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

Friday, July 1, 2022

Hongkongers Forever and Canada Day Tanka

This Brave New World, XLVI
written on Canada Day, July 1 also marking 25 years since Hong Kong was handed back from British to Chinese rule in 1997

the one-way flights
of Hongkongers forever ...
"freedom" protesters
snake-marching through downtown
on Canada Day

FYI: A series of protests and blockades in Canada against Covid-19 vaccine mandates and restrictions, called the "Freedom Convoy" by organizers, began in early 2022. Now, residents of downtown Ottawa are bracing for the Canada Day protest by "Freedom Convoy" supporters.

And this tanka is a sequel to my haibun below:

I am a Canadian

"I will not sit down. I will not shut up. I will not comply. I want my country back. The True North strong and free ..." sticking his head out of the window, a trucker chants while driving down the street to Parliament Hill. 

Between the intersection transformed into a mosh pit and Parliament buildings plastered with "no more vax pass," "fake news," and “the Great Resist” signs, a white man holds up a giant maple flag. He calls out to a convey of trucks streaming down the street, "Freedom, Canada United."

Under the slate-grey sky, downtown Ottawa echoes loudly with chants and slogans steeped in the language of the American Revolution. The GoFundMe page for freedom convoy truckers is showered with right-wing American donations.

Golden Arches 
in the storefront window
a homeless teen

a high-rise shadow
on the cardboard shelter
omicron winter

AddedThis Brave New World, XLVII
written on Canada Day

"freedom" protesters
wrapped in Canadian flags ...
a stray dog
scrawling its graffit-wee
on a sidewalk maple tree

FYI: The New York Times, July 1: Did the ‘Freedom Convoy’ Change the Meaning of Canada’s Flag? On Canada Day, some citizens were wary of raising the national flag, now also associated with weeks of protests against pandemic mandates.

...a sea of red-and-white Canadian flags rippling in the winter wind during this year’s protests against the federal government and pandemic mandates, known to some as the “Freedom Convoy.”

Is that flag a symbol of protest or of unity?


"freedom convoy" protest --
wandering strays stop to piss
on a wall

FYI: June 30: Ottawa prepares for freedom-convoy-style protest this Canada Day weekend: With anti-COVID mandate protesters marching into Ottawa, police, government officials, and residents fear a repeat of February’s violent occupation of the city. And Politico, Feb. 6  : Ottawa truckers' freedom convoy galvanizes far-right worldwide.