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

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

A Man of Few Words

A haiku sequence for my father who was born in mainland China, lived most of his adult life in Taiwan, died and was buried there in 2022

a lone star
Father's dreamworld becomes
his hospice window

the slanted beam
of a winter sun ...
Father's last smile

morning chill
a part of me lowered
with Father's coffin

sleepless again
I hear Father crying out
Mama, I'm coming home

this dream loop:
Father rides on my shoulders
into the Taiwan Strait

Father waving his hand
just before I wake up ...
this false dawn


Pacific sunrise --
alone after a storm
I listen 
to the flat calm 
of my inner world

Addedreading between the lives and writing between the lines, LXX

one by one
friends leave me in Toronto
for small towns 
they fancy a house with a lawn,
a backyard pool and dogs

FYI: Toronto Star, Oct. 22, 2022: ‘An exodus of families’: Toronto’s decline in children should be an election issue: We are all familiar with dystopian narratives of societies where children are scarce. Toronto is in danger of becoming such a place.

As Ontario’s population ages and relies on immigration for expansion, children represent a shrinking percentage of the overall total. Some critics have summed up the failures in a single word: housing. As in there simply isn’t enough for families, neither in suitable forms nor at attainable prices.