worked gold and other riches are hidden within the Llanganates mountain range of Ecuador

by the Inca general Ruminahui,

After news of Atahualpa’s death reached his ear. Here, among these piles of ancient bones,

Lies the riches of my unfathomed dreams.

A single item would make me a king.

Desperately, I went in search with renew hope and vigor.

I went in search of forgotten treasures and forgotten dreams. I stalked the hills and scoured the prairie,

Hoping, wishing, praying that I would find the treasures it hide. I saw some white and red feathers beside some ancient bones. Could this be the relic of Garuda?

That monstrous mount of Vishnu,

With golden body of a man, white and red wings, and an eagle beak. Who was so large that blocked out the sun.

Only such a fowl could appease that leviathan's hunger for a day or two. What once was so massive that could block out the sun,

Now lies scattered in small pieces, Eaten away by the acid over time. But if this is truly Garuda,

Then this leviathan's true form and name is known.

It’s a giant serpent of the Naga race,

Sworn enemy of Garuda.

Who had managed to defeat and devour him. Once more, I’m far too late.

Too late to rescue and revive him now.

18 19

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

This Resurrection Stone I hold in my hand,

This shard of hope that remains from my shattered hopes and dreams, Can't restore Garuda's soul to a body that is no more.

I dug and dug beneath the bones.

But to my disappointment no treasure was found and I moved on.

I came across some large blackish brown feathers beside some ancient bones. That seem to resemble the feathers of an eagle.

Surely this is no mere mortal bird.

Rasvelg perhaps? That giant eagle spoken of

In the poem Vafthruthnismol from the Poetic Edda. Could it be the ancient bones of the mighty Sphinx?

With a body of lion, upper part of women, and wings of an eagle. Who perched high on a rock in the highland of Thebes

And killed countless passengers who couldn't solve her riddle? Before Oedipus reply, “the answer is man.”

Who then committed suicide by casting herself down those rocks, So full of pride like Cleopatra, the last Ptolemaic pharaoh of Egypt. Who claimed to be the reincarnation of Isis,

Who ruled Egypt all by herself,

Who loved Caesar and bored him a son, Caesarion.

And after his murder by Marcus Brutus and fellow senators, Loved and supported Mark Anthony for Rome.

But their love and glory was outshined by Octavianus, After their defeat at the battle of Actium.

Who in the end, so full of pride,

Just like the Sphinx, killed herself with an Egyptian Cobra's bite rather than face the shame and humiliation of defeat.

and left her young son, Caesarion, to Octavianus' sword.

Or perhaps it belonged to some other great birds with no name. Like a Roc, that giant bird of prey.

Like a Griffon, with the body of a lion and a head and wings of an eagle. The king of all birds and beasts alike.

Whose only interest is guarding treasures and priceless possession. Is it so hard to imagine,

That a griffon was lured to its doom by the vast treasures hidden

in that monster's belly?

Like a naive child easily deceived by strangers With mere promises of toys and candies.

Could it be the bones of Yalungur?

That great eagle castrated by Gidja to create women,

Who died from its wound and infection,

Its massive corpse then fed to that serpent,

In order to satisfy its hunger for a day or two, At the dawn of creation.

I searched and searched among these piles of ancient bones,

Hoping, praying, to find treasures of wonders and treasures of gold. My hopes soared, my excitement rampaged wildly,

Upon the sight of a half buried goblet coated with soil. Only to find upon closer inspection, after unearthing it, Just a mere old rusted can.

My hopes sank as fast as it soared, Overwhelmed by tidal waves of disappointment, Just as Atlantis was overwhelmed by tidal waves, And sank to the bottom of the sea.

My rampaging wild excitement, That began as joyous celebration,

20 21

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Didn't die down, but became so enraged,

That to spite me, using my failure, transformed itself into sadness, despair, And terrorized my mind,

Just as the Cretan Bull rampaged and terrorized all over the city state of Crete, Before it was captured and let go by Hercules,

Only to rampaged and terrorized the entire land of Greece. Again I move on and on

In search of something to make my wildest dreams come true. A ruby ring, a diamond tiara, a necklace of pearls,

Something small but worth a mountain of gold, Something small that people easily mistaken as trash, And discarded without regard,

Among this ancient bone graveyard. And I, again, must bury my conscience, Just to survive.

