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

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Horse-Tail Clouds Haiku

horse-tail clouds ...
I hold my daughter's hand
holding the kite string

Modern Haiku, 54:1, Winter-Spring  2023

Thursday, May 25, 2023

My Book of Love Haiku

for Tina Turner, the Queen of Rock & Roll

tell my why, tell me why ...
heartwriting my book of love 
line by line, word by word

FYI: FYI: Tina Turner's "Why Must We Wait Until Tonight" (live at the Blockbuster Pavilion in San Bernardino, California, 1993)

...Tell me why? Baby. Why must we wait until tonight? Oh, yeah.
Tell me why? Why, when I've waited all my life?
You're touching me, I'm touching you...
Oooh, what should I do? Now tell me why, why must we wait 'till tonight?
You like to take it real slow.
Show me every little move you know.
Take a little love and watch it grow.
But I want to lay with you...darling.
Right now.
Make love all day with you baby.
And show you how...
Take my body, don't take my time.
Take your lips and make them mine...

AddedGame Show 2024, XX

Ain't No Sunshine
to Ron DeSantis whose political preoccupations are: “Disney-bashing, book banning, and policing who uses which bathroom" 

repeat after me
Make America Great again...
his baby babbling

amazing dad!
he teaches his toddler daughter 
to build the [paper] wall

2024 bid
just another Trump without
(sexual) baggage

FYI: The New Yorker, May 25: It Was More Than a #DeSaster: Ron DeSantis’s botched campaign launch suggests that he’s no Trump-killer

... when DeSantis’s official campaign launch, on Twitter, was mired with technical glitches.... both on Twitter and in a subsequent interview on Fox News, which boiled down to a lot of complaints about the ‘legacy media’ and little rationale for his candidacy.” DeSantis failed to mention Trump by name, and instead focussed on his own political preoccupations—which Glasser describes as “Disney-bashing, book banning, and policing who uses which bathroom.”

Added: This Brave New World, LXXXIII
written in response to Kissinger's Shadow: The Long Reach of America's Most Controversial "Statesman"and for Christopher Hitchens author of The Trial of Henry Kissinger that presents a series of arguments about alleged war crimes committed by his American “nemesis”.

Kissinger blows out
one hunderd birthday candles 
in the spotlight
as I imagine him being put
in the dock at The Hague

FYI: Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands. You will never again be able to open a newspaper and read about that treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag sitting down for a nice chat with Charlie Rose or attending some black-tie affair for a new glossy magazine without choking. Witness what Henry did in Cambodia – the fruits of his genius for statesmanship – and you will never understand why he’s not sitting in the dock at The Hague next to Milošević.”

-- Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

For more, see Democracy Now, May 24: Kissinger at 100: New War Crimes Revealed in Secret Cambodia Bombing That Set Stage for Forever Wars

Monday, May 22, 2023

In Between Haiku

buzzing of flies 
in between
the Bakhmut bombings

FYI: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the city, where the war's longest and bloodiest battle has raged since August, was "not occupied" by Russia "as of today." 

-- BBC News, May 21: Bakhmut "not occupied" by Russia, says defiant Zelensky


the President replies 
Bakhmut is only in our hearts -- 
a soldier swipes
through cellphone photos, sighing
killed, killed, killed, wounded, killed ...

FYI: The Associated Press, May 21: Zelenskyy says ‘Bakhmut is only in our hearts’ after Russia claims control of Ukrainian city

Today, Bakhmut is only in our hearts. There is nothing on this place, just ground and a lot of dead Russians... Our defenders in Bakhmut ... did strong work, and of course we appreciate them...


in the dugout
a recruit groans, I hate weapons
and gory violence
as if he still didn't know
where he was ...Bakhmut


smell of spring
wildflowers bloom red
on trench walls


spring counteroffensive ...
the buzzing sound 
of an old man's meat grinder

FYI: i24news, May 25, Tel Aviv, Israel: Zelensky’s advisor says Ukraine began long-awaited counteroffensive

'We will use the weapons you gave us to destroy Russian positions on the territories that Moscow has occupied,' Podolyak promises Italians

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, told Italian TV on Thursday that Ukraine began its long-awaited counteroffensive “several days ago.”  

