2014 Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Journey Itself Is My Home, A Tanka Prose

The last time I visited my parents in Taipei, I strolled through Da An, an affluent leafy residential district known for its prominent universities and small publishing houses. I spent half an hour in its winding alleyways and couldn’t find the bookstore I had frequented for 20 years. At first, I felt a surge of panic and, moments later, a stabbing pain in my body. The Taipei I had known was gone.


on the wall
an old map of Taipei --
I look outside,
tiers of color lighting up
the Toronto night sky

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Note: Taipei is the city of my birth, the capital of Taiwan (formerly known as the Republic of China)

A Walking Shadow, A Tanka Prose

stage lights on . . .
my copy of Macbeth
battered
and its cover spotted
as if by white molds

I start reciting in a hoarse voice, Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow . . . In the back of my mind, I wonder if there is another tomorrow for a gentile like me in this promised land.

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Families Are All Alike

A Tanka Sequence

she and I
sit across the table
in the morning
bearing the silence
of another new year

separated
and yet living quietly
under the same roof
we used to share
a ripe pomegranate

she can’t stand me
even in a photo
bits and pieces
of our honeymoon
drifting into the dark

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bitter Place and Broken Dream

A Tanka Sequence

our skin
is the scarlet letter
lingering
on this chilly night
a man with his hands up

columns of smoke
from a commercial strip
the banner
Black Lives Matter
stained with mud and blood

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Silent Night Tanka

Silent Night
from the next-door neighbor
becomes louder . . .
I talk in circles
with my shadow on the wall

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Foggy Head Tanka

morning eggs
sizzling in the pan . . .
a tanka
only half done
in my foggy head

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Love Tanka

writing love poems
in winter twilight
the muse
starts shape-shifting
into my ex

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015