The Field of Yellow Flowers

ngày 21.02.21

Translated by Poet Phạm Doanh

Like a Fairy Tale

I walked down the platform in the windy afternoon
Stay at an unplanned place
Just a whimsical decision
That feels like there’s something compelling
In a place half a world away from my hometown
No acquaintances
The terrain is unknown
Just when the train came to a stop
I scan my eyes around the place
Finding the vast yellow flower field
At the horizon, there was a range of green mountains

I took a quick step dismounting
Between the flow of people getting on and off
When the train whistle sounded to leave the station
I found myself dumbfounded in the middle of the platform
Glancing at the passers-by
Suddenly, the gaze and the sweet smile of a young girl caught my attention
My heart flutters
I approach her to get acquainted
Then voluntarily told her my first and surname
Asking for directions since I’m totally strange
She smiled gently with a lovely sound Yes
Asked where I’ve come from and where do I want to go
I pointed to the field of colorful flowers
“Maybe it keeps me from a remote place.”
Sparkling eyes, she was staring at me
“So do I, that where I live, in the middle of a field of flowers”

The station platform was empty
Late afternoon shade
In small steps, shoulder to shoulder we walked
Where to I did not know
the scent of her hair was extremely close
Mixing with the smell of yellow flowers it was mesmerizing
The sunset gradually descended
sunlight faded away
At the foot of the mountain, the moonlight gradually shone

We kept walking side by side
It seemed she had not said where to go
But I kept silent, no question asked.
Anywhere would be fine with me, nothing was pressing
Just listened to every beat
Of my heart’s flutter, abnormally excited

Just in time, the sound of the crane was crying in the fog
Suddenly we both stopped and turned looking at each other
Her eyes and lips looked inviting
I put my arms tightly around her tender body
She sank into mine, stayed silent, with the sound of crickets singing at night
Lips parted, eyes closed as waiting

Kiss after kiss
The night was endless
When the golden moon brightened the field of flowers
I followed her home
A warm nest on a hillside, next to the shallow river
The yellow moonlight flooded the back garden as well as the front alley
Felt like I was lost in paradise

* * *

I turned around and felt chilly on my shoulder
Hearing the birds chirping outside the window
I reached over but she was not there
Went around looking, only heard the winds calling each other
I searched around for quite some time
Until I discovered a letter with the ink still wet
“When you wake up
Go back to the platform
If it is predestined, we’ll meet again
Just remember
The field of yellow flowers will always be there.”

I had to go back to the windy platform without any regrets
After a magical night in the middle of a flowers field
I wondered if I would get to see her again in the days ahead
Or it was just a floral* dream never to return!
(*a dream in which a succubus appeared, Vietnamese legends)

Sudden Encounter

A wonderful surprise
She set a date with me
From the distant magical field of yellow flowers
Since the farewell note was read in the morning
I always remember and long for
That passionate magical night
Always reminded myself to wait until the next season
That I will come back to find her
When the flower field brilliantly blooms next fall

After a moment of surprise
I hurriedly replied
Darling I’ve waited for so long
As if a leaf in the middle of the current of life
My dear, what is more joyous and exciting than us walking together through life

My letter has been sent a day
She replied, “I’ll see you in the early Autumn
During a business trip.
I will stop by the pine forest”

Waiting for her, I get excited day and night
(Like a young newlywed bride about to go to her husband’s home)

But then it wasn’t long
The leaves became yellow very early
As her promise of the full moon, early autumn
The pine forest joyously greeted her footsteps
By the river
In a pub
Tender afternoon
When the fog is cold
We brought each other home
Talking to each other about love and memories
Holding her in my arms I thought
I were in the same dream of yesteryear.

The night is boundless
Wonderful and sleepless night
Wrapping my arms around her tightly… afraid that she would go away
Although we were drowning in the scent of ecstatic love
But when the sun is up high
She again said goodbye

I was speechless, unable to say anything
She were not to sway even if I wanted to
Farewell with countless bonds
I promise her to meet again in the flower field
She didn’t say anything
Looking at the vast void
Then shook her head slightly
Looking down and walked away
Smooth as a flower boat* leaving the dock
(*Vietnamese flowery way of saying wedding)
With pain in my heart, I recall our encounter
And silently wonder
“Any chance we’ll see each other once again?”

A Farewell Again

Seeing you off I feel the sadness in a hurry
A word of love, why could not say it without hesitation
in the blue sky, white clouds are also lingering
Drifting through the autumn garden full of yellow leaves

We’ve just met, now already in different paths
and this afternoon, it’ll be miles and miles apart
the heart is still throbbing
but your silhouette will be a hundred miles separated

Seeing you off, I listen to the meridians of melancholy
Which is about to burst with tears in the sunlight
On the way back, the flowers and leaves are thoughtful
standing bewildered in the golden autumn color

Everyone knows the fleeting realm of life
No one knows where our love is destined
Who does not expect a lasting love
Despite the distance between the two horizons.

Seeing you off, suddenly my heart is full of uncertainties
Could this be the last time?
What will we do with amnesia and memories
when the barren trees are facing the fog and wind

knowing that we will be in two desolate parts of the world
Thinking of each other on single pillow and blanket*
(*Vietnamese paraphrase of being lonesome)
In the hope we got another chance
like heaven and earth saying goodbye to winter and welcoming back spring.

The Field of Yellow Flowers

Suddenly I miss it
Want to get in touch and ask her
Is the field of yellow flowers of yesteryear
now in the windy season?
Watching the autumn moon gives me many associations
A lonely silhouette is looking up to the sky

The flower field has started a love story
When I unexpectedly got off a train
In the middle of the windy season,
In the middle of a moon season.
Later I used to tell her if it was not destiny
Why did she wait in the middle of the windy afternoon station while not picking anyone up.

