Thứ Sáu, 27 tháng 1, 2012


                                DEATH CONSCIOUNESS  /   UPLIFTING POEMS
                                                        a poem by THEPHONG
                                                  translated by ĐÀM XUÂN CẬN.

When the dragonfly was in flight over the May paddock
Its two eyes engaged in hunting a certain smaller dragonfly for food;
The little kid quit school to stroll along the edge of the paddock,
Then stopped,
         and used a striker with sticky breadfruit resin
         to catch the dragonfly turned hunter
But this insect was wiser
         than the kid allowed it to be:
         it quicly moved elsewhere
The kid did not give in,
         he took the small dragonfly as bait
Which enjoyed a measure of freedom
         at the end of the string in the hand of the kid
The dragonfly turned hunter was not good enough
         to avoid the string
It alighted on the victim
         then lifted it up to its mouth
the kid spun back the string
         took the dragonfly by its tail
he burst out laughing
" Here you are, say goodbye to your freedom"
I spent the whole morning
         to search for the truthful meaning of life
Looking at the germinating seeds washed
         in by the rain last night
This morning
        I met the kid who quit school for a stroll
Then sun was high
         near the red flower thicket
         he dug the earth to bury the insect
Its is no longer in life
         its body cuts to bits
Returning to dust,
       it no longer cared
       if there was still light in the world
he little kid used to feel sad
       when evening came
He was sick with learning,
       he scorned to hear the taecher's words anymore
he now asked me
What is the use of all this miserable business
And tell me

" you are old enough
        why do you waste time with a kid's play
        why did you borrow my sling
        and you hid behind the gourd plant
        throwing little stones at the bees hovering
        from flower to flower
and tell me
        you kept the light on all night
        did you study inside the mosquito net ? "

You had a funny face when another bee stung you
        you little insect
        but surely you must be curious
        why it stung you go savagely.

I know the meaning of life already,
        my boy
        it died
        and its death taught me courage
Death or life really makes very little difference
The dragonfly hunter had no choice
         but to live  on a smaller one
It died because of you
         and no other fellow insect took
         to revenge its death
It was not the same of bees
        it was not the same with ants either
I live by myself
       I have no worry whatsoever
because I do not expect anything from anyone
We are bees
We are ants
 We are  dragonflies.

We are full of hatred
        and consciouness of death
But let's face it
        you are not old enough
to grasp why I'm still nursing my deep wound...

Saigon, July, 18, 1963.

(  from Uplifting Poems in' Asian Morning
 Western Music , poems by The Phong
  This Edition, Jan,2012- Ho Chi Minh City).

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