Last words

A poem in Vietnamese by Phạm Hiền Mây
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

mum mum I can not breathe


mid one life this appalling plead

be the next life indeed


born again no, not of this land

as feral birds not man


oblivious to poverty

wings wide forever free


(better than) a stream cut off by rotting trees

(a heart) in blinding waves of agony


forgive me please for letting go 

I’m sorry mum

(just so)


(October 2019)




con không thở được mẹ ơi

tiếng kêu bi thiết giữa đời trần ai

nếu còn thêm nữa kiếp mai


xin thôi đừng tiếp đầu thai chốn này

thà như muông thú chim bày


hồn nhiên no đói ăn mày trời không

tự do cánh sải mênh mông


hơn dòng lạc củi rêu sông nước tù

đớn đau lòng khói sóng mù


thứ tha con đứa buông phù thế rơi

con xin lỗi mẹ

mẹ ơi… .

Phạm Hiền Mây, the poet born in 1971 in Saigon, Vietnam. The prolific poet speaks, thinks, sleeps, and dreams in Kanji, Lục bát, six-eight syllables. Her poetry can be accessed through all platforms, including Facebook, Amazon, and local and international websites.

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.


    1. Yes and yes, letting go for me have lasted a lifetime.. If I may be the specimen of example, then I survived half of my life through denial. Trying to prove I am worthy of living. Letting go for me is still not an easy task. Thank you for your empathy my friend. Happy and peaceful day to you. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

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