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

Friday, July 10, 2020

Gathering Dusk Haiku

the hiss
of her respirator ...
gathering dusk

Frogpond,  43:1, Winter 2020

Monday, July 6, 2020

Great Wall Haiku

for Basho

both sides
of the Great Wall ...
summer grass

Honorable Mention, 23rd Mainichi Haiku Contest, 2019

Note: The following haiku comes from a haibun in the Hiraizumi section, one of the climactic passages of Basho’s most-read travel journal, Narrow Road to the Interior (Oku no Hosomichi):

summer grass:
all that remains
of warriors' dreams

translated by David Landis Barnhill

For further discussion, see Poetic Musings: Summer Grass Haiku by Basho

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Barefaced Fan Kyoka

Eighty-Eighth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

campaign rally
at the half-full arena
a barefaced fan
yelling four more years
drops a killer fart

PoemHunter, July 5 2020

Saturday, July 4, 2020

July 4th and Jungle Dreams Tanka

inspired by Spike Lee's Da 5 Bloods and written for Black Vietnam Veterans

July 4th
crossed out on his calendar ...
jungle dreams 
erupt like fireworks
through his war-torn mind

Note: Spike Lee closes Da 5 Bloods with a quote from a speech Martin Luther King made the year before he died, in which King quotes Langston Hughes: 

O, yes
I say it plain
America never was America to me
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Friday, July 3, 2020

Campfire and Ringtone Kyoka

two barred owls
calling and responding --
by the campfire
my nephew sets and resets
a ringtone on his phone

Failed Haiku, 5:49,  January 2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

O Canada Tanka

written on Canada Day for new Canadians

breezy sunlight
floods the ceremony room
each new citizen
singing O Canada
in a different tone

NeverEnding Story, July 1 2020

Note: The following is a prequel to the tanka above:

for naturalized Canadians

a giant Maple Leaf
in the ceremony
I answer
to my English name
with a twinge of sadness

Atlas Poetica, 21, 2015

Number One Prune Juice Contributor of ALL TIME (2009-2019)

Great news! The Prune Juice Book of Senryu: Celebrating 10 Years (2009 - 2019) is now available as a FREE eBook PDF And I'm honored  to be number one contributor on the list of  the TOP 5 Prune Juice Contributors of ALL TIME (2009-2019)

#1  Chen-ou Liu,  27 issues since PJ, #3 2010 (FYI: I started writing haiku and senryu in mid 2009)

Here are my senryu selected by Prune Juice editors:

PJ, 29:

humid heat
a drunk drones on
about bad luck

PJ, 28:

chain-link fences
on both sides of the road . . .
post election

PJ, 27

first homecoming
I refashion myself
between flights


divorce talk
the burden of who
will take the dog


between street lamps
a sex worker
and my shadow


my muse blinking
in Morse Code . . .
one more glass of wine


street preacher
wisps of breath hang
around his mouth

PJ, 8

Mona Lisa smiles
at the woman in a burka . . .
art gallery

PJ, 5

arguing over costs . . .
a man of few words
in the coffin

PJ, 3

drinking at a bar —
the old man he swore
he’d never be

PJ, 7

eating a Big Mac . . .
alone in the attic
I ponder
the Chinese word for home:
a pig under the roof

PJ, 30

Victoria’s Secret
in the window
my wife’s wrinkles

black and white
photos of my school days
new patch of gray hair

behind the hearse
carrying the former mayor
a few people
. . . and the garbage truck
keeps its safe distance

Monday, June 29, 2020

Campaign Rally Kyoka

Eighty-Seventh Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

campaign rally
under the scorching sun
one mask-free Trump fan
hugs another
tight ... and tighter

Note: The Sixty-sixth entry could be read as a sequel to the enighty-seventh entry: 

a street apart
in the morning chill
a mask-free Trump fan
and a masked Trump foe
air-quote each other

10M Mark and Barefaced President Haiku

Eighty-Sixth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary 

10M mark
the President barefaced
in a campaign crowd

Sunday, June 28, 2020

The World of Masked Faces Tanka

Eighty-Fifth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary 

lockdown lifted ...
morning sunlight slips
through a crack
in the blinds between me
and the world of masked faces

PoemHunter, June 27 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

Blackbellied Cloud Tanka

Eighty-Fourth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary
about the aftermath of overnight beach parties

the sun obscured
by a blackbellied cloud 
the lineup
for covid19 testing
grows longer and snakier

Note: The eighty-fourth entry is a sequel to the forty-first entry:

death toll rising
in California sunshine
thousands flock to beaches