THE WRITERS POST
VOLUME 4 NUMBER 2
N. SAOMAI / NGUYEN SAO MAI
(translated by the author)
As the sharp sword of dull knowledge
chops the words,
I chop myself in two: the black, and white.
With its legs in chains, one is in the Deep
the other, up in the High above,
with its hands lifting the sun that sets.
Run I run through the fields of memory,
Stepping on every fragment of words¾the A, the B.
As I amble about my feeling in blue and my thinking
I find myself in and out of that empty canvas.
In the ‘period’ that ended my life long ago as it might
there appears the old soul ¾a daisy blooming
during the day,
when seems to be the flaming sword every ‘comma’
that split my heart into them fingers.
Mountain stone-dumb much long I have been
Yet I try this morning to babble the language of insects.
Fine grass and green silk never had I seen
Why are now those green silks the grass in velvet?
To be the fool in the street I had much to try
But on the temple perron the Han Lu 
are still full of fight
Ambling about my feeling in blue and my thinking in red
I find myself white as the night on that empty canvas.
Translated by the author
(Vietnamese version was originally published
in Songvan magazine, Premier Issue, March 1996)
(1) One spicies of dog. There is a legend about Han family' s dogs which are the ones (of China’s fastest dogs) could catch the Tung Son mountain rabbits¾ fast and clever. The dogs, however, in confusion tried to catch the reflection of the moon on the temple perron which is mistaken for the rabbit, and they, of course, caught neither moon nor rabbit.
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