Writing On HubPages, and the Khmer Cambodian Language

It’s been awhile since I have blogged. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been doing plenty of writing. I’ve been writing in Academia for the last four months. I’m enrolled in an accelerated program pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology-a lifelong goal I am finally  going to meet. It’s a rigid program. Each term is only 8 weeks long and there is just as much-if not more-work than any regular undergraduate program. But I am driven. I have drive. No seriously, I just started using Google Drive. It’s quite handy.

“It’s Been A While…” I like that song. I used to sing it when I thought I was king of the Karaoke bars. Those were the days. I don’t do bars any more. In fact, I don’t drink anymore. Drinking nearly ended my life and it destroyed some of my dearest relationships. I’m 38 and when I was 37 I had a heart attack. I was overweight but not morbidly obese or anything. I found out that I had a birth defect in my heart. It was a minor heart attack nonetheless. It actually felt more like a panic attack than anything else. I lost 65 lbs in less than 9 months without any diet or exercise. How did I do it? Mostly from not eating Skittles and candy, a medication that has a side effect of losing weight, and LOTS of stress. I can’t stress enough how much stress I have had.

So I’m on break now for the holiday break and I decided to do some writing outside of school. I need to write. I was born to write. If I was never allowed to have a pen and paper (or keyboard and computer; it’s implied, you get my point) it would be a death sentence. One time I had a dream that I was living in some utopian world where I had committed some crime against the state. My sentence: they cut off my finger tips. That was years ago but I still shriek at the thought of it. I just don’t know what I would do with all the thoughts, feelings, emotions and ideas in my head. I would go nuts. I’m probably already nuts, but that is besides the point. For the record, I prefer gel ink pens. They’re messy, they leak through the page to the other side, and they get all over your hand while your writing. But they are very permanent-unless you get them wet or smudge them before the ink dries.

I’ve been thinking about HubPages a lot lately. I have been on HP for over 7 years and haven’t published anything in at least over a year. I don’t know, maybe even longer. A lot has changed there because Google has no idea what it wants. It changes its algorithms as often as the tickers change on those stock exchange boards. Content doesn’t really change, it just “diversifies”. I don’t like that word and I don’t even know if it makes sense, but that is what I said, so deal with it.

So I got an email a few months ago from HubPages saying that if I tweak one of My Hubs it can be moved to one of the new sites, i.e. “Vertical Domains/Network Sites” (Owlcation) and have a better chance at traffic, and traffic usually translates to more earnings. I could use more earnings, couldn’t you? So the Hub (it’s like a blog or online article for those who aren’t familiar with HubPages) is about Cambodia, specifically, How to Read and Write the Cambodian Khmer Language. I worked very hard on that Hub a few years ago, and if you go to Google and search for “How To Read and Write Khmer Cambodian” my article is ranked on the first page. (Sometimes second page; depends on the day and which search engine you use, but I am strictly talking Google here.) That’s amazing! Getting a first page ranking on Google is almost impossible-being in the top five out of over 1,030,00 results (my article moves up and down but is almost always on the first page) is even more incredible. At least I think so. (There are also other links that link to my article such as Pinterest.)

But there are 2 problems. The biggest problem is the word Khmer. See Khmer is the actual word Cambodian’s use to describe themselves, their country (Srok Khmer), and their language (Khmer); but most non-Cambodians don’t know that-so when people search for how to speak Cambodian, they often don’t add the word Khmer. Bummer. No way around that. So when I search with the same terms and omit the word Khmer, I am ranked sometimes on the second page, sometimes on the first, and sometimes I can’t find it. God, I love Google!

Now onto my second problem. If I make the suggested edits and submit the Hub to the new HubPages domain, will I loose my ranking? To be honest, I am not earning that much on the page even though it is ranked so high. How many people do you know are looking or rather searching the web for how to speak , read, or write Cambodian? In case you’re wondering, Here’s the link to the Hub: Learn How To Speak and Write Cambodian: An Introduction To The Khmer Language: Numbers and Letters I just don’t know what to do? It’s not about money, but if I make the change I have potential to make more earnings, but…theoretically, I could lose the page ranking that I have held for so many years. I have no idea what to do…

So that’s my dilemma. I’m stuck. Maybe I should just say go for it. Make the edits and see what happens. What do I have to lose? I could always screenshot the ranking for bragging rights, right? Aside of school, I have so much going on in my personal life right now. It’s strange. There are so many good things happening…school is going great (first term straight A’s!), I’m “off the sauce” if you know what I mean, and I am the Secretary of the Cambodian American Rescue Organization and we are on the threshold of becoming something huge that will help many, many people. I’m proud of that. I’m even an assistant Adult ESL teacher, how about that.

