DAVID LAN PHAM, F.A.B.I.
The traveller walks heavily
On the deserted old path.
The flaming sunlight fades;
Light seems to pass fast.
The path appears to be asleep,
The branch of the flame tree (1) dead.
The old friends are no longer seen.
Neither are the old sites and wandering people.
The graves are covered with withered grass.
The dead rest in peace.
People struggle for life
In sowing carnage and hatred.
The church is fallen.
Human virtues decline.
The evening bell of repentance
Dissipates in faded sunlight.
The awry door of the school
Closes all the streams of thoughts
In offering wide overture
To wilderness, darkness, and fatal destiny.
The trellis of honeysucker falls down,
Its white blossoms are not yet withered.
They try to survive
To exhale their fragrance in the moonlight.
The rhymes of the old poems
Disappeared many years ago.
In their place are the songs
Calling for bloodshed and separation.
The lonely traveller
Is leaving at sunset
On the endless path,
Trying to find the first hope light.
Phạm Đình Lân, F.A.B.I.
(1) Flame tree: royal poinciana (E), flamboyant (Fr.) Scientific name:
Delonix regia, Family: Caesalpinaceae.
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