To become a soulless grave robber. To plunder from the dead.

To unearth and disturb their peaceful slumber. To steal their most precious treasure.

So dear to them while they were alive,

That they took it with them to their grave upon their demise. Just as Howard Carter looted The Boy Pharaoh King Tut's Tomb, hidden away in the Valley of the King in 1922.

Though the treasures all went to museums,

His action brought him worldwide fame and fortune.

Or the unknown looters from the Middle Kingdom of Pharaoh Khufu's tomb inside the great Pyramid of Khufu,

Or Pharaoh Khafre's tomb inside the Pyramid of Khafre.

Or Pharaoh Menkaure's tomb inside the Pyramid of Menkaure,

All built during the fourth dynasty and looted by unknowns during

the middle kingdom.

Now they can no longer resist.

Nothing but bones and bones some more. As I disturb, loot, and plunder,

Leaving behind nothing but bones,

How am I any different than the soulless Vikings? And when the cold wind blows by,

I can hear the screaming of their souls! Like wailing banshees they cries out, “Thief, Thief, give back what you stole!”

Forever, forever, forever haunting me until the day I die. But I must bury my conscience,

And do what need to be done,

And forever bear the guilt and shame for the rest of my life, Just to survive.

I came upon some more eagle feathers. This time resting on a pile of ancient bones,

And buried within that pile of bones was a tablet of stone. Could it be? Could it be?

Do my eyes deceive me?

That tablet of stone buried beneath those bones, Could really be the Tablet of Destiny?

For surely this is no mere mortal fowl! These eagle feathers and that pile of bones,

Are relics of Anzu, the son of the bird goddess Siris, That massive eagle with a lion head,

22 23

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Who was Enlil's servant, the chief sky god,

and guarded his throne and stole his Tablet of Destiny, and fled hoping to have control over all things in the world. Whom was killed by Marduk, the sun god of Babylon,

In the Hymn of Ashurbanipal.

Could it be? Could it be? Again, I’m far far too late,

To revive Anzu with my Resurrection Stone. Far Far too late,

To restore Anzu's soul to a body that is nothing more but bones, With this shard of hope from my shattered hopes and dreams. But if that is indeed the Tablet of Destiny,

Whose fabled power grant its wielder,

Complete control over all things not just in this world, But across the entire universe.

Surely such a power can never wean with time. Just as this shard of hope that I hold in my hand,

Just like the hope that still shine amidst the darkness,

Still locked away within Pandora's Box since the beginning of time. Surely such a power can never fade,

Even if it's long lost and forgotten.

I quickly unearthed it and held it to my chest.

In my bosom my hopes and dreams set sail so fast,

Like the Titanic on its grand maiden voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean. So much joy and happiness swelled inside me,

Filling that great void of emptiness, that ravenous black hole, Blanketing my wounded soul like soft fallen snow.

Numbing the pain I feel inside with its gentle coldness.

As I embraced that Tablet of Destinies, I didn't care to rule the world,

I simply wished to change my fate.

To grant me wings to fly away from this desperate poverty. I closed my eyes and wished and wished, and wished some more. That when I open them, my world would change.

These tattered clothing would become fine white silk, Just as Cinderella was transformed in a blink of an eye By her fairy godmother,

And those mice that race across the floor,

Shall become butlers and maids to take care of me. But when I opened them, nothing had changed.

This misery, this poverty remained exactly the same. And I was foolish to believe,

This tablet of stone was actually the Tablet of Destinies.

As Don Quixote foolishly believed windmills were ferocious dragons, And friars were evil enchanters who captures and enslave damsels, And a barber with a brass basin,

Isn’t a barber at all but a knight who possessed the fable golden

Mambrino's helmet.

