past seeing to fear

A poem in Vietnamese by Lê Vĩnh Tài
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

I walk around there

around I walk you

fear of seeing past

past seeing to fear

the cracks on walls

walls the cracks are on

your fear of what

fear what is yours

end with us all

with us all end

could possibly find

within the cracks

when will the door open

open door will when

the gourd is shattered

the one crawling out

out crawling the one

blood by the day cold

turn into the people


tôi đi vòng quanh

vòng tôi đi bạn

sợ phải nhìn qua

qua nhìn phải sợ

vết nứt trên tường

tường trên vết nứt

bạn sợ những gì

sợ gì những bạn

cuối cùng chúng ta

cùng ta chúng cuối

có thể tìm thấy

từ trong vết nứt

khi nào cửa mở

cửa mở khi nào

quả bầu bị vỡ

những kẻ chui ra

chui ra những kẻ

máu ngày càng lạnh

hóa thành nhân dân



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

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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