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Revolving Door Haiku

in slanted moonlight
the hospital's revolving door ...
an old man mutters

FYI: This haiku was inspired by The New Yorker's in-depth analysis of the medical system that failed the people with mental illness: "What a subway killing reveals about New York City’s revolving-door approach to mental illness and homelessness."

...Most of the funding that had been promised by lawmakers for community-based outpatient care never arrived. The dream of deinstitutionalization collapsed. In 1985, the president of the American Psychiatric Association summed up the situation in an interview with a newspaper: “The chronic mentally ill patient has had his locus of living and care transferred from a single lousy institution to multiple wretched ones.”

Meanwhile, police and corrections officers became de-facto mental-health-care providers, one 911 call at a time...According to a Washington Post database, since 2015 about a fifth of people killed by police nationwide have been in the midst of a mental-health crisis.

And this haiku could be read as a sequel to the following one:

some wounds
take forever to heal
tonight’s red sky

Honorable Mention, 2013 Betty Drevniok Award

Elehna de Sousa

Friday, May 19, 2023

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Palestinian Key Haiku

This Brave New World, LXXXII
written in response to the Commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Nakba (the Catastrophe: the mass displacement of Palestinians) at UN Headquarters in New York

barrel of a gun
a Palestinian boy
holds up his key

FYI: Many Palestinians kept the keys to their homes when they were forced into exile in 1948. The Palestinian key is a potent symbol of their homes lost in the Nakba, often used in the protests. 

And for the first time in the history of the UN, this anniversary was commemorated pursuant to the mandate by the General Assembly (A/RES/77/23 of 30 November 2022). For more, visit UN, The Question of Palestine.

Addedreading between the lives and writing between the lines, LXVII

an old man 
hunched over, licks the sidewalk
then mumbles nonstop
as onlookers gather ...
should I call 911

FYI: The New Yorker, May 10, 2023: The System That Failed Jordan Neely

Meanwhile, police and corrections officers became de-facto mental-health-care providers, one 911 call at a time....According to a Washington Post database, since 2015 about a fifth of people killed by police nationwide have been in the midst of a mental-health crisis. 

Added: reading between the lives and writing between the lines, LXVIII

this unseasonal heat ...
a man in an overcoat
pushes his cart
through downtown traffic

Sunday, May 14, 2023

First Mother's Day Tanka

first Mother's Day
after her long-awaited child
was stillborn ...
her arms and her heart
empty and emptier

Added: written for immigrant mothers on Mother's Day

my friend's mother
speaks a little English
in a small bungalow, and yet
her dream grows big, bigger 

Friday, May 12, 2023

For No Reason Tanka

the masseuse's hands
kneading my neck, easing down 
to my back 
once again I cry inside
for no reason ...


close as two pages
in Fifty Shades of Grey
we read each other
in the moonlit darkness
with our tongues, our hands, our hearts


I push her hand away ...
she whispers in my ear
you don't know
what you're missing
if you never had it

AddedThis Brave New World, LXXXI

things as usual ...
another daylight

FYI: CTV News, Feb. 23, 2023: Violent incidents against riders of Toronto’s transit system have increased by nearly 60 per cent since 2019, a new report from the commission's CEO finds.

And Breakfast Television, May 11, 2023: Our thoughts on random acts of violence in Toronto

And CTV News, May 12, 20237-year-old Shepherd named Molly among the 102 candidates for Toronto's mayor 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

River Moon Haiku

river moon
thoughts of life go
with the flow

Haiku Canada Review, 17:1, February 2023

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Motel Bible Haiku

snow on snow ...
the dog-eared pages
of a motel bible

Haiku Canada Review, 17:1, February 2023