The Tower


The erect mega-ruin, the impenetrable
Monument in decay
Time-wasting-rotting concrete

I stood looking at your face
Beehive of porous holes
Airborn catacombs
Humans were once
In them
Raised children
Told stories
Made love
Cooked meals
Dreamed making fortunes
Fought evictions
Fought among themselves
Waited and shed tears
Closed the eyes of the dead

Wrote something
To be misunderstood

Hoang Tien Nguyen

Author: Hoang Tien Nguyen

Nguyen Tien Hoang arrived in Australia from Vietnam in 1974 under a Colombo Plan Scholarship. He graduated from Monash University and has worked in journalism, radio, book editing, translation and information technology. His poems have appeared in The Age, HEAT, Meanjin, Black Inc anthologies of Best Australian Poems. Under the pen name Thường Quán, his poems and essays in Vietnamese have appeared in selected literary magazines across the Vietnamese diaspora over the past four decades. Nguyen Tien Hoang received the Australian Council for the Arts grant for developing writers in 1997. His more recent poems can be read in this year’s Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (Puncher & Wattmann). A book in the Asia Pacific series which Nguyen edited and wrote introduction featuring three contemporary Vietnamese poets has just been published by Vagabond Press.