Everything has passed me by; I yearn for unseized moments. I think more of what has passed than of what will be. High expectations of youth have given way to sad acceptance. My life has always been and will always be uneventful: a series of life events.
tomorrow creeps in day by day … the joints of my memory age and ache
Every year, together, my parents light a candle on my birthday cake, giving thanks to their God for the blessings I’ve received. Then I close my eyes, make a wish, and blow out the candle with my own breath.
birthday cakes one on top of another pushing me down six feet under
piece by piece I packed 40 years into 60 boxes once in Canada they fill an Ajax attic
the crescent moon shines over Ajax my nostalgia hangs on its lower tip
my sleepless eyes peeking through the blinds massage the moonlit lane under autumn nights
time is signed on the debris of memories— morning in Ajax I live Taipei’s nightlife
your sunny face smiling at me in my drink— like Ho Yi I take nine shots
(Note: Ho Yi, a legendary Chinese hero, comes to earth to shoot down nine of the ten suns that are burning up the earth at the same time)
the autumn moon over Ajax rooftops hangs also above Taiwan's fields— rice grains falling
I met her in an airport we talked openly as if we'd been stranded on an desert island
Taiwan was safe in my heart years later I opened it over the Pacific – a worn map
on a moonless night as I left for Canada you gave me oranges every now and again Taiwan orange hangs in the sky
Canadian dream locks me in the attic even during the day . . . no good time for sex because I sleep with winter
my little brother stands at full attention for the first time— no Canadian experience needed when writing poems
(Note: In Canada, every new immigrant knows what the term "Canadian Experience" means for them. The discrimination against foreign sources of human capital places immigrants at a considerable disadvantage in the labour market. No Canadian experience, no job; no job, no Canadian experience)
when being shouted at go back where you came from the gray wings of the Canada goose skim my heart
side by side our dictionaries French-English and Chinese-English— exchange of solitudes
bathed in sunshine outside a laundry store in Ajax, I smell the scent of clothes on wash lines in Taipei
My book is now available through Lulu.This collection of short poems is filled with themes of immigration, learning English, racialized identity, and a poet’s life struggles.
Following the Moon to the Maple Land
My book (First Prize Winner of the Spring 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest) is now available through http://www.haikupix.com/ You are one of the most lyric haikuists in our worldwide haiku family. You have the gift of tugging at our hearts. I can see why so many of your haiku have won awards. -- Neal Whitman, renowned American poet
Ripples from a Splash
My book is now available through www.lulu.com [Liu's] haiku resonates the Asian spirit, and makes use of aesthetics in a continuum of time that is permanent and impermanent; the process more important than the subjective specificity of object bias found in most Anglo-Western haiku like poems. His poetry demand to be interpreted by the informed reader. They do not tell all, are not based on an “aha” moment, and have no definitive ending. More importantly they give meaning and voice to the unsaid, the magic inherent in Japanese poetry. -- Poetry Review by Robert D. Wilson, Editor-in-chief of Simply Haiku.
A New Resonance 7
A New Resonance 7: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku edited by Jim Kacian and Dee Evetts. I'm featured in this anthology and have 15 haiku included in it. This is the seventh volume in a series that has won the Haiku Society of America's Merit Book Award in each of its first six appearances.
Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Chen-ou Liu (劉鎮歐) was a college teacher, essayist, editor, and two-time winner of the national Best Book Review Radio Program Award. In 2002, he emigrated to Canada and settled in Ajax, a suburb of Toronto. There, he continues to struggle with a life in transition and translation. Featured in New Resonance 7: Emerging Voices in English-Language Haiku, and listed as one of the top ten haiku poets for 2011 (Simply Haiku, 9:3&4, Autumn/Winter 2011), Chen-ou Liu is the author of Ripples from a Splash: A Collection of Haiku Essays with Award-Winning Haiku, Following the Moon to the Maple Land (First Prize Winner of the 2011 Haiku Pix Chapbook Contest), and Broken/Breaking English: Selected Short Poems. His tanka and haiku have been honored with 49 awards, including Certificate of Merit by the Tankagendai Corp, 7th International Tanka Festival Competition, 2012, Tanka First and Third Places in the 2011 San Francisco International Competition, Grand Prix in the 2010 Klostar Ivanic Haiku Contest, and 特選 (Prize Winner) in the 2010 Haiku International Association Haiku Contest.