How could you know the suffering in my life,

The sadness that impregnates around

Even each blade of grass on any mound,

Each breath of air that wafts by my side?

In the dark alley of my autumn soul

I am crying without anybody to condole.


How could you know about

The untruthfulness in your existence to garble:

Immovable like a trite block of marble

To let each step turning strange and fading out

Since in life you have parted our route.


How could you be aware

Of the bitterness that I taste?

Missing you until the last hour of my fate:

Love still means to betray any swear.

Compassion upon myself I take,

Being a lost-in-the-horizon cloud to bear.


How could you figure out

The mendacity in your brain?

As from a bit of foam in some light rain,

A shade of sorrow in some wandering cloud,

You faked oblivion and averted your glance:

I looked away in an embarrassed stance.

You shattered my happiness whole,

I burnt the send-off incense in my soul.


How could you see it clear

The cemetery in my deep heart

With flowers falling down tattered all  year

Like petals of grief falling down to life’s yard

When the leaves leave the branches bare

Like tired arms having to loosen the embrace.

Chagrin spreads with each of my narrow pace,

I am crying without anybody’s care.


I am crying alone,

How could you get it learned?

In solitude I moan:

My vital cause has been finally away burned,

And my soul too with far-away clouds swirled.



      Vietnamese poem by HUỲNH NGỌC ĐIỆP

      English translation by THANH-THANH