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

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

It is always three o'clock in the morning

day after day.

the ghostly past
lurking around the corner
of my mind ...
with a scalpel of words
I stab into its heart

However, my immigrant past is never ...dead -- gone and forgotten. It is not even past. 

Distressed and alone by the bedroom window, in the wake of a dream about a Taiwan blue magpie disappearing into the dark forest, I hear Time passing in the sound of snow.

Ribbons, 19:1, Winter 2023
contemporary haibun 19, 2024
(annual anthology showcasing a state-of-the-art selection of haibun, tanka prose, and haiga from journals around the world)

FYI: The following remarks are emailed to me by Tanka Prose Editor, Liz Lanigan:

A short and powerful piece of self reflection where the poet seems to be preparing themselves for an intense look-back at family history.

Love the final sentence… “I hear time passing in the sound of snow”  -- Carole Harrison.

I think you published a little masterpiece: Chen-ou Liu’s  “It is always three o’clock in the morning”. It is the piece I am copying into my journal. I don’t feel like analysis, but it’s haunting and meaningful and I love the format which is innovative I think. -- Gerry Jabobson