I walked down and you stood there
Hair messed up, flaps of your dress fluttered
I was startled to think about a fairy stories
Then our eyes gazed at each other without speaking
Losing my self-control, I approached her to ask
“I am a stranger and would like to ask you for direction”

A start like that but it was wonderful
She smiled and nodded friendly
Leaving the station in the afternoon
I followed her as if destiny arranged
Through the field of yellow flowers
Our mellow steps
Wind-ridden and quiet space
Walking side by side like going to infinity
Under the bright moon in the autumn

We both suddenly turned to look at each other
As if to listen to
The heartbeats in chilly guts
Her fainted body has failed into my arms
Parting her lips waited for a passionate kisses
In the middle of the field of yellow flowers
Under the splendid autumn moon
We came together like in a dream
What’s about the future nobody knew

Still just a life story
After the separation there will be a reunion
But between she and I something doesn’t seem to match
So the yearning keeps growing

Autumn has returned
The fallen leaves cover the yard
The eyes still earn for each other in both places
For the field of yellow flowers every windy season
The autumn moon still lingers on high sky
Thinking of her
My guts tighten
Between the sonata of “Both ends of nostalgia”(*)

(*) Music by Phan Huynh Dieu

Late Blooming Mimosa

Sitting with cross legs and watch the falling yellow leaves
Fluttering heart, butterflies in the belly
How happy it would be if I was a bird
Spreading the wings to fly toward the dream sky

Heavenly blue sky and gorgeous sea at your place
There is a crescent moon shining where you sit
and a moon where we used to walk side by side
The beach is empty in a late autumn afternoon

Sitting with bend knees and watch the darkness falling down
Heart puzzled like a loose rope
Fragile life is like a cotton-rose hibiscus
Blooming in the morning and to wither in the evening

There are times when I look at the waning moon
Heart flutters, heartbeats resounding
How many times were we full of joy
But the buds of separation is always at hand

I have lived a life of regret
Then honey, please don’t add any more
Dreams and illusions make the memory more enduring
The further away from my love the drier am I

Although knowing that tomorrow the sun will rise again
This earth… even though slowly, still spinning
I try to sing the love song as light as cloud
But hear my soul echo on this one side

How many times I’ve nibbled on the sadness
Looking forward to a miracle
A chance for us to meet again
When tossing and turning in memories in the dark

How many times did the heart feel confused
I wish to forget but it is not easy to forget
Always remember the moonlit night
The vibrations of the first encounter

Succulent lips on the moonlit road that day
Memories when saying goodbye
The separation has made the days become lengthy
The greater the expectation, the more hopeless you will feel.

Remembering The Legendary Love

The landscape is in mid-Autumn
Yellow leaves scattering
In the morning I get up to go to work
Racing the car in the cold mist
Suddenly I remember the field of yellow flowers
And the legendary love in the past

No more yearning, and dating
But sweet memories built up gradually over the years
Oh so nice was the romantic love
Which left in me a lot of unbearable regrets

My heart is throbbing
Kept wondering what I don’t know
Why we were suddenly separated
Just because we both are living too far
There were nothing difference after we’ve dated many times?
After how many passionate times of taking and receiving
You and I were not just grownups
Live fast love madly then easy to turn the back
Not betraying each other, not even being angry
Not a regret at all
But we felt apart though
Now thinking about each other just to pity ourselves

At the times we met
When you were happy
I asked why that day
You were on the station platform in the windy afternoon
As if just to wait for me even though we’ve never met before
But every time you just ignored the question
Then peered into the void

That time I had planned
To take a long trip
But when the train stopped at that station
I stepped down, though not planned
I thought it was only natural
But then there were many things I didn’t understand
Why were you there
Where have you come from
Why we felt in love with each other so quickly
We’ve created a wonderful encounter
The more I think about it, the more I miss you
But once the swallow had flown away
It’s hard to know where about

The road are getting more crowded with cars
And the air is getting colder with every kilometer
Soon the car arrives at the office
Another day of sadness in the rhythm of life.

Flowers Bloom Off-Season

Suddenly I received a message
“Pick me up at the airport”
I looked out in shock
Fading sunray still lingers
On the withered grass, on the barren branches,
Suddenly I am like petrified
It’s real or I’m dreaming
Looking up to the high blue sky
A few clusters of white cloud float non-chalantly in the mid-afternoon

How many years has it been
We are apart from each other
I was not prepared to meet you this day
Like a warm sunray for a cold winter day
I’m thrilled with bustling joy
Driving as a race opposit with tree and bushes along the road

Sunset surrounds when I arrive at the airport
There were many passers-by at the door
Look around to find the girl
Of the field of yellow flowers, who has disappeared for a long time

Nobody says a word
Except for the eyes expressing a thousand words of love
Embracing each other but I still disbelieve
Like a dream of a wonderful spring

I take her to the river side pub
The place we’ve visited several times in the past
Sitting by the river
You cling on me like a misletoe
Look up and smile at me
For years that flower bud has still been very fresh
And as sweet as ever

The wine glasses are emptying up, the autumn moon is waning
I bring her to the place for staying
The many yearnings repaid to my darling
The night to receive the passionate love storm
I thought we’d talk a lot when we meet again
But together, words are suddenly unneeded

The translucent moonlight penetrates the branches and leaves
She rested her head on my shoulders like a sleepy cat
Saying nothing
I kept thinking qiuetly
Since I met her it’s been full of surprises
Well, just treat the love like a poem
Like a field of yellow flowers in the windy afternoon
She is there and I am there
Walking side by side until the Autumn vanishes.