THE WRITERS POST
VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2
three poems by THANH THANH
translated by the author
I have heard palaver, over historic issues ranged,
Such as, “If Cleopatra’s nose had been shorter,
The whole face of the world would have changed!”
But who asked “How?” would be a blabber aborter!
I have heard of legitimate possessions justification
Quoting, “Render unto Caesar the Caesar’s things!”
But people are unaware of such self-devastation,
For Jesus added, “Unto God the Heavenly King’s”!
I have heard the priests against incest preach
(Such kind of beauty cream would only hide blister)
But how could be born of Adam’s descendants each
If Cain had not had intercourse with his own sister?
I have experienced the Marxist-Maoist illogicality;
They force you to accept and believe their beliefs:
A classless society but for the proletariat partiality
And a stateless world but under communist chiefs!
So, I do acclaim and support any good success
And do further accept theoretically good intentions
But never extol and thank what is utopian guess:
Man at these times only needs realistic inventions.
THINKING BACK TO VIETNAM
to Duy Nang
To visit picturesque Yosemite, here I came
Just by becoming an exile being affected;
I looked at this scenery of universal fame
Upon which from my heart I sadly reflected.
Oh, this land in this corner of plain mirth
Over this far-away Pacific Ocean shore!
Any unusual things in the entrails of the earth
That send my sobbing soul sinking in sore?
How great mountains and rivers: this version!
But, why is it to differ from this glitter
So that suddenly I felt on a mere excursion
A confusing mixture of blithe and bitter?
My native home Nature had favored its flag
Nearly five thousand years to fly in its domain.
Alas! Who began to render it a tattered rag?
Its subjects scattered, sulking, suffering pain!
People have flocked to Yosemite here,
Each a contentment receiver and a peace giver.
Plants and trees, birds and beasts: clear sphere;
No cause to worry, fear, hesitate, shiver.
You may express to one another each view:
No police cordons on your way, the heavy load.
Everybody would stop and wait as due
For the tiny squirrel carefree to cross the road.
Night after night your sleep comes securely,
All right for you, honey, and for me too.
Life is wide and smooth like dreams to surely
Increase sounds and colors all the time through.
One nurtures of happiness a good sense
Obviously on his or her own face to tomorrow.
His talk and her smile need not be a pretense;
Your foreheads are not furrowed by sorrow.
Although for a brief moment here I came,
I did bear a grief for my old nation’s sake.
Such high sky and deep waters are the same,
But just pondering over it makes my heart ache.
No difference, yet why in this strange world
Life has incessantly offered its open arms
While my left-behind Vietnam is swirled
Down into misery by the evil that only harms.
Well, Yosemite! I have already come here,
This beautiful site, from such a dark chapter.
I think back to my former country dear
And crave for a near future filled with rapture.
I HAVE LEFT BEHIND
I have left my children to save my own hide
While I could not have prepared them for life
With their kids nobody knows what would betide
To their future and towards which how to strive.
I have left my property that from sweat flowed,
But the thugs appropriated and refused to return.
They claimed over my body, the debt never owed
And the sharp practices they forced me to learn.
I have left my poor people unfortunate and unable,
Wiped out of intelligence and wise scrutinies,
In a war-torn country which the traitors disable,
Squandering resources and missing opportunities.
I have left behind my past but not for it to pass
Because I never forget or deny its persistence.
To head for a better tomorrow I have to amass
All experiences that are part of my existence.
I have left them for this land of promises full
And advantageous for my dreams to come true,
Not only to free myself, out of misery to pull,
But also to claim for my compatriots their due.
The Writers Post
founded 1999, based in the US.
Editorial note: Works published in this issue are simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge magazine (ISSN: 1540-1723).
Copyright © Thanh Thanh 2005. Nothing in this magazine may be downloaded, distributed, or reproduced without the permission of the author/ translator/ artist/ The Writers Post/ and Wordbridge magazine. Creating links to place The Writers Post or any of its pages within other framesets or in other documents is copyright violation, and is not permitted.