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Trinh Cong Son – Mot Coi Di Ve

Composer: Trinh Cong Son
English Title: A Place to Leave from and Return to
Translated By: Gigi

For many years I have wandered
Going around in circles, growing weary
On my shoulders the sun and the moon
Lighting a lifetime, a place to leave from and return to

What words are from trees, what words are from the grass
One afternoon of pleasure, one life that is light
A day passes
First spring decays, then summer withers as well
One early autumn, one hears horses returning
To a place far away

Clouds cover overhead and the sun hangs on shoulders
My footsteps walk away, the river stays behind
From the spirit of love comes a sudden calling
Within myself a human shadow appears

This rain I'm hearing reminds me of the rain long ago
It falls within me, one small drop after another
Years without end and never a reunion
One doesn't know which place is home

Roads twist around a circle of misery and sadness
On one side is budding grass, on the other dreams
Of the past
Each sunset's call is also from the grave
In the river stream one hears the call
Of the ocean

While I return I remember myself leaving
I climb the high mountains, cross the wide-open sea
My arms have not yet covered the span of the world
In the spring of life a desolate wind blows

Today I drink for life and stay up late
Tomorrow I regret the springtime I have lost.

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  1. Man’s Ephemeral Asylum – Mot Coi Di Ve
    (Tribute to music composer/singer Trinh Cong Son)

    endless years gone by
    i’m still strolling around
    reaching nowhere in this wearing life
    on my shoulders
    sunshine and moonlight
    shining for one hundred years
    throughout my journey in human’s ephemeral asylum

    rhythms o foliage ‘n tempos o exotic grass
    rolling in my confused mind
    sitting motionless in an afternoon
    how delicate life is!
    days flown by
    spring had already left
    summer’s just passed by
    then galloping sounds of early autumn
    echoed from afar

    cloud hanging over my head
    ‘n sunshine on shoulders
    i keep dragging both tiring feet ahead
    leaving many streams and rivers behind
    in my obsessive heart….
    vibrated an astonishing call for passionate love
    watching sudden reflection
    of a human shadow
    in my inner mirror

    listening to pounding sounds on a soggy day here
    dreaming of a rainy season somewhere else far away
    now watery drops keep pouring inside myself
    each tiny needle striking against a solo soul
    within one hundred years in the infinite time
    i have yet reached the final destination
    so wondering whereabouts
    o my homeland
    in another world

    running about on a vicious trail
    oh a fatigued round
    dreaming of a newly green path
    ‘n the youthful wonders
    of the past

    each word at sunset
    last words to the tomb
    final eulogy buried into rivers and seas.
    echoed from my past passage
    through small creeks and streams

    while going back home
    i recall my ongoing journey of strolling around
    climbing on high mountains
    sailing to open seas
    in both uncompassionate human hands
    the howling wind has frigidly wiped out
    my youthful time…

    Thao Chuong -Collage artist Viet Tran 2011-10-22

  2. Toi co mot translation tieng Anh mien phi. Day la mot phan nho:
    How many years of wandering about?
    Been here and there, weary of life.
    Lit by the sun and moon shining down,
    A lifetime of years, back to the unknown

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