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Four poems of Ngu Yên translated by SLTA

From the selection:
Colors From The Dead’s Eyes
(Màu Sắc Từ Mắt Người Chết)

Color of Assassination

 "Death" is always present with "Life,"
but often, forge something
familiar to everyone.

Then turns up in the word "accident."
It appears slowly in the word "sick."
It flashes last in the word "breathless."

"Death" is not a twin with "Life,"
not lovers, not friends,
not acquaintances either.

"Dead" is the murderer.
It finds "Life" for assassinate.

"Death" always kills "Life" at the right time,
before "Living" discovers the truth.

Color of Soul

A truck rushed down
from a high slope
collided with a gray Toyota car
in a town that appeared to be a forest.
A black buffalo collided
with a gray wolf
who flew high, falling
and flipping a few times.

I expected to be in excruciating pain,
weeping miserably.
But I stood up expressionlessly.
The hunter had no gun,
gazed at the buffalo and the wolf
Who killed them?

A soul is a miniature version of God,
It never hurts,
never knows how to cry
in the next life,
which appears to be a vast forest.

Color of Grilled Funeral Homes

Every barbecue smells like death.
The restaurant passionately burns a mass of meat in the fire.
No restaurant has a name: Hell.
The restaurant is a funeral home where they burn animals.
Dead meat buries in the stomach,
liquefying into the blood.
Every barbecue is scented.
Nobody calls it the odor of death.
To evade committing “living,”
caller: “fresh” meat.
Fresh meat is dead meat.

The funeral home serves as a restaurant
where they grilled people.
So who are the dinners?
Devils or deities?
 

All funeral homes have chimneys,
captured out of the cremated rooms,
the stink of barbecue.


Color of Sad Corpses

Every single corpse looks sad
in a coffin or anywhere.

Within the living world,
one is useless
before he has a chance to prove his success.
All decent people have wrong behavior.

Any accomplishment can lead to disappointment.
There is a place of boredom in any desire.

There’s waste in any youth.
There’s always repentance for old age.
All morality has guilt in it.
In great intelligence, there is blindness.

There is no excellent truth or no little truth.
Only one truth in mirrors produces many realities.

All that one knows or does not remember,
the void will take them all forever.
All that is most loving has a reason to be hated.
Anything truthful has a false covering.

Such are the reasons
why the corpses all looked sad.
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Submitted on March 31, 2021

2:12 min read
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Ngu Yên

Ngu Yên, pen name of Nguyen Hien Tien, was born in 1952 in Kim Chau Binh Dinh, South Vietnam. Great, according to Nha Trang. Mature in Saigon. Law and Literature student. He arrived in the United States in April 1975, currently residing in Houston, Texas. He also self translates his works into English. His works appeared on Vietnamese magazines of literature in US, Canada, Australia, and French, such as Văn Học Magazine (US), Hợp Lưu Magazines (US), Văn Magazines (US), Việt Magazine (Australia), Quê Mẹ (French), Làng Văn Magazine (Canada). His works also appeared on Vietnamese literary Websites, such as damau.org (Us), gio-o.com (Us), tienve.org (Australia), diendan. forum (French), vanviet.info (Vietnam.) It displays his published books on Amazon and Academia.edu. Ngu Yên's Website: https://tiennguyen228.academia.edu/research https://www.literaturebyngu-yen.com/ more…

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