PoetryWorld Literature

Weeds – A Bouquet of Poems from Vietnam

Quang Tuyen, a seasoned poet and writer from Vietnam, the land of Blue Dragon, shares his seven poems.

Quang Tuyen

Poet Quang Tuyến - Sindh CourierBorn 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”.

 

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.

***

Poetry

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.

***

AfternoonAfternoon 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.

***

The Truth

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.

***

abandoned-ancient-antique-autumnCherish 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

***

The Mother

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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