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

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

A Room of My Own: The President and The Boy

written in response to Time Magazine cover story of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky:  "Inside Zelensky's World"

the  boulevard 
a maze of checkpoints ...
moonlight peeking 
through sandbags in the windows
of the presidential compound

days fly like an hour
an hour crawls like weeks ...
in the shelter
artillery fire on the screen
a world of his own

new creases
in the president's face ...
for a moment 
the boy turns off his phone
to breathe the world anew


The First Day of a Dreamless Nightmare

a midnight call,
It’s started... it's started
everything blurs
together in endless hours
of packing, running to nowhere

smoky twilight ...
residential streets choked
with rubble
shattered glass and debris 
(broken hearts and dreams)

a girl crying
as neighbors zip her mother
into the body bag ...
mom, mom, get out of there
your sunflowers are dying

the collapsed dome
of an Orthodox church --
peace like something
prayed for by an old man
with his mouth sewn shut