World Literature

The Drop of Salt – Poetry from Vietnam

Nguyen Xuan Lai, a poet and short story writer from the land of Blue Dragon shares his three poems

If had to burn all the love into fire, what to pay a debt for a hundred year, crying poem born like a baby, heart fibers drain the silkworm body.

Nguyen Xuan Lai

Nguyen Xuan Lai is a poet from Vietnam. He is member of Hanoi Writers’ Association and Vice President of Ha Dong – Son Tay Writers’ Association. His published works include ‘The Wind of January February’ – poetry collection; ‘The passing season of cudweed’ – poetry collection; ‘Touching the sound of waves’ – poetry collection; ‘At the Propeller hill’ – collection of short stories.

 

The drop of salt

Waking up in the deep area

The feeling of literature commitment

Do not dare to wish for a wave

Just want to be the drop of salt in life.

 

It’s not easy the blue sky and white clouds

Immersed in sweet fragrance in the lagoon

Drop of poetry flowing in the dust of life

Looking for something in all directions just a sound!

 

Amidst the noise, pungent of kitchen smoke

Pity for the dark blue of rain forest

There’s nothing worth talking about on a cold day

Why still grieving an old afternoon?

 

Why still feel like nothing has come yet?

Haven’t touched the level of love

In that place…where the life exists

The sadness and happiness, real and fake, elegance and lowness!

 

If had to burn all the love into fire

What to pay a debt for a hundred year

Crying poem born like a baby

Heart fibers drain the silkworm body.

 

Tired of dreaming about knocking on the door

Wild poems in the fields

Up and down poems with the river

Longing in the middle of life: the drop of salt

***

The Field of Heaven

I’m mixed among black and white clouds

Adventure to sow and reap the field of heaven

Although still know how many people who came first

Turns ashes, leaving behind the floating clouds!

 

There may be the seeds of rebirth

Let’s laugh foolishly and funny

May have the hateful look

In hard furrows of the far distance!

 

Just sowing seeds on cold winter days

Changing width and length with a little aimlessness

If could be dark and white clouds

Down to my field for the crop!

 

Can’t be…

I know I’m delusional

Walking like a ten-year-old child

Just waiting for the field of heaven to open

Flying sesame seeds

Swinging the Lime tree!

***

Come back Fall…

Fall to remember the days of previous years

Recall the person with blue eyes

Fall to love with yellow chrysanthemums

Meet the season of Covid, wobbly.

 

The sun drops the hiccups

A child waits for mommy not to come back

How many quiet shading autumns

Pack each nostalgia for the homeland!

 

Return the autumn wind

Even though still losses and sacrifices

Return to the autumn of white clouds

Peace for every family.

_____________________

(Translated into English by Khanh Phuong)

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