On the other hand, there are some really personal things going on in my life right now that I will not discuss here. I really wish I could talk about it, tell you the whole story, but to be honest, it’s none of your business (sorry) and even more so, I wouldn’t want to “air my dirty laundry” like I see so many people do on BookFace. I have ethics you know. There are just some things you just don’t say in public. No, you talk to your therapist and other family members (and maybe friends, if you have any) and you keep that stuff off the internet.

So what’s next? I have no idea. I have 10 days until my next term starts but I can already access my classes if I choose to start early. To be honest, I was quite ill last term. I had strep throat, the flu, and a sinus infection-not to mention all the crap that was going on in my personal life (I told you I wasn’t going to tell you, mind your beeswax), that I almost didn’t get all the work done. I missed a couple assignments, didn’t get strait A’s (still pulled off a B though in one class (somehow)-it was a writing class) but I made it. I completed the term, passed with “decent” grades, and promised myself that no matter what happens in life, I will put school (and other important things) first. It’s all temporary. This too shall pass. Right?

So I guess that’s enough for tonight. I hope you made it to the end. If you didn’t, I don’t blame you. Only another writer would probably understand. See you soon.

JS~

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Finding The Path: An Essay

The Sword...

The Sword…

There are so many variables that dictate the outcome of life. There are empty beds, headaches, and lost wages that we take like a pinch, just to know that they are real. There is the everyday pain-and-suffering, the cause onto which we exist – and all those questions that we ask when we know that we already have the answers. There is no medium – only a plane on which we live – and we cannot be too far to the left or too far to the right, so that we can exist.

In either position, it is within our hearts and minds that we must try to understand, to live, and to share what we have learned. For it is beauty that lies in the eye of the beholder; it is sense that we so desire, like respect, to be lost, only to find that we were sleeping. For it is with strangers that we learn our weakness, and in neighbors that we see our strength. With male and female we fail, and know our differences. There is no greater love than love itself. But to know that – to feel that – to exist within it, is not familiar, but estranged.

We cannot express what we desire. We speak what we want and don’t mean what we say. It is those situations that we make it through by the bare skin of our teeth. I cannot remove myself from a feeling – a wish. I had a situation I wish I didn’t, and an existence in which I have no control of. They say that the shortest distance between two points is intention. I say, that it is what is between points A and B -everything else, if it exists, is in between – just something like Atoms, that we can only guess and formulate about. Postulates, theorems they are mere guesstimates; things accepted until we are proven; all wrong. As I said, I try to postulate right and wrong, black and white, neighbor or stranger, and I rise to the same conclusion; existentialism. There it is again, that we can become all those things that we dream of, and can be or cannot be, if it is again. Within the eye of the beholder so much like what we understand as beauty and self.

I believe chief Joseph said. “I will fight no more, forever.” There are at least two views within these words; those of the coward and of those of the strong. It is within the strong that we find our own weakness, and is in those we see as weak do we find our own strength. Two factors are one. We can relate. We do not want to be characterized as such. So I ask you, where will we lay our head and rest? Is it on a comfy pillow or on cement that was just poured?

And I regret not that is stamped into pavement. Look not what past I have done. And those irreplaceable instances, I cannot make time embrace situations that I know I could change. It is not of my heart but my eye which conceives of the future. I cannot predict the smell that encompasses an enemy. It is the wake of my thoughts, the strut of my walk, and the residence of my words that make it sound.

There again, is no greater quote than that of an elder. At last we seek for approval; like possession is only two thirds of the law, it has to be an inhibition, a sequencing to which we follow a path. And leading –is the thing that is talked about in phrases. Following is what we do in stories and dreams. I once dreamt of a leader and a cause. But only when I awoke, did I find followers and reason.