Thus Don Quixote charged forth with his steed, Rozinante, To chase off the barber and claim the helm for himself.

The soft fallen snow of joy and happiness, That soothed my tormented soul,

Instantly hardened into ice of sadness, grief, and despair. Frozen ice of sadness, grief, and despair,

That froze all things upon its touch,

The pain of frostbite seared deep into my soul,

24 25

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Encroaching more and more with every passing second, The frozen ice of sadness, grief, and despair,

Grew larger and larger with every breath I took. Until at last, I could bear no more,

And had to sever the frozen part of my soul, poisoned and ravished by sadness and despair,

Before my entire soul forever perish and entomb in a coffin of solid ice, Like a woolly mammoth forever frozen in Siberia.

And let it drift away from me like a floating iceberg.

That crashed so violently against my grand majestic sailing hopes and dreams, And sank it deep into the depths of my mind,

Just as the Titanic forever sank into the depths of the North Atlantic Sea. Yes, I was foolish and naive,

That tablet of stone is not the Tablet of Destinies at all, But just a piece of side walk concrete

With a vandal's pride written on it,

Before it could dry and harden in the sun. At last I came to realize,

There is no treasure, no treasure to be found. No treasure of great or small.

No treasure of any value at all.

My heart ruptured so violently inside, Geysers of disappointment blew so so high. Leaving me far worse than I was before.

Leaving me more empty and dry inside.

But I must acknowledge the truth before me. No matter how furious it beats and batter

Like a semi trailer's sucker punch from behind,

Sending me flying so mangled and torn. Dazed and confused, weak and weary,

I must stumble on by,

Barely surviving its treacherous bite.

I must abandon, I must abandon, I must abandon, This foolish quest for treasure,

This impossible dream of wealth and glory,

This Fountain of Youth that can restore me my lost youth. The childhood years of happiness I’ve never known.

The childhood years that is stalked by sadness and sorrow, And drenched in tears.

This Fountain of Youth, that countless Spaniards, In the 16th century couldn't find.

That even the great conquistador Ponce De Leon

Spent two years in search of, but in the end couldn't find,

As he lead his men to the lost land of Bimini from Puerto Rico Discovering instead what is now call Florida.

No wealth, no treasures, nothing but dust and bones.

No wealth, no treasures, nothing to restore my long lost youth. All I ever found was feathers and more feathers.

Feathers of red, white, yellow, and blue.

Feathers of gods and goddesses and ancient creatures of great power. Whose power had long declined, dripped away with the passage of time. And then, another idea came to mind

Like a firefly lighting the darkness of the night,

Guiding my lost tormented soul through the darkness of despair. Like a phoenix being reborn from its ashes,

Bringing me back to life from my emotional exhausted burnt out demise.

26 27

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Alone, each feather power was weaning,

Just barely enough to cause it to flutter in the wind. But I found so many, together as one,

Surely they have enough magic for me to fly.

To sew them together, and pool their power together as one, Into some article of clothing, surely I can fly.

Onto my old and worn cloth I sewed these feathers on.

Like the 3 Fates: Clotho the spinner who spins the thread of life, Lachesis who choose how long each strand and one's life shall be And Atropos who upon death cuts the thread of life,

I worked tirelessly through the night.

Spinning, measuring, sewing, and cutting each feather into place Trying to change my own destiny.

Trying to change this fate of desperate poverty call my life. When at last, the cloak of feather was done,

Fluttered in the wind like the goddess Freyia's Falcon Cloak, That allowed her to shape shift into a falcon and fly.

I putted it on and tried to fly as the wind blew by

But it didn't change me, didn't change me at all, I still couldn't fly.

Only the cloak fluttered so wildly behind my back,

The magic of those ancient feathers brought it to life

But still bound to me by the strings around my neck.

He didn't change me, he didn't take me far away in flight. But instead became so violent and brutal,

That savagely tried to strangle me

With those strings in his hands, tied around my neck Like a convict strangling his captor,

With murderous intent to kill.

