There, I saw the forest clouds

A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Đức Sơn
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

One day of suffering ripened within me

So I went to the tree and sat down quietly

The durian tree dropped its fruit on the resting water

The surface of the lake shattered in drifting stars

Come on darling, in the thousand years that had passed by

In the moon’s shadow always is my soul

The sky was born that very afternoon so I may

See the forest clouds flying far far away

July 2022

_

Tôi thấy mây rừng

Một ngày đau khổ chín trong tôi

Tôi đến bên cây lẳng lặng ngồi

Cây thả trái sầu trên nước lắng

Mặt hồ tan vỡ ánh sao trôi

Thôi nhé ngàn năm em đi qua

Hồn tôi cô tịch bóng trăng tà

Trời sinh ra để chiều hôm đó

Tôi thấy mây rừng bay rất xa

Thơ Nguyễn Đức Sơn 


Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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.

Seafoam

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

I see life barely as a twenty-year-old

Looking back and forth 

At the heads laden with sorrow ahead

Followed by those with undissolved sadness

/

I see life barely as a twenty-year-old

It intrigued me but I couldn’t laugh

How you would grow up and get married

To then die alone in cold soil

/

I see life barely as a twenty-year-old

Saw the suffocating emptiness across the sky

My father and mother, my family, all around me

But I was alone

/

The hesitant steps on a quiet path

Across the horizon, the explosion of white clouds

My head was low in discerning teardrops

I knew then everything would end in sadness

/

The sea of boredom is vast and wide

Washing out the saddest of moments

Gosh the sleepless nights discerning the distance

The emptiness returning from four corners of the world

/

I see life barely as a twenty-year-old

Sometimes dreaming high

Sometimes times sad for far-fetched reasons, not mine

Knowing all shall perish, all shall end

/

To love still when my parents were gone

To discern sadness still in yearning 

But my love will never be constant

My apologies to those I love

/

Yes, my love will never be enough

Since everything is nothing but sea bubbles

Yes, everything is nothing but bubbles in the sea

—–

April 2022

Bọt nước

Tôi dòm đời khi tuổi sắp hai mươi

Nhìn trước nhìn sau thấy rõ ràng

Những người đi trước sầu đeo nặng

Những người đi sau sầu không tan

/

Tôi dòm đời khi tuổi sắp hai mươi

Thấy hay hay nhưng làm sao cười

Như chuyện lớn lên rồi có vợ

Cuối đời về đất lạnh nằm xuôi

/

Tôi dòm đời khi tuổi sắp hai mươi

Thấy vắng tan hoang ngụt đất trời

Cha mẹ anh em còn đông đủ

Mình tôi sao mối sầu không nguôi

/

Ngập ngừng chân bước con đường vắng

Mây trắng bay lên oà đất trời

Tôi cúi đầu nghe mình nhỏ lệ

Biết chuyện gì rồi cũng buồn thôi

/

Rộng biển trời ơi cái chán chường

Nhạt phèo cả những mối sầu vương

Ôi từng đêm thức nghe xa vắng

Về ngập trong hồn tự bốn phương

/

Tôi dòm đời khi tuổi sắp hai mươi

Đôi lúc còn mơ chuyện trên trời

Đôi lúc còn buồn chuyện xa xôi

Khi biết trước sẽ lui về huỷ diệt

/

Vẫn biết thương nếu cha mẹ chết

Vẫn thấy sầu khi nhớ người yêu

Nhưng tình tôi thì vẫn không đều

Biết sao được hỡi người tôi mến

/

Vâng tình tôi thì cũng không nhiều

Coi tất cả chỉ là bọt nước

Vâng tất cả chỉ là bọt nước.

Thơ Nguyễn Đức Sơn 


Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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.

Phương Bối at the end of autumn

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

Noon waiting alone for someone to turn up

But heaven and earth were neither up nor down

Fell from high up the hill was one guava

The worms devoured one side while I did the other

—–

April 2022

Cuối thu ở Phương Bối

Trưa đứng một mình đợi ai lên

Đất trời đâu có dưới và trên

Đồi cao ổi sót rụng một trái

Dòi ăn một bên ta một bên.

Thơ Nguyễn Đức Sơn 

source: nhatbaovanhoa.com


Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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.

In my personal experience

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

Composing poetry’s no different from chopping wood

Saying it out loud might upset quite a few people

All you have to do is put on a pair of shorts and bend over

So if something happened to fall on you, you could simply flick it off

—–

April 2022

Kinh nghiệm riêng

Mần thơ ôi giống hệt bửa củi

Nhưng nói ra nhiều người sẽ tủi

Nên mặc quần đùi đứng khom lưng

Có gì rớt vô ta dễ phủi

thơ Nguyễn Đức Sơn


Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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.

It’s all wrong

A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Đức Sơn
Translator: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

It’s all wrong

Without the devil

How could there be a God

And that’s a truth of this World

No matter how you look at it, it’s all wrong

—–

April 2022

Tất cả đều trật lất

Nếu không có quỷ ma

Khó bề thấy được Phật

Đó là sự thật của Trái Đất

Nhưng nghĩ cho cùng tất cả đều trật lất

thơ Nguyễn Đức Sơn


Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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.

C’est la vie

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

A maimed cricket

With rickety wings

No one cared about

The Ants were all over it at one summer’s end

All alone in this ugly World

Dead amongst the bamboo shoots

—–

April 2022

Cảnh đời

Có một con dế què

Cánh mòn đập rè rè

Không ai nghe

Kiến bu trần trụi cuối hè

Một mình trên Trái Đất màu mè

Nằm chết trong lùm tre

Thơ Nguyễn Đức Sơn 


Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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.

A puddle of holy water

A poem in Vietnamese by Nguyễn Đức Sơn
Translation: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A puddle of holy water

babe, I will come unannounced

dry mouth and the point of ecstasy farfetched 

a night in the bushes in the foetal position

you’ve yet peed and my spirit was already wet

—–

April 2022

Vũng nước thánh 

anh sẽ đến bất ngờ ai biết trước

miệng khô rồi nẻo cực lạc xa xôi

ôi một đêm bụi cỏ dáng thu người

em chưa đái mà hồn anh đã ướt

(in trong tập “Đêm nguyệt động”)


source thivien.net

Nguyễn Đức Sơn, the poet was born on November 18, 1937, in Du Khanh village, Thanh Hai district, Ninh Thuan province, originally from Thua Thien Hue. He began writing poetry very early with the pen name Sao Trên Rừng, and other pen names like Sơn Núi. On the morning of June 11, 2020, passed away at the age of 83.

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.

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