UNALLAYABLE LONGING 

 

I have not returmed to Trung Phuoc to revisit 

My native land, for almost forty years since I left it 

To get tired of exploring various places that enthrall 

But with so many failures and not less rise and fall. 

                                                                                                 

How lovable is the rough and sinuous village way, 

Green bamboo hedges, pigeons cooing at midday! 

The jackfruits' smell portends they are ripe soon, 

Crows call, summer noon hammocks hum croon. 

 

The band of grey clouds covers Ca Tang Mountain 

To have a bumper crop of Ba Trang rice brings rain. 

The paddy fragrance nurtures love of native soil nice, 

Bamboo trees wither, showers urge sprouts to rise. 

 

North-easterly wind blows Winter door chink thru, 

Kitchens exhale the smell of popcorn tasty to chew. 

Huddled, looking out of the windowframe tight 

Rain and rain... people crave for a bit of sunlight. 

 

How I long for my motherland myriad miles away 

With the lofty Ca Tang Mountain imposing display, 

The quiet Thu Bon River's flow provides for tillage, 

Half a day by ferry-boat to reach my Mom's village. 

 

I still delay my promise to get back to those of old, 

Fearing not to see my concurrent generation of fold. 

Here I use bitter alcohol over nostalgia to mourn 

While back home my peers lump it feeling forlorn. 

 

                  Translation by THANH-THANH