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

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Under the Stars and Stripes Tanka

This Brave New World, XLII
written in response to the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on gun violence.

with one fist raised high
he grips an assault rifle
at 18 
but under the stars and stripes
can’t buy a beer

FYI: The minimum legal drinking age in the United States is 21 years, and legally and socioculturally speaking,  beer is much more dangerous than an AR-15

For more, see Catie Edmondson, The New Times, June 8: "The House passed wide-ranging gun control legislation, but it is certain to fail in the Senate." 

Can both sides see beyond the political problem at hand and admit that we have a life preservation problem on our hands?


police sirens
pierce this sultry night --
a chain-link fence 
topped with razor wire 
drips blood


earth thrown on the coffin ...
the mother sheds no tears
as if turning off
the tap of her grief
not to drown in sadness