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

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ilha Formosa?, A Haibun

Sendai earthquake ...
the darkness pierced
only by flashlights

At night, I toss and turn, worrying about the long-term health risks for Japan and its neighbors. My homeland, Taiwan, is one of the closest.

Fukushima at dawn --
one vending machine
still glowing

I remember during the late 1990s at the height of the anti-nuclear movement in Taiwan, someone handed me a flyer on the street. It listed important instructions on how to survive a nuclear disaster. The last one on the list said: "When driving away in the rescue convoy, please remember to look back, because that will be your last sight of Taipei."

radioactive scare
this a world of dew
and yet ...


1 In 1544, a Portuguese ship sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it "Ilha Formosa," which means “Beautiful Island.” Taipei is its capital.
2 This poem is a revision of  Ilha Formosa?, which was first published in Sketchbook, 6:3, May/June 2011