Like a chained slave attempting to kill his master In order to escape and be free.

Just like the captured slave Joseph Cinqué

Who lead a slave mutiny on board the Amistad some 20 miles

off northern Cuba.

Who savagely killed the captain, and most of her crew with

his fellow freed slaves.

I must let him go, I must let him go, I must let him go. Though his betrayal pained and hurt beyond belief

That nearly brought me to my demise from sadness and despair But I understand and hold no malice or ill will.

I understand his yearning to be free, To be free from his bondage to me, Just as I desperately yearn to be free

From my bondage of desperate poverty. In this world of misery

In this world of death and decay

In this world where only darkness shine

And only things of poisonous nature can grow One must sacrifice one's soul

Just to survive. So I let him go. I set him free.

I untied the strings that bound him to me And watched with great sadness and sorrow

As he flapped his wings and flew away in the wind. But like a baby bird that hasn’t learned how to fly Or a kite dreaming to fly during violent gales

Or Mordred’s ambition to overthrow his mother, Morgan La Fay,

28 29

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

And seized her magical power to rule on his own. I watched with such overwhelming grief,

As my cloak flew so far and high, Thinking at last he had won his freedom. Until he was dash and torn asunder,

Pierced through and through high in the tree branches. Just like the kite whose string had snapped,

Then dragged behind galloping horses of gales, Until at last, they came upon a harmless tree, Then hung to die beneath its branches.

Just like Joseph Cinqué and his short mutiny. Who violently won his freedom in the open sea,

But was deceived by two Spaniard he spared to navigate the ship, And sailed aimlessly from shore to shore,

Tasting only misery, hunger, death and despair instead of victory

for two months. Until at last, the Amistad was captured by Thomas Gedney of the US.S Washington off Long Island.

Of the 600 souls, masters and slaves alike, Only 50 barely survived.

While in America, followed by two years of public spectacle and political strife, He was finally returned to his homeland of Sierra Leone,

Only to find all that he knew and loved,

The wife and children, the mother and father, the entire clan was dead

and gone.

Just like Mordred, who seized Morgan La Fay's power,

And broke her enchantment that kept him forever young, Thinking at last he would rule in her place,

Only to withered and aged in a blink of an eye,

Forever curse with fragility and weak health,

With a body that can’t even move or speak on his own. I watched as my cloak was torn and tattered,

And impaled by branches and hung high high up in the tree. Now it weakly flutter, trampled beneath the galloping wind,

with soft whispering pleas.

Calling my name, begging for my rescue.

I couldn't stand by and abandon him as he abandoned me. Like a father who gave birth to a child,

Just as Geppetto created Pinocchio with his own tired weary hands, With my own two hands I brought him into being.

How could I ignore my child, who lay so mangled and torn, Softly crying out for my help?

I climbed that tree so so weak and weary. Though only in my late twenties,

But the years of disappointment and failure, Had beaten and broken my spirit and soul,

And torn my bravery, courage, hopes and dreams asunder, The years of my disappointment and failure,

Beat my soul and spirit so brutally and savagely, Just as the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, Disguised in their robes of white,

Like floating vengeful ghosts

Savagely and mercilessly thrashed any negroes they could find Leaving them in the gutter for dead and gone.

And if the negro is lucky enough to survive the near death beating, So crippled he becomes in both mind, body, spirit, and soul.

I looked high high up that tree,

30 31

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

And saw his torn body and broken knees, I looked high high up that tree,

Dreading the climb, dreading the height. When I was in my younger days,

So full of vigor and drive.

I tried to climb and climb so high.

I tried to reach and reach to the sky.

Up that corporate ladder with no glass ceiling,

Up that giant beanstalk that reach into the clouds, That reached that giant castle in the sky,

Where the golden goose laid her golden eggs. Success and glory, and treasure hordes of gold,

All lies in abundance in that giant castle in the sky. And like Jack I tried to climb,

Tried to climb to that castle in the sky, Where my wildest dreams will come true, With a single beat of my heart.