If it is said within the text how one must be – then religion has won and every other thing is rhetoric. It is with teary eyes that men tell the truth. And in breaking homes and broken women that reflect it. There are no truths and no liars that make up a jigsaw puzzle – only pieces that re-create a picture that was destroyed and defaced. We put those pieces together.

It is only in falling that we notice the ground. Only in losing that we recall our wins. It is within flying that we share the earth and in dying that we understand heaven. There is no greater love again, than that spoken, but we who feel that sense of being. Intention. It’s what it’s between points A and B…

JSMatthew~

The Diamond: A Short Story

The Diamond

One time, I told a story. It started on a long journey where I had met a woman. I was a little afraid to walk up to her but I did. She was resilient, and so I walked, and walked, and walked. I swam in the ocean and walked on the streets. Then I walked into the woods and I was introduced to the forest.

The forest was deep and lush. It got deeper as I walked. The nights were dark and I had to make fire, just to know myself. As I sat on a log (it was mossy, that is how I knew my direction). I was approached by a being; He, she, it offered me a stone.

I took the stone and walked some more. Then I had to stop and rest. As I sat on a log by the fire. I dropped the stone. I search for it and when I finally found it, it was broken. I peeled away the layers of rock and found the largest, most beautiful diamond that I had ever seen in my life. So I put it in my pocket, and eventually I made it out of the forest and back into the woods…

 

While I was in the woods, I got lost in a glass maze. I went left and right and even though I could see the exit, I could not find my way out. Then I remembered the diamond. I took it out of my pocket and as I stared at its beauty and size, I realized that it was the balance between life and death.

So I used it like a shovel. I dug and dug and as I cut through the many layers of glass, I realized that the diamond became smaller. As it became smaller, I realized that it shined even brighter. In its smallness, it was grand. When I got out of the maze, I was so glad. I lit a fire and rejoiced. Eventually, I got out of the woods and I ran into a friend…

We sat in the village for a while and we lit a fire. My friend was talking of some business that he had to go on a journey. He told me that I possessed something that was of great importance to him for his journey, and that he needed it to ensure his safety. Aside of my mind and my shoes, I figured that it must be my diamond; my beautiful rock.

And so, after a long talk and a hot fire, I decided that at this time, my friend needed the diamond more than I did. I would have plenty of time for that some other time. And so I offered it to him with the promise of its safe return. And so a year went by; then another, and another. It was two years into a second decade that I saw my friend again. I recognized him at once. Although we were older and we had many stories and shoes to fill, we were the same. And so we lit a fire.

My friend told me that he went on a great journey. He had just returned and came to see me immediately. He told me that even though time seemed not to pass, he ran into the woods. As he walked, he got lost. He slept for a time that he could not keep track of. When he woke up, he realized that he was lost, deep, deep, in the woods.

And so he sat upon a log (it was mossy, so that he knew which way he should walk) and he lit a fire. Then, as he slept, he had a dream. He dreamed that a being; he, she, it, came up to him and asked for a stone. It was a stone that was sacred and passed to those who were lucky to get lost in the forest. He said that he indeed had the stone, but it was not his to give. After a series of unfortunate events, the man woke up and the stone was gone. The fire was out and my friend was still tired. He then slept for a long, long time.

When he woke up enough to realize what had really happened, he searched for the diamond. To his dismay, he found that it was nowhere to be found. He searched the ground, under leaves, and turning up stones. But yet, there was no trace of the stone.

And so we sat in front of the fire on a mossy log. And we exchanged stories. Stories of good times, and times of loss. And just as I was about to get up for the night, a stranger; he, she, it, came up to me. I looked around for my friend but he was no longer in sight. I was lost in the woods, deep in the forest. And then I realized that I was asleep.

When I woke up, I was still tired, and so I slept some more. When I finally awoke, I lit a fire as I sat on the mossy log for that way I knew which direction was north. Just as I started walking, I kicked up a rock and it crashed into a tree. When I checked it out, I realized that it was the rock – the stone – the diamond I had begun the story with.

As I glanced at its simplicity, I realize how small and beautiful it truly was. At that point I was glad that I had the one tool that could cut me out of the glass maze that I had been trapped in for two days more than two decades, so that I could meet my old friend again.

