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ThanhThanh NhuanLe

Under the Purple Flowers

In the purple flowers’ shade
You kissed me the first kiss.
The moon lit its light of jade;
The cicadas sang their song of bliss.

Then, time passed fast and blind;
You went to your studies above
Leaving the purple flowers behind
With such a dreamlike love.

In each letter sent to the old place
You said you still missed this start
With the purple flowers of grace
And this young and true heart.

I have come back each day alone
To see the old flowers obsess
And hear the cicadas groan;
I feel such a vague distress.

[...] Read more

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The Days Dad Got Imprisoned

How harrowing were the days dad got imprisoned:
Mom could hardly sleep, got her eyes wet, rings wizened.
Gnawing the tiny rootstock Mom spared for me: how sad!
I was so hungry, dad!

The cow feces I bore on my head across the river,
Wetted, dripped from the basket, salted my lips.
The heartless stream was still flowing to make me shiver.
Oh dad! such storms had risen to break life into chips.

After the flood, mom dried the damp hay nearly kaput;
Humping her back, she carried on either slender shoulder
The burden of family responsibility, bareheaded, barefoot;
She staggered, listlessly calling for dad, the householder...

Months had thus slipped away, and years gone by;
Mom still hid and rested her life in thatch, straw and slime.
I concealed my youth in such sadness as the immense sky,
Shouldering my days struggling to drain the sea of time.

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Thank You, America!

Thank you, America! for rescuing us from hell,
Humble humans deprived of all rights to life.
In our old country our enemies cruelly quell
Laborers, intellects, revolutionaries, monks alike.

Thank you, America! for teaching us systematism
By which military is only a part of attribution.
In our late republic existed militarism
Causing dictatorship to erode the constitution.

Thank you, America! for the example to settle
The difference between politics and religion.
In our poor nation the priests did meddle
In worldly powers, and it was mutual demolition.

Thank you, America! for granting us medium
To develop our bodies and expand our minds.
In our left-behind state there is no freedom
To work and enjoy, think and express any kinds.

[...] Read more

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