My father doesn't talk about death because he cares more about leaving behind a good reputation. My mother is skilled at evading death-talk because she is afraid and doesn’t want to sever all ties with her loved ones. My older brother doesn’t speak about death because he thinks he is courageous enough to face all kinds of situations. My younger brother doesn’t mention death because he is so busy enjoying life, here and now. I often think of death.
sunrays drift in and out of the window autumn dusk
I used to be the black cloud, now I'm turning gray. Hands age, veins emerge, wrinkles gradually set in around the mouth and brows. The back begins to ache, the voice gets hoarse, a charming quality to some, the roughness of the age to others.
Today, as I strolled down Yonge, I was suddenly pushed by a careless teen who rushed by me. While regaining my footing, I saw an elderly man trying in vain to retrieve his rolling oranges. As he crawled after them, I realized he is helplessly old and I am helplessly young.
I must have experienced la petite mort after Calliope caressed my secret spots -- enveloped in pleasure as the grass is wrapped in dewy green. I am a bard riding a dragon, flying across time and space. I can't tell you where -- It is as if I appeared where I am now.
Frost carpets my room. Bewitched by the bright moon, my shadow and I sit by the window gazing upon her white jade face. Hours later she elopes with my only companion. I am left alone to wait for the morning cacophony of traffic.
published in the Winter, 2009 issue of Concise Delight
Three times a day for years, I have sat alone by the lake of mind. I see your face beneath the water, we never get tired of gazing at each other; I call out to you, silently comes an echo. I dedicate these moments to you alone, for you I groom myself.
As a young newlywed standing by a lonely mailbox as a hungry spider lurking in its dewy net as a spring seed breathing under heavy snow with fixed attention I’ve been looking at the end of the road where He is supposed to emerge
Life is flowing on like a river. Sometimes with murmurs, bending this way or that. It is swift, oftentimes voiceless yet continuous. Every year at the time when the New Year is in and the old out, a burning desire emerges from my heart and pushes me to re-live those moments of being.
a wrinkled face -- waning blue moon in the river
In and through my remembrance of things past, all of them are eventually merging into one remembered moment. The river of my life runs through it, a river that is always cutting and curving, now hurrying, then eddying, sometimes draining into dry channels, but still carrying its load of soil and rocks.
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.