Short Poem: “Simple”

Simple

My only need is simplicity

Don’t need your cars

Don’t like your cities

My misery- this place has left me

Un-sacred hallow

Derails my thoughts

The core shall come out

From within

That’s what frees you in the end.

I try…

I try and nothing’s left behind.

Your evil eye stares through the hourglass

Drop…drop…drop…

See me in the looking glass

Hours pass by

And still I try

To pass them by

And they defy

Since they don’t fly

And nothing is left behind…

Poetry Series: The Vower

This was a poem I wrote about my ex-girlfriend who died in a car accident 2 years after we broke up. I didn’t get to properly mourn her death because I was with a very jealous woman at the time (yea, jealous of a dead girl! Imagine that!) I penned these words when I finally got to terms with her passing. For the record, I am happily married to my beautiful wife but this is what I was feeling all those years ago…

The Vower: A Short Poem

While you’re up there

I miss you here

 

I long your kiss

Is it me that you miss?

 

Our place we share

I will not dare

 

To disturb the ground

For by love I am bound.

 

To hold and tell

Fate’s deepest well,

 

And now I state

I’ll drink in fate

 

And full I am

Of you and kin,

My smile falls

Upon my chin.

 

I can not wait

Until the time,

That you in full,

Attuned as mine.

 

I share my love,

With you, Devine

In contract with

The great grape-vine.

 

Contrast, should we

Upon the world

And you’re my one,

Perfect girl.

 

For you I love,

And love, I do

I only wish

To be with you.

 

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Short Poetry Series: “Deploy” and “In the Boots of Shultz” War Poems

I have always been against unnecessary war and conflict. It seems that in my lifetime, we have always been fighting some war in a far land. It is sad when we fight over natural resources like oil. These two poems are based on a view of war and the battle field. I am not a soldier but many in my family have served and I thank all veterans for their service.

Deploy…

Engage-positions

Wait for orders

Move slowly…

Silently…

Lowly…

Bring in the gun-men

Shoot to kill

Nothing to feel

Except that lonely chill.

Deploy…

Deploy…

Time to move in

Seek out your nemisis

Veins are frozen

But still you move.

Your adrenaline pumping

Heart’s gonna explode.

You gotta get that bastard

Release your load on him.

Deploy…

Deploy…

Let all your anger out

From times past gone

Closer to the enemy

Your patience worn.

Life flashes by your eyes

The moment is near

You move on instinct

You try not to care.

Deploy…

 

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“In The Boots of Shultz”: A Poem

A Different Perspective

Dear Diary,

For many months I have lived the same dreadful routine. Wake up, eat, role call, and then the “daily duties”. Usually these duties are distasteful-but I had no choice; I was owned by the German Army. Anything I am ordered to do must be done. If the order is not met, the rectifying discipline will be even more distasteful. So I listen to my orders, carrying them out, hoping that the end is near.

Daily Duties. I still frown at that phrase. Some of the duties that I was forced to do are truly unspeakable. Months…and months…and Months ofpointless deaths. There is no true reason except for one man’s sick desires and personal greed. If he didn’t like the colour of your eyes or skin or hair, then you could be killed.

Some of the things that my unit proffered involved stealing of livestock, burning personal property such as houses, barns, and even schools and religious buildings. But the most senseless, inhumane, and non-compassionate duty of all, was the mass executions of innocent people. Families; woman and children, young men and old.

The horror I feel when I hear them screaming as I load my rifle. The screams as the crude metal shards pierce their innocent hearts…theirsouls ; it is unbearable.

Sometimes I would break down and cry-only to be reprimanded by my superiors. We were after all cleansing the earth in the name of God…weren‘t we?

Not only do I have no control over my actions, I no longer have control over my emotions. These are human beings just like me. I am fed up. I want a change-a revolt…

I am now my own leader. I can no longer watch nor engage in the treatment of these people. Am I more worthy than they are in the eyes of God? Do I not also need to eat, drink, sleep as these people do? Do I not need a friend to talk to when I am alone? Do I not love my mother, my neighbor? Would Jesus have walked over these people to be entertained in my company? I ask these questions to myself and the answers haunt my conscience…

No. I am no better than them. I amworse for I misused power over them on the pretense of a great lie…aMaster Lie.

