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

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Birthday Dinner Haiku

in memory of my hard-working father 

birthday dinner
Father's mud-caked work boots
on the welcome mat

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Gavel-On-The-Desk Gesture Tanka

reading between the lives and writing between the lines, XXVII

God, my country
just hard work, no handouts ...
in the spotlight
the mayor punctuates his words
with a gavel-on-the-desk gesture


FYI: For more, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, Character/Persona Tanka

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Trauma Dumping Tanka

this church group
once again trauma dumping 
on each other ...
the closeness between their bodies
the distance   between their hearts



Added

the sound of fury
a row of houses dragged out
to sea by the storm

FYI: USA Today, September 24'I'm seeing homes in the ocean': Fiona makes devastating landfall in Atlantic Canada

...The Canadian Hurricane Centre called Fiona a "historic storm for eastern Canada" and a "potential landmark weather event" in a region where hurricanes are relatively rare...


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

a big stuffed monkey
stapled to the railings
of a bridge
to the oldest Black town ...
my wife holds my hand tighter


Added: Game Show 2024, VII
written in response to Insider, Sep. 24: Donald Trump shares Truth Social photo proclaiming him as second only to Jesus

in dim light
I'm the second greatest 
second greatest ...
he mumbles, staring at Jesus
on the wall of his psych room

FYI: Trump has made these grand proclamations himself. In August 2019, Trump told reporters in reference to trade with China: "I am the chosen one." He also shared tweets describing him as the "King of Israel" and "the second coming of God." ...Insider, Sep. 24


Added:

Women, Life, Freedom
painted in red letters 
across topless women's' chests ...
Iranian Embassy
in the gathering dark

FYI: Today we stand with the brave citizens and the brave women of Iran who right now are demonstrating to secure their basic rights...

-- President Joe Biden, UN General Assembly Speech

FYI: CBC News, September 26: Iran accuses U.S. of trying to exploit unrest over death of Mahsa Amini and Democracy Now, September 27: “Women! Life! Freedom!” Iranian Women Lead Nationwide Protests After Death of Mahsa Amini

Over the past two weeks:
76 people killed 
More than 1,200 people arrested (at least 20 journalists arrested covering the protests)

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Black Woman and Policeman Tanka

a policeman
throws a black woman
into the mud
shouting, she held a knife!
(found only in his mind)


FYI: For more, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, Character/Persona Tanka

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Penhouse Tanka

alone 
by the penthouse window
my friend repeats 
this is America
why settle for pretty good? 


FYI: For more, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, Character/Persona Tanka

Monday, September 19, 2022

Freedom Tanka

I've the right
to swing my fist, but this freedom
stops at the tip
of my love rival's nose ...
I shout before the mirror


FYI: For more, see my "To the Lighthouse" post, Character/Persona Tanka

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Imperial leftovers: Seeing Is Believing

written in response to The New Yorker, September 10The monarchy presents itself as a “mysterious and magical inheritor of an endless past.” Would Britain be better off without it?"

a double-rainbow
breaking through gray clouds
over Buckingham ...
on its gold and black rails
notice of the Queen's death

Oh god I hate this
as the "King" signs his name 
with a leaking pen ...
I recall his "my luck" laughter
in the leaked "tampon" phone call

the adulterer
who once talked dirty on the phone
now Liege Lord --
a woman yelling Not My King
surrounded by policemen

"Prince" Andrew
walks behind the Queen's coffin
down the Royal Mile --
a shout from the packed crowd
you’re a sick old man

boos heard clearly
over the crowd of well-wishers 
greeting the "King" --
on the Cardiff Castle walls
Abolish the Monarchy

a meteor
streaks across the sky
over London --
the Queen once claimed
I've to be seen to be believed

royal members
take turns to watch over
the Queen's coffin ...
"Prince" Andrew in uniform
as mourners file past, bowing

at last the end
of ten days of mourning ...
as the sun sets
in the shadow of Big Ben
an old man and his wife

new royal
favorites and suchlike 
jostle for spots 
on Buckingham Palace's balcony ...
kids in a bakery window



FYI: Child Poverty and Action Group, UK: ... There were 3.9 million children living in poverty in the UK in 2020-21. That's 27 per cent of children, or eight in a classroom of 30...

FYI: MoneyWise, September 18The Crown Estate — estimated at over $34B in assets — now belongs to King Charles III. But he won't have to pay the UK's 40% inheritance tax. 

Queen Elizabeth II's death involves a transfer of her personal wealth of roughly $500 million to her first son, Charles. That means he doesn’t have to send roughly $200 million of Queen Elizabeth’s $500 million estate to the tax collector.

And FYI: The New Yorker, September 10: "The Fantasy Behind Queen Elizabeth II’s Reign: The monarchy presents itself as a “mysterious and magical inheritor of an endless past.” Would Britain be better off without it?"

The job of the monarchy is “to provide a kind of space and style, a kind of mystique, a kind of secular religion, if you like, in which people can feel some sort of kinship and community with each other.

