THE WRITERS POST
VOLUME 7 NUMBER 2
by by† Ho Thi Tam and Tony O'Donnell
Awake, in this present incarnation,
to a world of strife and consternation
so different to Au Lac's* calm sightings,
my refuge -
Vietnam's classic writings.
While in my mind my mother's lullabies -
I love the rhymes of those folk-songs so wise.
Then peace, it is said, having been restored
follows the fire and the sword.
How can it be that from one river's source
currents meet and whirl with force?
At start of conflict between South and North
what the offence or
crime gave war its birth?
When from mankind humanity departs,
and faced with violence from human hearts,
my trembling soul like a wild bird became
uncertain burden in my name.
When gaping craters from the bombs and mines
obstruct that love which two fond hearts entwines
then in rice fields both desolate and wild
I whisper, Love! to Motherland, from child.
When river's currents flow as one again
people who seek to ease each other's pain
find hate and rancour do not soon abate
and life with
sorrow starts to suffocate.
When mountains slide, or river's banks have grown
I am not carved from wood nor hewn from stone;
my heart is hurt at times of others' blows
it writhes and
spasms and their torture knows.
When with at least a hundred things to say
and words stuck in my throat cause dismay,
for language is itself now full of strife,
helps me give my thanks for life.
My soul transforming into smoke and cloud;
my heart beats like the sea with waves so loud;
so long forsaken, this flock of wild birds
sunset - can their cries be heard?
interpretation by †Ho Thi Tam
and Tony O'Donnell, - Mar 2002)
Vietnamese legend Au Lac are the beings (Lac Long Quan
- Dragon Lord of Lac - and Au Co - a Chinese immortal), one from the
mountains and the other from the sea, from whose marriage union the one
hundred eggs were laid which became the Vietnamese people. Much later, in
about 258 BC, Au Lac was also the name given to the state as it existed at
that time and which lasted for about 50 years. Song Nhi
here refers to an earlier golden age.
The Writers Post
1999, based in the US.
published in this issue are simultaneously published in the printed Wordbridge magazine (ISSN: 1540-1723).
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