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

Monday, May 16, 2022

O Canada! Our home and native land!

reading between the lives and writing between the lines, XIV

O Canada! Our home and native land!
written in response to the theme for Asian Heritage Month 2022: Continuing a "legacy of greatness”

foreign experience
doesn't count in this country
he repeats ...
on the way home I feel
my feet sticking in asphalt

the Maple Leaf
flapping in summer heat ...
no Canadian experience
no job... no job
no Canadian experience

former lecturer 
now my new coworker 
at the cafe counter 
murmuring, immigrant life
is best understood backwards

from the glass jar
I grasp coins, one day’s worth
of tips
at an upscale cafe ...
my first Canadian experience

poem after poem
I write myself, an immigrant,
into Silence --
the void place where I wait
for you, Canada, to read

FYI: The title is taken from the first line of Canada's national anthem

Added: Three Hundred and Fortieth Entry,  Coronavirus Poetry Diary

laid off ...
drifting among strangers 
six feet apart

Addedreading between the lives and writing between the lines, XV

rain-stained chalk scrawl: 
this unhoused person's body
as his last address

Added: written in response both to Ottawa Citizen's May 17 opinion column: "Who won the final 2022 Ontario election debate?" and to the Apocryphal Mark Twain, who claimed, Politicians and diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason.

election debate
one stray barks at another
barking at another