for my father-in-law


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.