A poem in Vietnamese by Đinh Trường Chinh
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Art: Đinh Trường Chinh

When you were gone mid-night.

The thought of suicide of every verse took shape.

The room is empty. The chair hues of aged timber

The homogenous shadow of night. Lingers the fragrance of longing.

The cup of night tips suddenly on the space you left.

Sad footprints long on granite.

All the verses whole on cracked palms

I’m adrift on a string of memory you threw across the night

(like an acrobat that lost his faith

fumbling for pages of the bible).

The high moonlit hot burnt boozed-up eyes.

The sun falls at dawn.

The night gave birth to the moon.

The hard birth of some verses. Cramp in the thoughts of the imagination.

Unborn err choked in oblivion.

You’re thrown to that far planet

Letters sent would take this lifetime

A day owe to rain

A night full of sunshine

I’m small still in your shadows of old


The crucifix hammered into my life

With the reverie of curses

soaked through after a season of moonlight.

Please return to confess for me.

Amid the space left

shone your ageless shadow on the pond of forever 

shone the scars once bled

Here the mark you have nailed

The ever shade you nurtured of love

Please bury live the verses,

all thoughts of delusions

to another planet

when you are gone, maketh the cross

me jesus err reborn.


April 2018

Đinh Trường Chinh, the poet, and artist was born in 1970 in South Vietnam. The poet currently works in IT in Virginia, U. S. A.

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

By Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

There's magic in translating a body of work from one language to another.

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