TO YOSEMITE

THINKING BACK TO VIETNAM

 

 

To visit picturesque Yosemite, here I came

Just by becoming an exile being affected;

I looked at this scenery of universal fame

Upon which from my heart I sadly reflected.

 

Oh, this land in this corner of plain mirth

Over this far-away Pacific Ocean shore!

Any unusual things in the entrails of the earth

That send my sobbing soul sinking in sore?

 

How great mountains and rivers: this version!

But, why is it to differ from this glitter

So that suddenly I felt on a mere excursion

A confusing mixture of blithe and bitter?

 

My native home Nature had favored its flag

Nearly five thousand years to fly in its domain.

Alas! Who began to render it a tattered rag?

Its subjects scattered, sulking, suffering pain!

 

People have flocked to Yosemite here,

Each a contentment receiver and a peace giver.

Plants and trees, birds and beasts: clear sphere;

No cause to worry, fear, hesitate, shiver.

 

You may express to one another each view:

No police cordons on your way, the heavy load.

Everybody would stop and wait as due

For the tiny squirrel carefree to cross the road.

 

Night after night your sleep comes securely,

All right for you, honey, and for me too.

Life is wide and smooth like dreams to surely

Increase sounds and colors all the time through.

 

One nurtures of happiness a good sense

Obviously on his or her own face to tomorrow.

His talk and her smile need not be a pretense;

Your foreheads are not furrowed by sorrow.

  

Although for a brief moment here I came,

I did bear a grief for my old nationís sake.

Such high sky and deep waters are the same,

But just pondering over it makes my heart ache.

 

No difference, yet why in this strange world

Life has incessantly offered its open arms

While my left-behind Vietnam is swirled

Down into misery by the evil that only harms.

 

Well, Yosemite! I have already come here,

This beautiful site, from such a dark chapter.

I think back to my former country dear

And crave for a near future filled with rapture.

 

                 Translation by THANH-THANH