Where does the Time Go?

Where does the time go? I asked myself the question.

I remember staring at your big blue eyes one evening in San Francisco several autumns ago. How I long to immerse in them. Like swimming in the ocean in ecstasy.

Now your bright smiles shining in the sunshine when we were strolling the beach warmed me up. Amid the chilly ocean breeze. They are my haven whenever I need to be sheltered from the chaotic world.

I have learned to disconnect from the world now and then. To stay alone with my self and my thoughts. To reflect.

I must learn to let go of all sorrows, all worries, my ego, and my self. Till my name is a voided sound. Till my body is but a bag of bones and flesh. Till my world is a deserted world.

How I have suffered, and how I will suffer more. Before all sufferings are gone. Like death is the beginning of a new life. New endeavors. New journey. Or it’s the end of all ends. Perhaps.

All tears will dry off
All flowers will wither
Only the never-born never-to-die
Will shine forever.

The Autumn Scent

The Autumn has come and so have the yellow leaves. I was wandering in the park, picking up the falling leaves here and there, and trying to find a scent of the Fall.

You don’t sweat much thus don’t smell at all, or rather it’s a no-smell scent, yet how I long for a specific aroma of the Autumn. To remember, or to forget and let go.

You’re gone and I can’t find it anymore. I brought home the Autumn spirit instead, while treading on the golden paths painted with layers of yellow leaves stretching far beyond the horizon.


I was inspired to write this piece after chatting with phibi. I even borrowed a few ideas from his poems.

Who Am I?

Who am I?
I’ve been looking
for my whole life
Am I the one who talks
and thinks
and drinks
and eats
and hates
and loves
and reflects
and regrets
Who am I?

I’m the never-born and never-to-die
I’m the sun which shines forever
I’m the river which runs thru Time
I’m the song which plays eternally
I’m the present, I’m the life.


My shoulder length hair
is long enough to stir memories
The reminiscences flow
like an endless Om mantra

The Om is reverberating
The roads I have departed
The paths I will tread on
How do I know
which direction is the best

The Spring flowers are blooming
and singing the universal songs
Will the Heart Sutra
accentuate their notes
and shed light on my way home?


Tóc ai chấm bờ vai
Cho vừa khơi nỗi nhớ
Nỗi nhớ dài
Như tiếng Om bất tận

Tiếng Om vang vọng thì thầm
Mọi nẻo đường đã qua
Những con đường chưa tới
Làm sao ai biết
Trái tim có hồi sai nhịp
Nên cứ đứng mãi ngã ba đường

Hoa cỏ mùa Xuân
Đang rộn ràng khúc du ca
Câu kinh bát nhã
Có sáng nẻo ta về

A Poem for My Mother 2016

Who would recall
the skinny and aging hands
cooking the porridge for me
when I was recently sick
are your same smooth and beautiful hands
which fed me the very first drops
of breast milk forty two years ago

Who would understand
that your deep verses thru years-
the finger pointing to the moon,
the smiling lotus in the crowd-
have rescued me from many
hardships throughout my life

Oh Mother
When will I learn
to sacrifice myself
the same way you sacrifice yourself
for me and for everyone else

When will I learn
to be as compassionate as you are
whose compassion is as vast
as a Bodhisattva’s

Oh Mother
Half of you gave birth to me
and you have never failed to nourish.

Happy Mother’s Day
to my Mom and all the Mothers
of the past, the present, and the future!

Nào ai hiểu được
bàn tay khô gầy nấu cháo
cho con trong cơn bệnh tật
là bàn tay trắng nõn mượt mà
mớm cho con giòng sữa ngọt đầu đời
bốn mươi hai năm về trước

Nào ai hiểu được
nhũng dòng thơ sâu thẳm của Mẹ
là chiếc bè chở con
qua bao bến bờ khổ nạn
là ngón tay chỉ mặt trăng
là cành hoa sen mỉm cười

Mẹ ơi
Khi nào con mới học được
sự hy sinh bao la của Mẹ
cho con và cho mọi người
lòng từ bi của Mẹ
quảng đại như Bồ Tát

một nửa thành ra con
nơi không bao giờ có lời từ chối.

Mừng ngày của Mẹ
tới tất cả những bà Mẹ
trong quá khứ, hiện tại và tương lai!


Having experienced all life’s
ups and downs, he accepted it

with grace. Think death.
Think life. Months, weeks,

days, hours. Two sides
of a matter. The numbers

on the screen were flickering-
blood pressure, heart rate,

respiration rate, oxygen level.
The body had fought back

all pains and illnesses until
all sufferings were gone.

Who is able to comprehend
the loss? Only tears and grief

will be lingering in the air,
contained in the hand-

crafted wooden jewelry box,
hovering over the grape vine,

mixed in the home-made
chicken parmesan years after

he’s gone to heaven
rejoice and be glad.

R.I.P, F.G.

The Autumn is Gone / Không Còn Mùa Thu (a translated song)

Somehow I have been in the mood to listen to many songs about the Fall in Hanoi on and off since Sept, as seen here and here.
Below is my translation/adaptation of another one.


The Autumn is Gone

The Autumn is gone and the moon
does not come landing
on the balcony any more
The lullaby is over and there is
no more dreaming about your soft lips
You were the maiden Spring whose love
filled up the long and lonely nights

I was the Autumn
for you to dream about
I was the lullaby
hovering over you
You’re gone and don’t care
about the yellow Autumn
nor the coming Spring any more

When we were in love
you came and looked
at the twinkling stars with me
When we were in love
we spent the stormy nights
together. Remember
the promise under the moon;
the love not yet uttered
from my clumsy lips?

The paths we passed have disappeared
beyond the horizon. Who knows
which paths we will tread on
in the future.The evening
is fading wearily. I stop
dreaming and go versify
my pile of sorrows