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

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Trapped in the Endgame

written for the Global Day of Action against War

a line of soldiers
sprawled on muddy ground 
before a disabled tank ...
sheets of snow falling
on a sheet of snow

rattling cups
against jail-cell bars
in dim light
bruised Russian students shout out
fight for peace! fight for peace!

shouting, No to War
staffers leave the studio
live and on-air ...
after loud bangs, then silence
the news channel plays Swan Lake

FYI: Punch, March 3: Putin detains 8,000 Russian protesters;  The IndianEXPRESS, March 4:  Russian news channel signs out saying ‘No To War,’ plays ‘Swan Lake’ as staff walks out; CBC News, March 5: Kremlin tightens grip on Russians' access to media with misinformation law; and and Reuters, March 6: Ukraine's president  Volodymyr Zelenskiy tells Russians to protest before it's too late

Citizens of Russia! For you, this is a struggle not only for peace in Ukraine! This is a fight for your country... If you keep silent now, only your poverty will speak for you later. And only repression will answer.

If Russia stops fighting, there will be no war.
If Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no more Ukraine!!! 

-- Anti-War Protest Sign


written for the Global Day of Action for Peace

soul-tired refugees
stream through the Polish border
behind the fence
a pianist's fingers dancing
across ivory keys for peace

FYI: Wion, March 4: Watch: "Piano Man" Davide Martello brought some musical joy to the refugees. Martello travelled from Germany with his instruments on wheels.

Added: written for Dr. Y (whose name has been withheld to protect his safety) and his 5-year-old son: 

amidst oil price surge
Russian invasion and Trump 
ranting on Fox News ...
in his Batcopter the Batman
soars into skies over Kyiv

FYI: Today, Feb. 28: Ukrainian father gives his son Batman toy and a message, "Be brave:" This Kyiv pediatrician and dad drove his family 40 hours to safety, then turned around to go back and fight for his country.

And The Batman premiered in the United States on March 1, 2022.


Death of Innocence

hospice courtyard
Russian children line up
in the shape of Z

smoky sky
in each cracked window ...
Kharkiv daycare center

FYI: Sky News, March 7: Ukraine war: Terminally ill children in Russia line up outside hospice in shape of 'Z' to show support for invasion

The letter Z has become a propaganda symbol showing support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his military invasion of Ukraine... The Z insignia has become popular in Russia, with many daubing it on their cars or wearing it on their t-shirts. It came to prominence after it was spotted on Russian military vehicles operating in Ukraine.

And “Z,” the Symbol of Russia’s New Politics of Aggression: The letter came to stand for devotion to the state, murderous rage, and unchecked power. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, March 8