THINKING BACK TO VIETNAM
visit picturesque Yosemite, here I came
by becoming an exile being affected;
looked at this scenery of universal fame
which from my heart I sadly reflected.
this land in this corner of plain mirth
this far-away Pacific Ocean shore!
unusual things in the entrails of the earth
send my sobbing soul sinking in sore?
great mountains and rivers: this version!
why is it to differ from this glitter
that suddenly I felt on a mere excursion
confusing mixture of blithe and bitter?
native home Nature had favored its flag
five thousand years to fly in its domain.
Who began to render it a tattered rag?
subjects scattered, sulking, suffering pain!
have flocked to Yosemite here,
a contentment receiver and a peace giver.
and trees, birds and beasts: clear sphere;
No cause to worry, fear, hesitate, shiver.
may express to one another each view:
police cordons on your way, the heavy load.
would stop and wait as due
the tiny squirrel carefree to cross the road.
after night your sleep comes securely,
right for you, honey, and for me too.
is wide and smooth like dreams to surely
sounds and colors all the time through.
nurtures of happiness a good sense
on his or her own face to tomorrow.
talk and her smile need not be a pretense;
foreheads are not furrowed by sorrow.
for a brief moment here I came,
did bear a grief for my old nationís sake.
high sky and deep waters are the same,
just pondering over it makes my heart ache.
difference, yet why in this strange world
has incessantly offered its open arms
my left-behind Vietnam is swirled
into misery by the evil that only harms.
Yosemite! I have already come here,
beautiful site, from such a dark chapter.
think back to my former country dear
crave for a near future filled with rapture.
Translation by THANH-THANH