Broken Blossom
(A Sporadic Diary of Poetry, Limericks, and Pictures)






  1. A Broken Blossom
  2. A Christmas Without Snow
  3. Freedom of Last Resort
  4. A Pilgrim with No Indians
  5. A Dog Named Jinx
  6. The Day After NEW!
  7. On Perfection NEW!
  8. An Insidious Liar NEW!
  9. In the Face of Logic NEW!

    Photo Collages
  10. A Still Abandoned Nest
  11. Golden Bell of Distress

    Hong Kong Limericks
  12. Money Before Law
  13. A Dentist Named Siu
  14. Pride and Curtsy
  15. Hung, Sung, and Fung
  16. The Headmistress
  17. The Choir Director

    DaeJeon Limericks
  18. The School Director
  19. Miss Allison
  20. The Coordinator

A Broken Blossom

Long have I searched myself unknown
and found, perhaps too late, my place
in a world unprepared for what I am.

So what, I am told by those
who remember someone other.
Cast aside by time I have struggled forward.

Separated we have grown apart,
Unable to imagine the past that came later.
There is no progress -- only memory.

Better to have remained apart
but still hoping for a different future.
Be not harsh. It is not a crime to have been young.

Condemned by a future that cannot be,
Persecuted by a present that should never have been.
Trapped by a past of my own and others' making.

I have the solution, but no means.
Then its not a solution, or so it goes.
Who are you to take from me and give to others?

A careful cut, warm red fills the sand
From whence I came I cannot return,
but I give back what has always been mine -- forsaken.

Hong Kong, 17 August 2003
revised 30 January 2004
revised again 5 April 2006
R. A. Stegemann
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A Christmas Without Snow

If someone knew it all,
It would not be me, nor you,
For if it were, the magic
Of the thought of somone knowing
In a world filled with unknowns would suddenly disappear.
And, where would you be then?
Maybe better off, because
You might try looking for answers,
You have, up until now,
Left for others or another to find.

In the end, it is not important
That there exists an answer for
Everything, rather, that we can find
The answers to the things
We need to know. “But, how do we know
What we need to know?”, you might ask.
Look around you.
Can you find something
That doesn’t seem right?

“But”, you say, “I cannot tell the difference
Between right and wrong, and that’s the problem.”
You’re in trouble. Have you ever studied law?
How about anthropology?
Ever read a novel? Get to know the culture
Of the society in which you live. Talk to your friends,
Your family, and those, and others, who think
They know the difference. But, be wary,
For right and wrong change from society to society,
And are not always clear, no matter what the circumstance.

You say, “I’m feeling alone. No one understands me.”
Do you understand yourself?
Put away your foolish pride, and get to know others.
You may be the center of your world, but
You are not the center of someone elses,
Not even your Mom’s or your best friend’s.
You are afraid to ask? But why?
Most people like to talk about themselves.
Just show that you truly care.

Seek until you can find the answers
To what is important. Or, discover
That knowing the answer is no longer
Worth the effort, because you
Have found a bigger problem
Along the way. You are important to you,
And maybe even to others, if you have
Something to offer. There are those, who frown
Upon those who would make the world a better place,
And there are those who would even laugh.
Then too, there are those who actually make it better.
Seek out the latter!

There are those who would build
Fences around themselves, and are envied
By others for having done so. Don’t let envy
Get the better of you. These others
May have the means and the power,
But likely not the answers to the questions
That you seek -- else, why would they
Need to build the fences?
Do not be fooled by appearances.
Greed will not make you happy.

If you think you know the answer
And must prove it to others.
Then, by every reasonable means, do so;
But do not plague the world
With your thoughts about answers to questions
That are hardly important.

