Chen-ou Liu, CA






banked clouds
trailing away in dawn sky...
cries of a stray dog



rainbow balloons
darting across azure sky;
frowning faces dragged home



in crooked icicles...



sleep in Taipei
but wake up in Ajax...
autumn dawn



a cuckoo in a clock…
time winds me up



barren moors walking in the sound of footsteps



iris in bloom half stiffening half melting away



scooping autumn moon from the still river





my heart will be torn
by the three thousand miles
between us, I plea
we still gaze upon the same moon
you smile playfully



smoke weaves
its way through backyards…
it's easier
for smoke to cross fences
between neighbors



stains form lines
as my head
weighs upon
this fluffy page
pillow book



eyes wide open
face twisted
beads upon the forehead
from anguish strung
everyone aboard!



a thousand
lines of blank verse
get tangled
in the narrative threads
of my angst



to escape
from the pit of darkness
the butterfly
flaps its wings
so does my mind



10 km
under the summer sun
we’re grilled
on the 401 in Toronto



sparrows of St. Paul Plaza
filling the sky
no eye on sparrows?



Tanka Sequence


Birth of a Tanka


a plastic bag
whirled by the wind
struggling in mid-air
a tanka is conceived
at that sight

writing tanka
four lines sound perfect
yet I struggle
to write a fifth
to perfect my tanka

my anguish
crumbled into a ball
I continue to write
as the wastebasket waits
for one more throw

days slip by
minute by minute
hour after hour
a tanka is born
yet my life withers



Life on the GO


towards the opened door
I’m pushed by GO riders
sadness comes
and helps shut me in

a maple leaf
drifts through the window
and lands on me
I, too, have wandered
from my natural path

getting off the train
I drag myself to the place
I live
no one for company
traffic sounds cheer me along


(Note: GO Transit is an inter-regional public transit system in Southern Ontario, Canada)






accidentally stepping on

my neighbor's shadow
he yells at me, illegal alien

I see
Canada geese fly over
their route, my roots



no wine left tonight

my Zen mind
filled with moonlight

the chattering
of stars
has aged





as night deepens

what the day has woven
unravels in fleeting dreams

as dawn breaks
my hands loosely hold
fringes from the past


Cherita*: A narrative short verse form derived from the haiku and tanka traditions









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