In fact, my actions lead me to think that I will not see one of these faces in the hell that I am going, but in the crimson reflection I will see the horrified faces and uniforms of my nation’s “Finest “. I can take this no longer. I say a prayer at every living moment that the Lord will accept me into His Kingdom.

Now I have come to a decision. I must decide what I am to do as I can no longer carry this burden. I am lesser of these people, not superior. Therefore I have decided to die with them. I must take off my mask-my outer shell which appears to separate me from them, and I shall line up with these people and carry my cross, hopefully, into heaven……..

….I am dead now. My spirit has been relieved of the macabre that I incurred in my life. But death is peace for me because I know that I died for the right reasons. I am at peace and all the people around me are grateful of my presence. No more war…No more violence. I shall live now, and forever, in the house of my Father with my brothers and sisters.

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Poetry Series: “Window”

Window

I don’t fit into your circle

I know what it’s like to be the outcast

Just a black sheep in a herd of drones

Alienate myself from this world

Prepared to be alone.

I looked into the window

And saw a figure staring at me

Who could it be?

It was only me.

The whole time he said in his mind

You’ll never belong,

It will never be.

I then lost my fear,

For it was only a cat

Pouncing from the sill

Why not just sit here

And let the world move around me

I could melt it all like wax

And bounce back like jello.

Everybody trudges and carries their cross

Like Tolkien said,

“Not all who wander are lost.”

I bet if you looked deep enough

Inside you would see those things

You like to hide

And realize that you, too

Are no more than me,

Because we all ate

From the same tree.

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Poetry Series: Canadian Smoke

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Here’s one that was written as a slow song. This was one of my favorite songs and I wish I could find a recording of it! Although the title reflects Canada, Canada actually has nothing to do with this poem. This was written about an ex-girlfriend who passed away in a car accident 2 years after we broke up. I really did miss her…

 

Canadian Smoke: A Poem

I’d do anything…

Whatever you need.

I’d go anywhere…

For you.

 

All those memories

All those nights

All I’m wishing for,

Is you.

 

If I could change it all

I wouldn’t.

But there’s some things

I would

 

I can’t take it back now,

But I would if I could

 

All these changes

Different faces

Turning pages

Changing places

 

I miss you…

Wish I could hold you

Again.

 

I try to forget you

But your picture remains

In the wall of my mind’s eye.

 

I can’t erase you

Or pull you from my soul

I’m incomplete now

Just a puzzle with missing peices.

 

Wish I could see you

Or maybe even call.

I really miss you

I feel like I will fall.

 

There’s no way back to you

There’s no trace of love.

I miss you…

Poem: 8 Pound Balls…

Here is the second installment of my poetry series. This was actually written as song lyrics to a heavy metal song I played when I was in a band that had no name and we played no venues. This was the beginning of my short music career. It was fun though!

8lb Balls

Here to be walked on

Laid down and forgotten

I thought that I knew you

Then all of a sudden

 

You walked out on me, (B)itch

Now look what you started

Now I am messed up

And down-trodden

 

Welcome to my dead soul

Nothing but a Black Hole

I can not retrain this

You can not contain us

 

I can get inside you

Where you wouldn’t want me to

Deap inside your brain cells

Way deep inside you

 

Let me feel you

From the inside,

Let me feel you

On the inside

A Series of Poems by JS Matthew…

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I got one of those “Your Hub is no longer Featured on HubPages…” emails and I realized that HubPages is not the best platform for posting Poems. So, as a matter of recycling, I will be posting these short poems (that appeared all together in one Hub) here on my blog so that I can eventually delete the Hub. Many of these poems were written years back and many were penned during difficult times. Some were written as song lyrics during my musical ventures with the bands. I hope you enjoy them!

Here’s the first in the series…

 

I Remember…

I remember back to the days of

Changes in Places and Changes in Faces

from different cages and different races.

Filling the pages of our life.

The tryin’ and cryin’

now who is buyin’?

still tryin’ to fly-in,

but never got inside.

All the nights of fights

with great high-lights

While flying kites to

climbing hights and trying

to stay cool on summer nights.

I remember…

 

 

“If you don’t want to be Used, then stop breathing; the trees use you with every breath you take.”

-JSMatthew