Death? It is something that no one
Can avoid, it’s built into our genes --
Like old age. Have you ever seen someone
Grow younger? Maybe happier, and thus more
Like a child, because they have thrown away
Some senseless burden, far too big for any one
Person to carry. Do not be anyone’s mule.
Be your own ant, and where your burden with pride.
Just don’t forget that there are many ants,
And not all ants are created equal.
You are a giant, you say? I hadn’t noticed.
Oh, you want to be a giant. There is a difference.
It takes time to build a house, a firm.
It takes time to write a book, produce a movie.
You want to sing well? Be patient, persevere.

“But, I won’t live forever,” you say.
You do not need to. Half the fun of life
Is getting to where you want to go.
It’s not just about having arrived.

“But, I am alone,” you say.
So, are we all. Have you forgotten your mother?
Never were you closer to anyone.
Has she forgotten you?
Have you ever given birth to a child?
Have you ever raised your own?
When was the last time you said, “Thanks”?
The feeling is gone. Alas, few of us die in the company of another.
It is an ignomious quirk of nature,
And why friends are so important.
You say, “You haven’t any.”
It is never too late to find some.
Just do not expect instant understanding.
Like a garden, friendship is something
To be cultivated. You must dig the soil.
And plant the seed.

Death? Yes, its a way out.
Unlike birth, you can choose.
Just don’t be careless about your decision,
Because we have never met,
And, you might just be the friend I need,
And the world wants,
If only you knew yourself and the world
So as to find your way out of your wilderness
Of confusion.

For the moment you must endure.
Life is not always easy, but if your goal is worthy,
You will find a way,
Provided that you persevere,
And remain courageous -- true to yourself,
The goals that you seek to achieve,
And the questions you have yet to answer.
My heart is with you, because you are a part of me.
You are humanity, you are life, and you are mine.

You can go backward in your mind,
But always you must go forward in time.
Do not waste it, because your time,
Like mine, is short.

Surely, you once knew happiness.
If you cannot remember, then try again.
And keep trying until you have found it,
If only in your memory. It is enough.
Then, remember over and over,
Until that memory is alive and well,
And you can build upon it afresh.
Life is forgiving; it replenishes itself.

Death paves the way to life,
For it is in the passing of the old
That the new are born.
Have you left something behind
For those to follow who come after you?

Hong Kong,  24 December 2004
R. A. Stegemann

revised 25, 26, 27 December 2004
Acknowledgments - KudoZ language pairs, and friends.
Pdf copy (32 KB) for circulation.
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A Still Abandoned Nest
A Collage Poem

An Abandoned Nest - A Collage Poem

Early Spring 2006
photographed and realized by

R. A. Stegemann

Shatin, New Territories (East), Hong Kong S. A. R., China
JPG Image (204 KB)

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A Dentist Named Siu

There once was a dentist named Siu
Who courted and flattered to woo you
Into friendship so needed
You truly felt bleeded
When promise he broke and did sue you.

Dedicated to Dr. SIU Hin Ho
Ma On Shan, New Territories, Hong Kong

March 3, 2007
R. A. Stegemann

Shatin, New Territories (East), Hong Kong S. A. R., China

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Pride and Curtsy

There once was a woman named Kai See
Who was known unto many as Kathy
Although a good swimmer
Her thoughts were much dimmer
For her pride overshadowed her curtsy.

Dedicated to LI Kai See
Ma On Shan, New Territories, Hong Kong

March 3, 2007
R. A. Stegemann

Shatin, New Territories (East), Hong Kong S. A. R., China

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Hung, Sung, and Fung

There once was a man named Chun Hung
Who wrote to another named Sung.
The idea was to soil
But another's good toil
And not have to pay Fung & Fung.

Dedicated to Ho Chun Hung, Director
Time Enterprises Co.
Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

March 3, 2007
R. A. Stegemann

Shatin, New Territories (East), Hong Kong S. A. R., China

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The Headmistress

Tsang was a Buddhist headmistress
Who behaved in a manner quite feckless
When she wrote of infame
And another did blame
For her friend's foolish tongue, oh so reckless.

