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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Suspended in Mid-Air Tanka

to stay or leave
the question I've pondered
for almost a year ...
one yellow leaf
suspended in mid-air

Ribbons, 13:1, Winter 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sound of Loneliness Tanka

a red leaf
zigzagging
to the ground ...
the sound
of loneliness

Ribbons, 13:1, Winter 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Selected Haibun: Breath

for Martin Heidegger

slanted sunlight
through the window
reading jisei

My father doesn't talk about death because he cares more about leaving behind a good reputation. My mother is skilled at evading death-talk because she is afraid of severing the ties with her loved ones. My older brother doesn’t care about death because he thinks he is strong enough to face all challenges head on and head strong. My younger brother doesn’t mention death at all because he is busy enjoying life, here and now. I often think about death

first sunrise…
pulling out a patch
of gray hair

Contemporary Haibun Online, 8:1, April 2012

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Selected Haibun: Shadows

Pallbearers carry her small casket through the back door and into the garden, through a field of tall grass and into the cemetery.

dust to dust…
an eagle’s shadow
circles us

A Hundred Gourds, 1:3, June 2012

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Selected Haibun: I Become the One Who Forgets His Dream Song

for John Berryman

solstice ...
counting snowflakes
on the window

There are two voices fighting for the control of my mind. One says, “Just keep writing,” and I ask, “writing for whom?” The other whispers in the dark, “for the dead whom you did love.”

first light ...
my copy of The Middle Way
dog-eared

I start to spin the poems of darkness out of falling snow.

Contemporary Haibun Online, 8:1, April 2012
Anthologized in Contemporary Haibun, 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Selected Haibun: The Last Gaze

Slanting through the attic window, a ray of sunlight touches my coffee-stained desk.

I look out at the maple branches swaying in the breeze. From nowhere, I feel the stab of a memory -- you waving me goodbye.

mid-autumn moon...
the sound of the wind
colder

Kokako 16, April 2012