But I never reached that castle way way up high. The giants I met along the way,

Mocked and sneered, laughed and ridiculed me. They bellowed with laughter as they lumber about, Telling me I’m nothing nothing at all.

My dreams are impossible, my hopes are false,

My ideas are illusions, that is worth nothing nothing at all. And I’m just a wretch soul invisible to them as a ghost.

With their cruel words they shoved me down down that ladder. Down down that beanstalk I fell through the sky,

Like falling meteors burning through the sky, on its way down to earth.

Through the atmosphere it’s shattered and torn, And each pieces scorched in flame,

Burning away until only pebbles remain when it crashes to the ground. And so my strong spirit and soul, my grand hopes and dreams,

my invincible courage and bravery,

Burned away, like a meteor, as I crashed through the sky,

as I fell down that beanstalk,

From so so way up high.

But despite my broken spirit and soul,

I saw my cloak impaled and torn so so high, Trampled beneath hooves of galloping gales, Calling my name, begging for my rescue.

How could I ignore this precious child of mine. No matter the wrongs he had done,

No matter the sins he committed,

I will always love him, and love him with all my heart.

Just as Geppetto loved his wooden son, Pinocchio, with every fiber of his being. That impoverish wood carver,

Who was so alone and in such misery,

Who found a son in a puppet made of wood, And for all his mischief and misdeeds,

Loved his son so much that he built a boat, And set sail into the open sea in search,

When he heard Pinocchio was swallowed by a giant shark and lost in the sea, He sailed through nights and days without rest,

Until at last, he found that shark and was swallowed himself. In its belly he found and rescued Pinocchio.

Yes, I’m no different than Geppetto,

32 33

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

And that cloak of mine is my Pinocchio. The years of loneliness and solitude,

Wanting to be a devoted husband and loving father.

But what person can love someone as wretched and poor as I? In such desperate poverty, who must lie, cheat, and steal,

Just to survive

Like a street rat who sleep in abandoned buildings and sewers to avoid

the rain and cold.

Who feeds off other discarded food that hasn’t spoiled. Perhaps one day, I’ll find that cave of wonder,

And rub that lamp and summon that blue genie, Who will grant me my first of 3 wishes,

Who will turn me into a prince with a snap of his finger, And with majestic grander I’ll enter the city of Chicago, And marry my beautiful princess Jasmine,

Who will love me so much for who I am.

That even if I lose everything and change back to this street rat life of mine, Will still love me and marry me.

This diamond in the rough, this street rat of Chicago. Perhaps one day, I’ll meet my idol,

The famed Aladdin and his beautiful wife, Jasmine, rulers of Agrabah. But until then, my joy and happiness, my precious child,

Lay tattered and torn, and dying high in the tree top. Though weak and weary, I struggled high up that tree.

To save that cloak, that precious child of mine, that can set me free. Free from this misery and desperate poverty.

I reached and rescued him, so tattered and torn, From the spears of tree branches and birds of gale,

That impaled him and ate away at him,

Just as Hercules rescued Prometheus from Zeus’ torment

and chained bondage, On mount Caucasus where eagles and vultures tore him open

And feast on his liver each day.

I carried him down in my arms while weeping, My precious child so battered and torn.

So weak and fail, that can barely speak and move. His wounds were too great, his injuries too severe,

It was not possible to restore him to what he once was.

I had no money to buy the things I needed to properly treat his wounds. In this wretch poverty, one must make do with what one has,

And hope that things will turn out for the best. Like a surgeon I began to operate.

With knives and scissor I cut away his damaged limbs, I cut him in half as if I was amputating away his legs.

From that half, I worked through the night in silence and solitude, Fearing my voice would wake him from his pain induced slumber, Determining to do everything I could to save his life,

Even at the cost of mine,

Just as Eliza sewed in silence and solitude 11 shirts made of nettles, To save and change her 11 swan brothers back to human form, Even when she was imprisoned and about to burn at the stake.

