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

Thursday, November 23, 2017

White Contrails Tanka

summer sky
striped with white contrails ...
the distance
from her heart to mine
widening

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Ponytailed Girl Tanka

rays of sunlight ...
the ponytailed girl
pirouetting
with her arms outstretched
to catch first snowflakes

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Day of the Dead Tanka

Day of the Dead ...
an old monk
striking his gong
in the moonlit cold
of midnight

NeverEnding story,  November 1, 2017

Monotonous Fall Tanka

monotonous fall
of winter waves
on the sandy beach ...
Father murmurs to me,
We'll die one day, each alone

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Tunnel Light Tanka

the black rope
swinging to and fro
in cold air ...
is there a tunnel light
this last minute of her life?

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Sunday, November 19, 2017

High-Rise Shadow Tanka

side by side
a young woman and her dog
in deep sleep ...
a high-rise shadow
on the cardboard box

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Muslim Ban Posters Tanka

his shaved head
glistening with sweat...
the smell
of newly painted
Muslim Ban posters

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Gray Wall Tanka

first chilly night
after the inauguration
in my dream
a gray wall between USA
and Canada

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Surge of Pain Tanka

a placard that reads
take my hand not my life
in the moonlight
hand on her belly
she feels a surge of pain

Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Shadowy Peace Tanka

there are (no) "tapes"
of our conversations ...
in shadowy peace
I go out and take a leak
as a crow stares at me


Atlas Poetica, 29, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Beyond Reach Tanka

an ocean
and a continent
between us
but even in dreams
you're beyond my reach

Gusts, 26, Fall/Winter 2017

Rioting Glory Tanka

foreclosure
and for sale signs
like scarecrows ...
wildflowers bloom
in rioting glory

Gusts, 26, Fall/Winter 2017

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Old Man and the Sea Tanka

his left sleeve
flapping
in the winter wind
the old man talks
to himself and the sea

Gusts, 26, Fall/Winter 2017

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Beginning Writer's Workshop

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.
-- Pablo Picasso

The workshop is held at a Toronto branch library. The instructor discusses the four key elements of a story: setting, conflict, climax, and resolution. Half jokingly, he says out loud,"That’s almost an acronym: sucker." He continues to draw our attention to all sorts of incisive acronyms derived from his words of wisdom on writing, and concludes the class with a warning: beware of clichés.

Many of us are impressed by his humorous teaching style, his straight-to-the-point communication skills, and most importantly, his passion for helping us to build successful writing careers. Over the sound of many hands clapping, a loud voice comes from the back of the room: "The writer is a cliché-sucker who spills out a string of little gems." All of a sudden, a silence descends over the room as if bats has just flown out of a cave in a big, snaking cloud.

two roads diverge
in the gathering dusk
I stop and wait ...
his final words
echoing in my heart

Contemporary Haibun Online, 13:3, October 2017

Selected Haiku: Smoke Rings Haiku

obituaries ...
winter moon drifting
in smoke rings

Paper Wasp, 19:1, Autumn 2013