Dedicated to Tsang Lai Mi, Headmistress
Buddhist Lam Bing Yim Memorial School
Tsuen Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong

March 3, 2007
R. A. Stegemann

Shatin, New Territories (East), Hong Kong S. A. R., China

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The Choir Director

There once was a teacher named Lut
Whose foot in her mouth she did put
When quite unashamed
Another she blamed
For matters that she was the root!

Dedicated to Lut Wai Ying, Schoolmistress
Buddhist Lam Bing Yim Memorial School
Tsuen Wan, New Territories, Hong Kong

March 5, 2007
R. A. Stegemann

Shatin, New Territories (East), Hong Kong S. A. R., China

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Money Before Law

There once was a justice named Rogers
Who ignored the appeals of lodgers
Whose claims he found small
In his ledger so tall
To the glee of egregious court dodgers.

Dedicated to the not so Honorable Justice Anthony Gordon Rogers
Hong Kong High Court of Appeals

December 7, 2008
R. A. Stegemann

Berkeley, California, USA

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Golden Bell of Distress
What Could've, But Didn't Happen

Big Gold Bell

Early Spring 2007
photographed and realized by

R. A. Stegemann

Shatin, New Territories (East), Hong Kong S. A. R., China
JPG Image (204 KB)


Freedom of Last Resort
The door that is nearly always open.

At birth we know only life;
By death we know both - life and death.
Have we matured?
Do we know choice?
Have we learned to decide?

Belief is a matter of choice;
Life is full of doubt.
Doubt gives rise to thought;
Belief is the basis for decision.
Reasons for living must be found within.

You must want life, for ...
If you don't, death will find you.

Life is about making decisions,
And, living with their consequences --
Not just once, but many times.

If you find making decisions difficult, then
Find someone to help you.
Or, plod along until you can
Learn to decide for yourself,

Important is that you stop complaining and act.
Take responsibility for what you do.

I'll not hold it against you,
If you cannot find meaning in your life;
Just don't piss on me, on your way out.

Late Spring, 2007
Revised Middle Fall 2008

R. A. Stegemann
Zeitgeist, Seattle, Washington, USA

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A Pilgrim with No Indians

Thankful to be on shore.
Caught between a forest unknown
And a sea too vast to cross again,
If there remained a desire.

Perplexed by what awaits,
Thankful that hope remains.
An alone, solitary, faithful spirit
Unburdened by the uncaring platitudes of those less concerned.

Rejected, bounced, and ignored by mediocrity,
Free of the unconscionable crimes of those who would sooner pretend,
Thankful to have persevered --
A happy hunter of social injustice.

Shunned by the ignorant,
Robbed by the self-pitious,
Persecuted by undeserved arrogance.
Thankful to have survived to resume my struggle for reform.

Thanksgiving Day 2008
Roddy Stegemann

Moogoonghwa Viewpoint
Berkeley, California, USA 94703

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A Dog Named Jinx

Jinx was a black and white beagle with a touch of brown.
It was a cold icy night, and it was time to go.
We called and called, but we could not wait;
Surely Jinx would be there upon our return.

The trip to the East Side of town was long,
And everyone was happy with our timely arrival.
It was late when we returned and we went to bed tired
Hoping that Jinx would survive the night.

When we awoke, Jinx was still absent.
Panic set in, and we boarded the family car.
Only my mother was left behind to prepare our lunch.
We combed the neighborhood for hours shouting, "Jinx!", "Jinx!", "Jinx!".

After several hours we realized how foolish we had been.
Jinx would never return.

Jinx was a brave, hardy dog, but no match against the cold.
My father surmised that he had fallen through the ice.

Until this day I miss Jinx and wish him my very best.
My father was a good man, and I miss my mother.

Tomorrow I will cook a goose in memory of the family that was once mine.

In Memory of a Missing Beagle
Not the answer to an online password retrieval question.

December 24, 2008
Roddy Stegemann

Berkeley, California, USA

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The School Director

There once was a man named Jong Gu
Who was looking for someone to sue.
Self-righteous in nature
And careless in stature
He sued the wrong party anew.