Whose courage and determination and sacrifice, Forever immortalize in the tale of The Wild Swan. When morning came and all was said and done. My precious child, my cloak of feathers,

Was now a shirt,

34 35

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

His suffering and torment had changed him, Just as it had changed me.

I put him on, my shirt of feathers,

He no longer resisted me, trying to flee.

He no longer was violently trying to squeeze the life out of me. But held me in such a loving embrace,

As my shirt of feather hugged me, Like a child hugging his father.

And together in each other embrace we tried to fly as the wind passed by.

Just like Wayland the Smith was carried into the sky by a shirt made

of feathers.

But sadly, my son was too damage and torn,

His power had become too weak to set us a flight.

On the ground we remain as he fluttered in the wind against my skin. He tried so hard, so hard to take us a flight,

even when I said, “Enough no more”

He still continued to flap his wings of feathers,

So fast and hard, as he fluttered in the wind against my skin. Trying to take us a flight.

As the wind died down into a gentle breeze, He softly whispered to me as he gently fluttered, “Papa Papa, change me into a pair of wings, and together, like a bird we can fly away”

I didn't want to, to inflict more pain upon my child,

To cut him up anymore than he is already cut and torn. But what choice did I have?

If we are to escape and fly away from this misery, this desperate poverty. My heart ached, and my soul wept,

But I must endure and do what needs to be done,

As he endured the pain and agony of being cut and torn once more. while he moans and muffed his screams

as the fabric rips and tears and comes apart.

When morning came, and I’m tired with exhaustion. My precious son was now transform,

From a shirt of feathers into wings. He whispered to me,

“Papa, Papa, let us fly”

My son and I, had both lost much of our power. But together as one,

We might have enough strength to soar. We are both so broken and torn.

But together as one, We can reach the sun. I’m his missing legs

To carry him on my back

As I run across the land so he can fly. He is my set of wings,

My missing arms, to carry me into the sky. Together as one we can take flight.

Though our power are greatly diminish, These wings like contraption will let us soar. I firmly believed in my child's idea of flight,

This set of wings will take us far away from here.

Just as Leonardo da Vinci believed in his aircraft of flight. I flapped our wings and began to race across the land,

Our joy and excitement, our hopes and dreams rocketed off the ground

36 37

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Just as the space shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy

Space center in Florida, Rocketing so far and fast into the sky on January 28 of 1986,

Yelling and hollering as loud as she could, Like a little flower girl filled with glee,

Throwing into the air white rose petals of smoke Celebrating the renewal of a decade long marriage.

While all of America sat in the audience to watch with pride and joy. But much to our dismay we still couldn't fly.

And all our joy and excitement, our hopes and dreams, Instantly exploded just as the Challenger exploded, after 73 second in midair.

That grand white wedding filled with white rose petals of smoke, Instantly became a funeral, as all 7 crew member perished in a flash of light.

All the white rose petals of smoke,

That disbursed in the wind,

Became a cloud of Chinese hell bank notes,

An offering to the souls of the 7 deceased brave men and women on board. As a nation cried and wept.

While I’m lost in this pitch black labyrinth of despair,

Like a will-o-the-wisp flickering and fading in and out of sight,

Those lamps carried by the Puca lighting the darkness, guiding my way, An idea came into my mind.

If we're not strong enough to get off the ground, Why not jump from someplace so so high?

A cliff? A red wood tree? A tower so so tall? And with the wind help we can soar!

Just as the Monk, Eilmer of Malmesbury, The first so call tower jumpers,

Who with bat-like wings successfully soared across the sky. Just as King Bladud flew over the city Trinovantum,

Just as Icarus flew away from Crete, With wings made of feathers.

We climbed up the nearest tallest tree,

With fist size red fruits that resembled a pomegranate fruit, From the pomegranate tree that Persephone

Was tricked into eating, that sealed her fate,

To be queen of Hades for 6 months out of a year,

Six months of sadness and despair, six months of darkness and solitude, For Persephone, who was trapped in the world of the dead,

While the world of the living became cold and frozen, From her mother, Demeter's tears.

