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

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Selected Tanka Prose: Re-Homing

for Li Bai

go back
to where you came from ...
slowly, I push
his middle finger
to a vagabond moon

drinking alone
under the autumn moon
for a moment
I speak to it
in my mother tongue

Where is my home? Is it Taipei, capital of the Republic of China, aka Taiwan, a modern metropolis with Japanese colonial lanes, busy shopping streets and towering glass office buildings, that place where I was born and raised, that place I often complained about and wanted to flee?

Where is my home? Is it the County of Mount Dragon in Hunan Province of the People's Republic of China, my father's hometown with its rushing waterfalls and misty mountain peaks, a place I've never set foot in?

Where is my home? Is it Ajax, Ontario, a bedroom suburb of row upon row of single-family detached houses in the richest province of Canada? Here I own a front lawn, a backyard, and struggle with a life in transition and translation ...

Note: The Republic of China, aka Taiwan,  is the 14th freest economy in the world, yet still not recognized by the UN.