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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Selected Tanka Ink-Dark Sky Tanka

fireflies from the jar
of my words...
what do they look like
under her ink-dark sky?

Kernels, 1, Spring 2013

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Red-Eye Flight Tanka

the blinking
of her red-eye flight
bound for Japan ...
I recall a silver sheen
on our summer lake

NeverEnding Story, October 2, 2017

Selected Haibun: The Dagger in My Mind

Dear Mr. Reeder:

What was there before your birth? What will be there after your death? And who is it, at this very moment,  that is reading? Living in the world of one color, can I have December roses to perfume my attic room?

sprawling darkness not knowing the sound of snow

Contemporary Haibun Online, 9:2, July 2013

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Selected Haibun: Winter Thoughts

a haibun for Basho and Mary Oliver

rejection slip
a sunflower bending
to the wind

I often get editorial advice like this:

"You will notice that we veer away from authorial comment, abstract language, and the imposition of human qualities on the natural world. Instead, we choose haiku that achieve resonance through the juxtaposition of disparate images, credibly present in the same place at the same time."

Slanting sunlight through the attic window on my coffee-stained desk. Reading Basho's death poem, I can't help but wonder: if he were alive and submitted his poem under a different name, would he have been published at all?

Essential Basho…
my name will be written
in water or marble

Note: Historically speaking, Basho didn't write the formal death poem on his deathbed, but the following haiku, being his last poem recorded, is generally viewed as his poem of farewell.

sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

NeverEnding Story, March 4, 2013

Friday, October 20, 2017

Selected Tanka: Drunk on Writing Tanka

drunk on writing ...
I compose one tanka
after another
until the swan sings
on the lake of my mind

Kernels, 1, Spring 2013

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Twilight Silence Tanka

twilight silence
stretching between them . . .
on the tombstone
a sunbeam lent to us
too briefly

hedgerow, 120, 2017

Note: hedgerow 120 is a summer print issue,and the online journal will be put on hold for an undecided future.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Warmth of Your Breath Tanka

I wake slowly
to the warmth of your breath
on my neck ...
our bedroom mirror
catching the sunlight

Kokako, 27, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Curl of Winter Sunset Tanka

the curl
of winter sunset
in a lily ...
her eyes speak the language
I'm ready to learn

Kokako, 27, 2017

Monday, October 9, 2017