Tag Archives: poetry

breathe

hơi thở

I want to take your hand and gently place your palm on my cheek
to let my whole being enclosed in the shelter of your presence
then timidly I shall clasp your fingers
but fear no force, for tenderness is my only strength
like spring petals caught in a wanderer’s hair
you wouldn’t even notice.

I shall steal a breath from your skin
then fill the space between your fingers with mine
for a breath is the only tangible trace
that I could keep of you in this physical world
where you will never be mine, but it’s alright
because the air you give
makes me stay alive.

a walk in the swamp

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an autumn afternoon’s fading warmth
an ephemeral glow on the swamp
the geese sing melancholic notes
flapping their wings along the river
shining golden canebrake.

From Het Bossche Broek, ’s-Hertogenbosch, March ‘17. Photo and translation by me.

  • swamp [ENG] ; broek [NL] : an area of low-lying, waterlogged, uncultivated ground ; a bog or marsh.

I wish you a home

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I wish you a table
to sit and write letters
I wish you a home
a happy place to rest

I wish you a teapot
a bag full of secrets
a heater, and the warmth
will never vanish

I wish you a corridor
with dozens of doors
I wish you a garden
full of scents and colors

I wish you a window
to peer out at the world
I wish you many friends
and also good neighbors

I wish you the sun
and I wish you the moon
so that you could choose
where to go and to stand

I wish you a road
free of nasty holes
I wish you a tree
to take shelter from rain

I wish you a book
to go through dark days

[…]

Spot on a window in the street of Tilburg. Unknown author. Translation from Dutch and photo by me.

bóc cam

hôm nay ốm
tôi ngồi
bóc quả cam

bên kia đường
có toà nhà
cầu thang bọc kính
trên tường gắn
chiếc đèn
màu cam

những đêm không ngủ
tôi ngồi ngắm
một nửa chiếc đèn
tôi tưởng
là trăng

phòng tôi cũng có
chiếc đèn màu cam
trên trần nhà
tròn như lòng đỏ
trứng gà
tôi nhìn trời
qua cửa kính
cũng tưởng
là trăng

năm giờ chiều
trời xanh nức nở
nhưng hôm nay
tôi chỉ thấy vàng

những ô cửa
ấm sực ánh đèn vàng
mọi hôm tôi đâu thấy
hôm nay
chỉ tại miếng cam

tôi phơi vỏ cam
trên lò sưởi
những mảnh trăng trôi
cam chữa lành tôi
nhưng tôi lại xé nát
nước cam
ước đẫm ngón tay
nhỏ từng giọt
lên sàn
tôi rạch miếng vỏ
để tinh dầu
nhuộm không khí
thành cam

hai màu cơ bản
hôm nay
tôi chọn màu vàng.

Thảo

into blueness

dreamers
how often are you
awake
early enough
to see that perfect shade
of twilight blue
or is it always sunset
your morning
and the evening blue
is not that different
only tougher
and sadder
chased by darkness
not light
because
day and night
are pretty much the same
when you live in your head
where space and time vanish
a gap
infinitely blue.

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