-- Simon Schama, Historian of British History


Addedreading between the lives and writing between the lines, XXVIII
written on the day of the Queen's Funeral

inside   Westminster Abbey
outside Westminster Abbey
two-minute silence

FYI: This haiku is a "politically neutral" sequel to my 9-tanka sequence, Imperial leftovers: Seeing Is Believing 


Added:

Fallout
written in response to Judith Butler's remark: “One way of posing the question of who ‘we’ are... is by asking whose lives are considered valuable, whose lives are mourned, and whose lives are considered un-grievable.


long live the king
rest in peace, your majesty
written on the loaves ...
many food banks closed 
for the Queen's funeral 

our beloved Queen
forever in our thoughts
scrawled in black ink
on the top of the boulder
in Holocaust Memorial Garden 

FYI: Yahoo News UK, September September 19: "Profoundly inappropriate:" Tributes left for Queen at Holocaust memorial spark backlash. 


Added

The Cost
a sequel to Imperial leftovers: Seeing Is Believing 

after the Queen's death
biographers queue up
to release books ...
royal fans and foes
air-quote at each other

royal squabbles
over the "tell-all" story
by Harry and Meghan --
the clicking of cameras
becomes loud and louder

FYI: Deadline, September 25: Royal Authors Queue Up To Release Books, Promising To Reveal Truth Of Conflict Between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle And Buckingham Palace and Bloomberg, September 24Reality Is Coming for Britain’s RoyalsTheir luxurious remove from ordinary Britons won’t play well with an increasingly stressed public.

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Now Liege Lord Tanka

This Brave New World, LIV

the adulterer
who once talked dirty on the phone
now Liege Lord ...
a man shouting Not My King
surrounded by policemen

NeverEnding Story, September 14 2022

Note: L2 refers to “Tampongate,” sometimes misogynistically called “Camillagate,” ... a secretly recorded conversation between Charles and Camilla in 1989, in which the Prince of Wales joked that he’d like to be Camilla’s tampon. See a transcript of the exchange, as provided by the Mirror. -- HuffPost, May 13, 2020: Prince Charles And Camilla's Infamous 'Tampongate' Chat Won't Make "The Crown:"It's the one scene the Netflix hit won't cover.

FYI: ABC News, September 14: As the UK mourns the Queen, police treatment of Not My King protesters is sparking freedom of speech fears. 


AddedThis Brave New World, LV

Oh god I hate this
as the "King" signs his name 
with a leaking pen ...
I recall his "my luck" laughter
in the leaked "tampon" phone call


FYI: The Guardian, September 13: ‘Oh god I hate this’: King Charles expresses frustration over leaking pen:

“Oh god I hate this (pen)!” Charles said, standing up and handing the pen to his wife, Camilla, Queen Consort.

“Oh look, it’s going everywhere,” Camilla said as her husband wiped his fingers.

“I can’t bear this bloody thing … every stinking time,” Charles said as he walked away.

Below is an excerpt from the transcript of the 1989 exchange Prince Charles and his mistress, Camilla, infamously known as "Tampongate:"  

CAMILLA: Mmm, so do I. I need you all the week. All the time.
CHARLES: Oh, God. I’ll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!

CAMILLA (laughing): What are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers? (Both laugh). Oh, you’re going to come back as a pair of knickers.

CHARLES: Or, God forbid, a Tampax. Just my luck! (Laughs)

CAMILLA: You are a complete idiot! (Laughs) Oh, what a wonderful idea.


Added: Game Show 2024, VI
written in response to Ted Cruz's Sep. 9 remark: Republicans are "lying" or "idiotic" if they dismiss Trump for 2024

a collapsed fence
among morning glory vines
Trump 2024

FYI: CNN, "The Point," September 9: Ted Cruz nails something fundamental about Donald Trump and 2024. And The Independent, September 15: Trump threatens ‘big problems’ for US if he’s indicted in stolen documents scandal

Speaking on the conservative broadcaster Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Mr Trump said an indictment would not deter him from running for president because he would have “no prohibition against running”.

“But I think if it happened, I think you'd have problems in this country the likes of which perhaps, we've never seen before. I don't think the people of the United States would stand for it,” he added.


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

God, my country
just hard work, no handouts ...
in the spotlight
the mayor punctuates his words
with a gavel-on-the-desk gesture

Sunday, September 11, 2022

9/11, Then and Now

sleepless again ...
the lingering thoughts
of “if only” 

Sunday breakfast
between us a glass-top table
and the silence

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Slice of Mooncake and Pinot Noir Tanka

written both for the Chinese Moon Festival
and in response to Haruki Murakami's remark: All I do is keep on running in my own cozy, homemade void, my own nostalgic silence

alone again
in this Land of Maple Leaf
with a slice of mooncake
I drink Pinot Noir, dwelling 
in nostalgic silence


FYI: Michelin Guide, August 28, 2019: "How To Pair Wine With Mooncakes"