Together as one, in each other embrace, As father and son,

Just as a deaf man leading a blind one, We perched on a branch so so high.

And when the wind blew by, Together as one, just father and son,

We spread our wings, and took that leap, yearning to fly. Much to my horror we didn't soar.

Instead we sank so far and fast,

Like a boulder sinking rapidly into the sea, and I drowned in my sorrow,

Just as the pharaoh's men drowned in a flap of a humming bird’s wing, When they gave chase to Moses and the Jews,

38 39

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Through the parted Red Sea in the Book of Exodus.

Like the countless tower jumpers who plunged to their demise,

As Eilmer of Malmesbury broke both legs when he glided 250 feet

to the ground.

As king Bladud came tumbling down, To his demise into Apollo's arms

As we fell, so far and fast, from so so high,

My son whispered to me as the wind blew by, “Papa, Papa, at least we tried, at least we tried, Don’t give up, don’t give up and die, I will wait for you on the other side!”

With his last words, he used all his strength inside,

To switch places with me as we came tumbling down, With his last strength he carried me on his back,

As we came tumbling down down down to the ground. With his last strength, he sacrificed himself,

So I may live to see another day.

My precious son, who couldn't walk or run,

Nor had the strength to spread his wings and fly,

Used what little power left inside,

With his own body cushioned my fall

Just as the young Overlord Laharl in the Netherworld, Son of King Krichevskoy, used up all his power,

And sacrificed himself to save Flonne from her flowery fate,

After defeating Seraph Lamington in Celestia, that heavenly realm, Because at last, he understood what love is.

A lesson his mother tried to teach him so long ago,

When she herself, sacrificed her own life,

To save her child, Laharl, when he was but a dying child. Whose endless love that knew no bound,

Whose sacrifice can never be measure,

Forever immortalized in the tale of Makai Senki Disgaea. Will my precious child forever be curse?

By torments and agony in Purgatory, For his selfless sacrifice to save my life? For to commit suicide in any form

Is an unforgiveable sin.

Just as Laharl and his mother had to pay the price For their selfless sacrifice to save their loved one's life,

Whose souls had to endure such unfathomed hardship, Trapped in a Prinny disguise.

We fell and fell until at last we could fall no more, Instead of smashing into boulders of rocks and stones, I fell into soft piles of feathers that broke my fall.

The gentle soft sound of my nimble landing,

Erupted in my mind like the volcano of Vesuvius on August 24 of 79 A.D. By my own hand he suffered no more,

As if I tackled him to the ground, From so fast and so far,

Giving him such grave injuries leading to his demise. I screamed and cried over his scattered remains, Pleading to the gods to spare his life and take mine. Why must they cursed me with such a wretched fate? To give me a taste of a father love and happiness, Only to rip it from me like destroying the dam,

40 41

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Taking away the reservoir of built up love and happiness

that swelled inside,

Drowning me in such darkness and despair,

As the moon completely swallow the sun during a solar eclipse, devouring the daylight of hope, joy, and happiness, Consuming the world with darkness and fear.

That a father must bury his only precious son, Long before his child's time is due.

That a tree sapling should fall When it still has centuries to grow. Are they punishing me?

For encroaching on their domain?

To cheat and elude death so many times and for so long, With this Resurrection Stone of mine,

This shard of hope from my shattered hopes and dreams, This yearning to fly that can't die,

That so many times brought me back to life from my demise. Just as Ignotus Peverell eluded Death until his old age,

By cheating Death when he was asked what gift his heart desire, a gift that was meant to be his early demise.

His humble reply, “Something that will allow me to go forth without

being follow by death”. Thus bounded to his promise, Death gave Ignotus the cloak of invisibility, In the Tale of The Three Brothers.

Penned by J.K. Rowing in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Is that the reason why?

If so! I’ll cast aside my Resurrection Stone, This fruit pit that can never be digested, This yearning to fly that can't die,

In exchange for my precious child’s life. I won’t complain, I won’t deny!

