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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Selected Tanka: Protesters Tanka

office workers
fill the wall of windows
down below
the protesters sit
with arms linked, voices hoarse

Ribbons, 8:2, Fall 2012

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Selected Haiku: War Cenotaph Haiku

the space
between etched names...
war cenotaph

Mu, 4, October 2012

Selected Haiku: Prairie Sunset Haiku

prairie sunset
a white horse grazing
on my shadow

Croatian  Translation by Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic

zalazak sunca u preriji
bijeli konj pase
na mojoj sjeni

Diogen, Summer 2012

Friday, July 21, 2017

Selected Tanka Prose: The Sunflower Girl

She burst into my room, “I want to taste this summer petal by petal as if it were my last.” I cannot remember the color of her dress as she stood with sunlight pouring through the window and looked as if she were on fire.

snowflakes drift
this Easter Sunday...
the space
between her dates
cut into black stone

Atlas Poetica, 13,Autumn 2012

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Breakup Kiss Haiku

breakup kiss ...
the line between sky
and winter sea


Hedgerow, 119, 2017

Selected Haikbun: One Is Too Many

When the fire dies out, she rises, picks up her torn wedding dress from the floor and puts it on inside out. She turns and meets his indifferent gaze. For a moment, silence darkens the room. Finally, she runs out through the back door.

village well at dawn...
the bride penetrating
a winter sky

Lynx, 27:3, October 2012

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Selected Tanka Sequence: The Portrait of an Attic Poet

I yell out
I'll stay drunk on writing
her silent tongue
like a scissor
cutting my words to shreds

rain pelting
the windows of this rooming house
I hear voices
rising towards the ceiling
jostling for survival

my mind complains
it's hard to live by words alone
tongues of fire
lick the flesh
and stay for a while

I conduct
the Fifth Symphony
inside my head
the doctor sees nothing
but a poet's failed dream

a wolf
howling at the cold moon
alone
face to face
with my own demons

after wishing
on a shooting star
all that remains
of my attic room
a shadow on the wall

Lynx, 27:3, October 2012

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bastille Day Haiku

written in response to Donald Trump's France trip and for the brave French people

no Trump zone
on Bastille Day
a lone crow


PoemHunter, July 14, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Selected Haibun: The Thin Line Between

shouting from the rooftop
who knew what when ...
October snowflakes

"The truth is that we are born alone and die alone" he pants, trying to catch his breath while walking down the stairs. "I don't believe in God, and there is no guiding hand on my shoulder that will remain with me. What I have in between life and death is one battle after another that I want to win."

When we reach the ground floor, he has a heart attack and dies shortly upon arriving at the hospital. It's a death without goodbyes from family and friends. It's just a day before his 50th birthday, a time, based on Confucius' teachings,  to think about and follow the will of Heaven.

slanted sunlight
I turn to the first page
of Ecclesiastes

Haibun Today, 6:3, September 2012

Note:  ... And there is nothing new under the sun.  Ecclesiastes 1:9, New King James Version.

Tent City Haiku

tent city on fire
the mayor's words fading
into the cold night

NeverEnding Story, June 26, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Selected Tanka: Breast Binder Tanka

for Ru-nas

the diary
under a floorboard
in his room
the broken mirror reflects
her breast binder


Special Feature: LGBT Tanka, Atlas Poetica, 2012

Note: Ru-na literally means "be/act like (Ru) a man (Na) " in Chinese.