Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Selected Tanka: Cancer Center Tanka

early morning
outside the cancer center
a young man
takes another drag
on his cigarette

All the Shells: TSA Members' Anthology, 2014

Winter Solitude

only the sound
of crunching cereal ...
my old dog
sits beside me
on Christmas morning

jingle bell decals
on the restaurant window
I listen
to my timid voice,
a table for one

Skylark, 6:1, Summer 2018

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

White Gaze Tanka

a wildflower
bends in the wake
of passing cars ...
under the white gaze
I ask myself, what am I?

Skylark, 6:1, Summer 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

Homeland Tanka

over a wedge
of Canada geese
the airplane
bound to Formosa
the homeland I left

Skylark, 6:1, Summer 2018

Note: In 1544, a Portuguese ship sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it "Ilha Formosa," which means “Beautiful Island.”

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Selected Haibun: Imagine

for John Lennon

A long line of Calliopes clad in lily-white, waiting in the hallway. Each is enveloped in the darkness of her own, screaming. Drops of sweat stream down my forehead, falling past my eyes onto the floor. I yell, "Push, baby, push ...." The last words holding on to the inside of my muse's womb for hours.

I'm a dreamer ...
a twinge
in my heart

NeverEnding Story, May 6, 2014

Friday, July 13, 2018

Weight of Winter Moonlight Haiku

coming home from work
the weight of winter moonlight
on a boy's shoulders

Frogpond, 41:2, Spring-Summer 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Selected Tanka: Smallpox Tanka

like smallpox
loneliness left pockmarks
in the face . . .
time and silence
my only medicine

All the Shells: TSA Members' Anthology, 2014

Selected Tanka Harvest Banners Tanka

at twilight
banners for the harvest
tossing like waves . . .
migrant workers that stay
migrant workers that go

All the Shells: TSA Members' Anthology, 2014

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Selected Tanka: Seeking a Partner Tanka

M, 40, poet
seeking a partner ...

rusty staples
in the message board
tilted toward the window

Bright Stars, IV, 2014

Monday, July 9, 2018

White Picket Fence Haiku

white picket fence   |   I step on the neighbor's shadow

NeverEnding Story, June 23, 2018

Last Subway Train Senryu

New Year's Eve
on the last subway train
we swap regrets

Frogpond, 41:2, Spring-Summer 2018

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Selected Tanka: Mom's Sayings Tanka

she nails
a list of Mom's sayings
to her bedroom door
watches the fall
of another snowflakes

Bamboo Hut, 4, 2014

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Selected Tanka: Hostage Tanka

torrents of rain
cascading down the street
inside the booth
she holds me hostage
with one glance of her eyes

Bamboo Hut, 4, 2014

Friday, July 6, 2018

Selected Tanka: Wooden Jesus Tanka

wooden Jesus
twenty meters tall
in the bare cornfields...
father and son with their dog

Bamboo Hut, 4, 2014