Dedicated to Seong Jong Gu
Director of Aorus Education
CSU San Bernadino Daejeon Center

December 25, 2009
R. A. Stegemann

Daejeon, Republic of Korea

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Miss Allison

There once was a teacher named Allison
Who thought herself Queen of the Amazon.
Surrounded with children
She feigned holy wisdom
And bowed to a prince named Horizon.

Dedicated to a former colleague named Allison L. Bakker
Teacher at Aorus Education
CSU San Bernadino Daejeon Center

December 27, 2009
R. A. Stegemann

Daejeon, Republic of Korea

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The Coordinator

There once was a sailor named Jiho
Who played a hymn on his dildo.
Although it did rhyme,
And he had a good time,
He got stuck when the muck was staccato.

Dedicated to Yang Ji Ho
Coordinator at Aorus Education
CSU San Bernadino Daejeon Center

December 27, 2009
R. A. Stegemann

Daejeon, Republic of Korea

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The Day After

My parents gone, my family parted.
I know not where. Is it important?
Nay, I say, for what if we were once again united?
The past would prevail.
And, I wish it not.

I am thankful that we were.
For had we not been, I would not still be.
And, there would be no tomorrow.
Tomorrow. Tomorrow is what I dream.
But, the world saddens me.

Am I lost? Probably not.
I wish not that pain be my home.
Do I have direction? And, then again, our world is conflicted.
There are those who have steered us awayfrom nature.
And, our return will be painful,

They speak of holy books.
They speak of a time long ago.
I did not live then; I live now
And in the future. It is the future that I dream.
Not a time long past and better forgotten.

Our genes are a stolid record
Of who we are, and where we have been.

Dedicated to All Who We Are - Humanity

14 December 2011
Born 13 December 1949
Roddy A. Stegemann

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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An Insidious Liar

Hatred is an insidious liar;
It offers direction where there is none.
It stands before us like the red cape of a matador
And, lures us to our own defeat.

If we are lucky, we survive our enemy,
But our indirection does not disappear.
Like a severed head of the sacred Hydra.
It simply reappears.

For, still we burn inside
With the pain and sorrow of our past.
Now, worse than before, as we turn
Toward one another to rebuild and cannot.

No smarter than before, we are led by others
Who know no hate, but are eager to employ our ignorance.
And soon, we are duped again.
Not by ourselves, but by these others.

Hatred is an ugly debilitating disease.
Anger is a healthy response for those who have not yet lost their direction.

Dedicated to my Facebook friends,
the Zionist scourge,
those who suffer in its grip,
and the indifferent masses around the world
who support the scourge
with their daily purchases, votes, and tax dollars.

16 December 2011
Roddy A. Stegemann

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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In the Face of Logic

My computer has no compassion;
It defends against me without mercy,
Neither does it ridicule me when I lose.
I have as many chances as I like;
Well, at least, until I tire.

There are no conflicting values.
The playing board is level, and the rules are clear.
It is highly responsive to my every aspiration.
It is logic at its best: think or flounder.
No petty jibes, no illusions, and no acts of treachery.

My computer is frank.
It does not seek to deceive or cheat me.
It is not judgmental. It exhibits no arrogance, no displeasure.
My own loss is not even my computer's gain.
If there is emotional bias, then it is my own.

As I learn a better game, I learn about myself
And the causes of my own frustration.

Dedicated to Those Who Would Diminish the Pursuit of Logic

16 December 2011
Roddy A. Stegemann

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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On Perfection

Our mind demands order
But each mind is different.
No one can dictate perfection.

Perfection is an equilateral triangle --
Not one that you or I can draw,
But one that we can both imagine.

Perfection is a circle,
A figure in space, a mathematical relationship
We imagine the former, and can express the latter.

Perfection is anywhere that we imagine it.
And nowhere where we seek to find it.
Perfection is the magic of the human mind.

It is what binds us with the universe.

Dedicated to Those Who Would Attribute Perfection to Another Being

16 December 2011
Roddy A. Stegemann

Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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