This wretched existence, this desperate impoverish life, As long as my son is still alive.

I pleaded then scream!

I begged then cursed!

But when the gods didn't answer my pleas and prays, When my precious child remain still dead in my arms, All my emotions erupted inside,

In my mind, like countless exploding volcanoes. The grief and sadness,

The guilt and regrets, The anguish and despair, The loneliness and pain,

The anger, hatred, and rage, The disappointment and failure,

Just as Mount Vesuvius erupted one sunny clear blue day,

And caught the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum completely

by surprise.

That spitted blacken hot ashes, stones, and pumice into the sky. With such a vengeance that enveloped the sun,

Like a cloak of pitch black shadows that shrouded The land in perpetual night!

Whose fiery hot breath that smelled of burning sulfur Like a dragon's roar and flaming breath,

That seared and incinerated all things without regard. From men to beast,

From birds to things that crawl,

42 43

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

From big to small,

Nothing nothing is spared at all!

As instantly as spill water evaporated and consumed

By the unquenchable dying thirst of a scorched barren desert land, The inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum,

Were slain by descending armies of raining hot ashes and burning stones, Just as the majority of Troy were slain,

And the remaining few women were captured and sold off into slavery, And its majestic city was wiped off the map,

Never again to rise from its ashes,

Only to become a mere memories of those who survived the Trojan War, All because Paris stole the famed Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, Whom took his grievance to his brother, King Agamemnon of Mycenae, Who raised an army and set sail with a mighty fleet,

And laid a ten year seize on the great city of Troy,

Who conquered Troy in one night with an Odysseus' ruse.

Who deceived King Priam of Troy into accepting the Trojan Horse, Thinking that they had won the war at last.

The men of Troy slowly pulled the Trojan Horse within their gate, Like a deadly viper it slowly slithered into their den,

Flickering its tongue as the ropes are pulled, Waiting for its chance to strike.

While the Trojan celebrated into the night then slumber,

In silence and cover of darkness the viper unfurled its fangs and strike, as Achilles and his handful of men

Emerged from their hiding to open Troy's gate. Within the hour, all of Troy was lost and gone.

Its citizen were completely taken by surprise,

To wake up to the taste of glinting metal blades instead of ray of sunlight, To hear the screams of the dying echoing throughout all of Troy,

Instead of morning song birds.

Even though King Agamemnon satisfied his ambition by conquering Troy, in the end the price he paid was his own life.

As he was killed by his wife, Clytemnestra and her lover, Aegisthus, Upon his return to Mycenae.

Just like Troy, Pompeii and Herculaneum was dead and gone. Its citizen all perished in a matter of a few days,

And the great cities were buried by ashes and stones, Never to rise from its ashes again,

Only a memory passed on from the few who survived. Just like Troy, Pompeii, and Herculaneum,

My world was dead and gone.

All life had perished, only chaos and destructions remains. From the smoldering ashes rose new life.

Instead of sprouts and seedlings and fungus, Giant efreets and jinns and ghouls emerged. Like the Titans who were imprisoned in Tartarus

By Zeus after the death of Cronos and their defeat in the Olympian War. While Atlas was forever condemned to hold up the world.

My emotions broke free from their confinement in me. Like prisoners rioting and breaking free from their cell,

Violently slaying the guards and warden of logic and reasons. Just as the prisoners rioted and broke free from Nuevo Leon,

in Apodaca northern Mexico,

Leaving behind 44 people dead and gone. These murderous vile monsters,

44 45

Hoang Minh Tran The Yearning to Be Free and Fly

Unleashed and escaped into the world. Efreets of raging fire of anger, rage, and hate, Incinerated everything in its path in my mind.

Like the Chimera, that monstrous female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, Made up of part lion, part serpent, and part goat.

Jinns of gales and thunder of sadness, grief, and regrets, Violently blew away my peace of mind,

As if Futen, the Japanese god of wind,

And Raijin, the god of lighting, thunder, and storm, Were on a destructive rampage,

Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-47 show above.)