The bird from an ancient highland

Thank you anh LVT for sowing the seeds in my garden. My garden is now an Eden of blooming glorious words of my motherland, the consuming enrichment of the vernacular of my adopted country. 

Thank you for being a part of my life my dear friend.             

Trâm


The bird from an ancient highland carries a seed across the seas—

+

China

Banda

Arafura (glancing left barely at the Coral Sea)

+

On the biggest flattest island drops

A fluke in her garden grew—

the A, B and Cs

M for LVT

22 May 2019


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.

Your wit my lady is my downfall

A poem by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
Art: a portrait of Phan Quỳnh Trâm 
     by Đinh Trường Chinh

YOUR WIT MY LADY IS MY DOWNFALL

(a poem inspired by Phan Quỳnh Trâm)


Your wit my lady is my downfall
I’m at your feet
grovelling

I’m your cloak and dagger
use me
please

By this daunting horizon
your eyes are my guiding light
the muscles in my thighs
the air in my ventricles
the fresh air in my mind

You’re measured by nothing at all
the extent of your boundaries
the oxygen in your lungs

They see your shell
Never your hell

The value of love paid
by a currency born of your soul
so behold my love

You are the clear sky
the blissful clouds at dusk
the dust in their eyes.

_____
JULY 2021



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.

you are the embodiment of text

you are the embodiment of text
a bag of desiccated bones
scraping against each other
rattling

calling for flesh
– stick a needle in me
give be blood

gushing
sticky blood
squishy brain cells
rehydrating

me


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.

you are a beautiful mess

ôi bạn là một mớ hỗn độn tuyệt đẹp
(đừng quên)

một bộ sưu tập cân não hoa mỹ
bạn bầm tím
(quá dễ)
bạn vỡ

“Hồ nghi người lửa là những vừng sao;
Hồ nghi rằng mặt trời di chuyển;
Hồ nghi sự thật dối trá;
Nhưng đừng bao giờ hồ nghi tình yêu ta”

trong giờ tối tăm nhất,
tôi bên bạn
đừng bao giờ hồ nghi
sự bình minh.
_____


you are a beautiful mess
(remember that)

a collection of gorgeous brain cells
nerve endings

you bruise
(so easily)
you break

“Doubt thou the stars are fire;
Doubt that the sun doth move;
Doubt truth to be a liar;
But never doubt I love.”*

in the darkest hour,
I’m with you
doubt never
the dawn.

_____
(17/10/2020)

*W. Shakespeare


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.

with intention, I will trim and cut

A poem by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm
translator: Lê Vĩnh Tài
Photography: Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

tôi sẽ cắt và cắt
hết sức chăm chú
những cành già
lá khô hoa héo
rễ queo

những bông hoa vẫn được tưới đẫm nước

cắt và cắt
chặt và chặt
cho đến khi không còn gì
không còn gì
không có gì

không còn gì sót lại ngoài
tôi

tôi chính là bông hoa đẫm nước
mắt…

_____

with intention I will trim and cut
what sucks all the energy
the dead branches
the rotten roots
the over watered blooms

cut and chop
chop and cut until there’s nothing left
nothing left

nothing left but
me
_____
02012022


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.

Why am I so changeable?

Why am I so changeable?
I change my face
I change my place
I change the state of my fate.

Why such a mundane insignificant query?
Ask me why the water is green
The Sun so mean
Time taking away my sheen.

Ask me why the sky is blue
Why won’t you
Why won’t you stay true?

Why, why, why you ask.

Think.

Maybe I don’t want to be found
I prefer darkness black and sound.
Inward bound.

July 12, 2020


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.

Who am I?

Who am I?

Mother of some guy?
N.n..never think b.b..before I speak
I wear my heart on my sleeve

I see words through other’s eyes
They tell me off, they’re not shy
The thoughts of a woman
Frivolous.

(I’ve just learned about the low flying doves)

The letters falling pretty in the rain
Like when
I was drench
Hence
(Hết hồn thơ.)
_____

Tôi là ai?

Là mẹ của con trai?
Tôi tôi lúc nào cũng thiếu thiếu suy nghĩ
(I wear my heart on my sleeve)

Tôi nhìn chữ qua cặp mắt người ta
Người ta la
Ôi cái đầu óc đàn bà
Phù phiếm.

(tôi mới học được từ điếm)

Chữ đẹp ơi dưới làn mưa
Như ngày xưa
Tắm trong…
Xong
Hết hồn thơ.
_____
JUNE 2020

Tôi thường tự hỏi mình:

Nếu bạn luôn luôn đúng, làm sao bạn biết được mình đã sai?
---

I often ask myself:

If you are always right, how will you know when you're wrong?

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.

When I’m under

Khi ta đã chìm vào trạng thái gây mê

Lúc ta trong bóng tối
Em là nỗi nhớ
Là nắng
Là muối trên trán

Ta phải chấp nhận
quên
hương của gió,
cách dễ dàng
em bước ngang qua thềm
cửa ta.

ta phải
phải không
giữ em
bên cạnh

Trong bóng tối
_____
January 2021

When I’m under

The moment I’m in the darkness
The memory of you
The sunlight on my brows
The salt

I’m to come
to the closure of you
scents of the breeze
the ease
you
walking through
my door.

I must
must I
let you be
by me

In the dark.


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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