(ISSN: 1527-5467)
the magazine of Literature & Literature-in-translation.


JUL 2011




                 DIEP TRUNG HA



                 two poems by DIEP TRUNG HA






                                      (Inspired by Octavio Paz’s “Viento, agua, piedra”)


                             Water hollows stone.

                             But to stone:

                             Stone arrests water.


                             Stone stops wind.

                             But to wind:

                             Wind assaults stone.


                             Wind scatters water.

                             But to water:

                             Water whirls wind.


                             Stone, wind, water.

                             Only to itself:

                             Does it matter.


                                     DIỆP TRUNG HÀ

                                     December, 1998




                                    Waiting for customers


Translated by DIỆP TRUNG HÀ

                                                (The form of Nguyên Sa’sĐợi khách

                                                – the number of syllables in a line –

                                                                   is preserved in translation.)


                             You stand on the bare street’s corner

Like wild flowers in the dense woods

The silken skin’s sad in darkness

The stunning eyes dim all stars


Waiting for someone, not a date,

To sell him all delightfulness 

Remains of the fast spent flower

Offering your lips dried of sweetness


Tired in the night, moist blurry eyes

The cheek on the pillow, ashamed,

Face in the stranger, vastly cold,

Small hands idle like being lost


You stand on the bare street’s corner

Johns are lost at twilight, you hear

Footsteps waning at a distance

Shattering all lingering hope


The stranger’s lost his way in the night

Walks woozily, shattering the moonlight

You long for like a guarded thing

A sad love with last drops of wine


Time’s long weighed heavy since the time

The bare hand trembling in a dream first

Received dough for shared bed and board

You cried, for the pistil was crushed


The night’s waning, my dear hooker

Waits in the night, the port’s asleep

Eyes a home still lit, then hastens

The scarf over the cold shoulders …


                                          DIEP TRUNG HA

                                          September 2010




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& literature-in-translation,

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