Born in 1947 in his hometown Hai Phong, Quang Tuyen graduated from Hanoi University of Transport, Ministry of Railways (1966-1971). He is former Lecturer at Hai Phong University, and is member of Hai Phong Writers’ Association. His published works are three books of poetry and essays: “The labor night”, “Contemplation of poetry and essays” and “The weeds are still weeds”.
Shattered after storms
Again grew up in the fields along the dyke.
All over the country road covered by green
As if weeds never knew the pain!
Earth under feet, the sky above
Just used to survive in the sun and rain.
The wind crushed and tortured the tops
Endured bitter and bitter.
Covered each nameless gravestone
Floated away the fragile identity for months
Clouds covered the thin weeds
Floated on the top of a million-year-old mountain.
Lower than the jade tower far away
Higher than the dark abyss of samsara.
The weeds was still weeds
Forever tied into a thousand cradle.
A poem wrote for a lifetime
Hold blood and tears in my hands.
Wine gourd bag carried underground waves
The dust screamed in thousand years for a painful fate.
Lighted up the world of stars and moon
Aroma of Quynh flower quietly poured into the night.
Lonely wings of the wild bird
A desert life looked for a clear stream.
Lightning cut through the storm
Realized the boundaries cultivate my mother.
The sacred word didn’t count the seat
Beloved people far away… the more it closer.
Cherished your bare heels
Poetry helped us to wade the steps of the wanderer.
Then tomorrow came back to nothingness
And the word came to the grave called the name.
Afternoon without You
Did not have time to say a word
Felt in love in a piece of the moon and sky
Thought I had turned off the fire in my heart a long time ago
Now my heart died in sad eyes
I listened to the dew of the upstream
Forgot the life of the rough sea and waves
Dreamy blue green shore of grass and flowers
Even the leaves were turned gold, the old autumn still loved.
How much was left in May?
Brought poetry to cover the afternoon without you.
Didn’t have the chance to remember father’s face
That I usually met in my imagination
When I was crawl around
Father had been caught by the enemy
Then they killed father in the prison years later!
Father’s face on the altar photo
People said I look like my mother
Only two eyes that belonged to my father
Someone bullied me when I was a kid
I often threatened them: “I will tell my father”
I hated friends who had a mocking smile.
When I grew up than I understood
Even father had gone, he was always by my side
Mother kept father’s worn-out dungaree shirt
Father’s notebook with teaching dates
Father’s signature on “citizen” card
Father was president in the year 1945
The handwriting was gentle and beautiful
A few words of praise from the village about my father
Just all that made me feel like father was living in the world.
Widowed mother over the age of thirty
She was hired for farming work
To worshipped her husband, to rise her child.
Hugged her child and the father’s shirt to sleep
The sweaty father’s shirt was still remaining the sunshine, rain and blood
At night I dreamed of you
Saw I smile and then gone
Seventy-eight seasons of golden leaves brought mother’s age to fall…
Didn’t have the chance to see the day of the Fatherland’s recognition of the Martyr’s father.
Now my hair had turned silver
Still listened to my father’s voice whispering in the wind
My life was up and down
Fearless in the face of danger
Never fell before the tempting of sweetness
I understood this simple thing
Father was the truth.
Cherish the Poor Heart
Curvy and thin as a reed
Fluttered white mother’s hair in the afternoon of Central region!
Gravestone overgrown with grass
Thunderstorms and flash floods, the whole area was in tatters.
The miserable up and down
Longing to “vi dam” song with thousands of deep letters
Salted eggplant with brown skin
Where did the Laos wind and burning sand go every season?
My place was green with temple bells
The more I loved you, the more I cared for your weak heart
The pass dyed in the piece of the crescent moon
The poem verse of Mrs. Huyen called the soul every night. (*)
(*) Mrs. Huyen Thanh Quan
Mother laid on her side when she died
The brown shirt was torn and it hurt a lot
Innocent to fell in love
Believed even in vain things
A lifetime of water flowed to the river
A lifetime of sand carts in the East sea of Da Trang
People crossed through to get on the way
Mother walked back and forth, felt embarrassed.
Sold wisdom to buy broken heart
Felt pain when the trading at a loss!
The sound of the bell coaxed above her head
Fragile borrowed a little magic from afar…
Innocent as a child lying down
Mother brought thousands of years of tears to the grave!
Rows of trees bowed down
The betel nut felt dazed in the garden corner.
No more drunken lullabies
Worn-out hat at the early morning, the sound of chickens at the top of the village
The trees had no buds to bloom
The wind no longer caressed the beautiful hair.
The stick no longer had a mother to be used
No more thin shadow of the sunshine in the high autumn
Mother wore a worn-out shirt
Waited for me in the rain after the storm.
Did anyone love my mother?
The soul melted into the immensity of eternity
A meteor fell from The Milky Way
No love could compare to my mother’s love.
The Labor Night
Deeply in mother’s lullaby
Carried children through a stormy time
Flickered cactus bud flowers
The color was bright pink because it filled so much love
Floated all over the world
Looked so close but yet so far
Tears of sadness seeped out
Pain became a scar that followed a lifetime
The heart was torn into a space
A piece of the moon died prematurely in the street
I sat and sewed the wound
I looked up, I only saw a rainy paradise
Beloved amulet from the past
Forgot the years that hadn’t faded yet
Dawn came in the middle of a dream
The night of labor was still hurt now
(Translated from Vietnamese into English by JyKhanh)