PoetryWorld Literature

The Village – Poetry from Vietnam

Young Poetess Bach Diep from the land of Blue Dragon shares her five poems

 

Bach Diep

Bach Diep poetess - Vietnam - Sindh CourierHailing from Le Thuy, Quang Binh, she lives in Hue city. Bach Diep’s publish works include ‘Lam Dance’ (2012), Podocarpus macrophyllus (2014) and ‘Biota orientaliss season’ (2020). Her poems have been published in Van Nghe Newspaper, Military Arts Magazine, Song Huong Magazine, Writing & Reading, and other newspapers and publications. She is recipient of ‘Song Huong’ magazine’s fine poetry award 2012.

The village

I remembered

The first time I went to the South

The ship’s wind blew my hair

Towards the hills

I cried every time

Even every time I went to the North

 

I remembered the village on the street balcony

Deciduous seasons

The rains called back the silence

Why were we so far?

The rain shined on the rails

 

I remembered the first time you kissed me

The stars twinkled like the village water pond

Then you did not wait for me on the platform anymore

The hills slide away from the window

 

Keep the blue shirt

My mother told me to go back to the village

Pick up what I’ve lost

Barefoot I climbed over the poplar trees

The house in the chest had a window

It was the opening spring field.

***

Ha Noi

I told to myself

Hot gnaphalium affine cakes on the corner of Hang Da Street

Sticky fragrance to soft lips

At five o’clock in the morning

Lotus Com* kept hands warm

I loved you for one more day

With the scent of Ha Noi

 

Loved you for one more day

Remembered the sound of the tinkling train

Afternoon drooped leaves like trees

Who took off your shirt?

Forgot my eyes color

Infatuated

 

Streets in old season

Trees and leaves cling to each other

My hands held you without words

I dreamed every night

The sky in Hue was romantically misty

Dreams called at five o’clock in the morning

The dreams had the scent of opium

Stormed the deviated blanket

You did not remember whether my eyes were brown or velvet

Your Hanoi was raining white

 

Why was I angry with the city?

Loved and be painful for no reason

Just a few things

Mixed up Vu Di Thien An, the sound of hens and breeze

Fleeting like a child’s dance

Across the grass

Trembling by the broken ice shelf

Game of kisses…

 

Dear Ha Noi!

Just for one more day

The burning look was faded

I can’t speak out

Love you again!

(*Com is a flattened and chewy green rice in Vietnamese cuisine)

***

The bouea macrophylla tree

When I opened the branches

A childish sky in grassy color

Like an upside down bird nest

And the singing bird somewhere

In the chest of the village

 

When I got spanked or waited for the meal

Under the little thorns I laid quietly

No one knows where to find me

A soldier cycled through the village

 

Soldiers on the road crossed through the forest gate

Left a few green parachutes under the bouea macrophylla tree

We accepted as gifts

As the promise of peace nearby

Then they left

Lost in middle of the night moon

 

They disappeared in the forest sky in the West

My aunt cried every night

Bouea macrophylla tree heard the vows and called a person named Minh

A legion of green parachutes backpacks

 

We grew up under the bird nests

Bouea macrophylla bore ripe fruit in several seasons

My aunt was in white hair

Like the parachutes dried on the branches of bouea macrophylla tree

Afternoon and afternoon again

No one biked passing by…

 

There were many things that cannot be kept

There were many things that cannot be forgotten

 

Then one day

We already known how to whistle

Flowers and grass opened in the garden

 

Bird nests opened

A dome of heaven

Peace

Dark green.

***

the-tower-on-the-top-of-the-mountain
Image Courtesy: Dalat Trip Vietnam

Don’t sing when climbing up the hill

Children

Draw the summer sleep

In the wind hut

Afternoon the chests breathe hurriedly

You are here

 

Touching each other to touch the night

The sound of soft grass

The hills that the stars all know

My sad tree root

Don’t sing when climbing up the hill

The sunshine will take you away

 

Not the way home

The stars are sucking in the darkness

The forest will be fallen and the day will be closed

The sadness flowing through

A rebellious dream

From the enduring prayers every night

We are alone in the forest of our own lives

 

We are alone in our embraces…

It’s just the wind, it’s just the wind

Don’t sing when climbing up the hill

White-haired children

And summer sleep

Opening…

***

My older sister and I and the village

We were like wild houttuynia cordata flowers

On the hillside to catch the morning wind

Breasts were like 14th lunar moon

Laughters were sky well blue 

 

The older sister and I carried water from the lotus pond

The golden sun broke into pieces

Picked up the sound of birds, jubilant leaves

The village roads were cheerful in the mornings

 

In the hammock knitted by the grandmother, the older sister lulled me

Lulled through one wing of the house

Lulled back to the ripe cornfield

The whole village was full of praised singing

 

The sky was wet in rain water

Gardens was sad treasures

Only the ants known clearly from the areca hole

The wind, the fence was tearing

 

The smell of dry cow dung, the smell of straw was warm

Let me feel less lonely when realized myself growing up

Keeping the blanket of crops on windy nights

Listening to the village sound through the sparse leaves.

_______________________

(Translated into English by Khanh Phuong)

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