Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | A FIELD OF INHUMANITY – BÀI TRƯỜNG CA VỀ CÁNH ĐỒNG BẤT NHÂN

Lê Vĩnh Tài is a Vietnamese poet, a resident of the West Highlands. A retired medical doctor, currently an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

The translation has taken two years to complete, I hope you enjoy the final edit.

(July 2021)

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC ODE FOR MY HOMELAND ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO – BÀI TRƯỜNG CA CHO QUÊ HƯƠNG MỘT TRĂM NĂM TRƯỚC

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

us moving forward a step
cause not pain
cause not sinking thoughts
words in aid of black hair
black eyes
black skin
and what is more black than that

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (16)

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.
April 30, 1975

he sketches
sadness
with colour chalk at 3 in the morning

male
tears
his falling
a river
thought dried up
long
long ago…
_____

chàng vẽ
nỗi buồn
bằng phấn màu lúc 3 giờ sáng

đàn ông
nước mắt
chàng rơi
dòng sông
tưởng cạn
đã lâu
lắm rồi…

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (11)

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.
April 30, 1975

without the vernacular
still noisy is the poem

buzzing like a bee
searching for honey
the wintry
sounds of the rain
the cries
thereof dying

không còn ngôn ngữ
nhưng bài thơ còn tiếng động

nghe vi vu như chú ong
tìm mật
tiếng lất phất
của mưa
tiếng khóc
của cái chết

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | THE H’MONG – BÀI TRƯỜNG CA NGƯỜI MÔNG

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.
—–
the H’mong people
black, flowers, white, red…
obstinate. drifting into the South
fought for the thousand of years
their gun barrel their gut
never open their lips to beg
eat without a future. war with no fear of death
won
lost
earnest through the tweets of whistling leaves
found each other

leaves fallen in piles beneath thy feet
abundant as the rocks in the valley
gosh thee
by each other in caves make love
by each other to finality drank
by each other consumed the red chook eggs
by each other in communal marriage
by each other brothers
by each other fought
by each other as wives captured
by each other forgiven, yearned
loved…

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (8)

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.
—–
we collide and break
through the fragility of life

we collide and hurt
within the tightness of sadness

when dreams make the heart withdraw
love collides with all of our being and we…

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (6)

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

death
are not furrows in the field
it’s a small sail
drifting across the moon

grazing the moon
to after, sinking
as a small cloud
like her also small
tiny tiny

death
rapid in its return
while no one is waiting
it seems
to slide down right next to each one of us
when he rammed into our home
through the gate
one sunny afternoon.
_____

cái chết
không phải là con mương ngoài cánh đồng
nó như một cánh buồm nhỏ
trôi ngang mặt trăng

nó chạm vào mặt trăng
sau đó, có một hình ảnh sẽ chìm
như đám mây nhỏ
và nàng cũng nhỏ
xíu xiu

cái chết
quay lại quá sớm
khi không ai chờ đợi
nó dường như
trượt xuống bên cạnh mỗi chúng ta
khi anh ấy húc tăng vào nhà
qua cánh cổng
sau buổi trưa đầy nắng.

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (4)

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (3)

By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
_____
a poem
disappeared
in a hole, where
a soul
fell through

left behind a serpent
in Eden
with her
soft
silky
as
thunder
_____

thơ đã
biến mất
trong một cái lỗ, nơi
linh hồn đang
chui vào trong đó

và để lại một con rắn
trong vườn địa đàng
cùng với nàng
mịn màng
mềm
lắc lư
như
sấm sét…

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | NIGHT & THE CONTINUING FALLING VERSES – ĐÊM VÀ NHỮNG KHÚC RỜI (1)

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – BÀI TRƯỜNG CA VỠ RA MƯA ẤM

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

Categories
EPIC POEM/TRƯỜNG CA

Lê Vĩnh Tài | CHRONICLES OF A RIVER – BÀI TRƯỜNG CA CHO MỘT DÒNG SÔNG

Lê Vĩnh Tài, an acclaimed Vietnamese poet, born 1966 in Buon Ma Thuot, Daklak, Vietnam. The retired doctor is still a resident of the Western Highlands, an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.

Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 14

the dreams of fire
a homeland drew up in white clouds
o homeland fresh and green
you leaning on me, you’re exhausted child
us leaning on a small frond
leaning into a song
what can a song do
a frond wet eyes
flying into the fresh green night…

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 13

the burden upon shoulders in our sandals slipping
o homeland thy slipping dignity
the universal dream
the rivers merging
the sea an ache
the vat of wine in the longhouse house bitter
facing the returning months and year
the forest exchanged for a broken vehicle
the gong at times a stage
in Thy eyes child play
the child yearns for its mother returns

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 12

but when you turn your back my child, the Sun also sets
to craving once more the dusk
you’re the light I’m the dark
darkness shattering human eyes
in throats upon lips
the lyrics…

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 11

Ea-Kao in the late rain
chilly yearning for the one in sunlight yearning for whom
preserving the identity of the longhouse in animations in videotapes
replacing the coal stove since the sea is gone
the master of our ceremony after your cries
me dreaming of being the sacrifice in your thanksgiving

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 10

of a child tight on mother’s breast
of father’s fists, holding onto the ladder
falling with sadness / slipping on dreams
from behind the open door
dazed in the brilliance of the East by the cooking fire
the Sun breaking out prancing on the hooves of horses
across an immersed expanse of white flowers flying
white blooms bedazzled by plumb pink fruit after the rain
in every breath of the sunrise
the rubber trees oozing sap
came a new decree
in a blink a golden autumn bloom of wild daisies
a homeland shattered into so much warm rain
warm rain wrapping Thee in a red marrow cloak
with nothing but embroidered white blooms
o golden sunlight upon nectars

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 9

giving birth to a man is a woman
giving birth to a woman is beauty
homeland o homeland
I adore Thee like laboured sleep after a day’s turmoil
in long nights in that most intoxicating moment
I dream of laying with you child
coveting you in a dream drowned in tears
and the Sun ever stuck in the dark
gently I shall remove
allowing the wind to caress the peak of our desire
the aching exhaustion
secrets
o homeland…

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 8

Who has swapped Kàte forest for a few blooming rice fields?
each seed is like mother’s fetus
brimming on father’s tears
the forest ceasing on exiled faces
drawn up by the wind the crumbling sadness
the sadness of ashes the sadness of fires
the sadness of migrants crowding even dreams

Categories
POETRY/THƠ

Lê Vĩnh Tài | AN EPIC POEM SHATTERED INTO WARM RAIN – 7

the forest went in a blink
gone where o forest
the forest turning into a ring
fallen where o forest
the forest turning into a still life
where is the green
forest
o