Poems by Duong Khau Luong from Vietnam

About the author:

Duong Khau Luong was born in 1964 in Ban Hon, Banh Trach, Ba Be, Bac Kan province. He is ethnic Tay. Currently, he is the Chairman of Bac Kan Provincial Literature and Arts Association. He has published 10 poetry collections and received 9 central and local awards.

Mountains playing football

The sun is like a ball

Two mountain friends play together

The friend from the east mountain kicks the ball

The ball flies into the sky


Just one game is done

The day fades away

The friend from the western mountain leaves

Waiting until tomorrow to play again.


My village

My village is nestled in the mountains

There are only a few houses

Running around for a while

It’s the whole village.


My village is small

But our hearts are generous

Whether regular or unfamiliar guests

All are welcomed.


The village has four roofs

Spreading its wings of happiness

The stairs are always waiting

Friends come to visit.


Please come up

And visit my village.


Then singing

Is Then made of wind?

So singing and flying away

Is Then made of flowers?

So every word is beautiful

Then voice is so sweet.


More fragrant than wild honey

Hearing the sound of Then, longing to hold it

Tucking Then into my pocket

Bringing it home and listening forever.


To call cows to the barn

Come back, cows!

Let the barn not be empty

Come back to stay warm

Don’t sleep in the forest


Lest you get wet in the rain

Leaches might cling to your legs

The striped tiger might capture you

Come back, cows!


Squirrel and dracontomelon tree

A squirrel climbs up a dracontomelon tree

While picking dracontomelons, it sings:

– Hey dracontomelon tree!

You have ripe dracontomelons


You smell so fragrant

I eat dracontomelons

I drop your seeds back to the root

Tomorrow, they grow dracontomelon trees again.


Low mountain

The mountain is still small

It is low

But the mountain is remarkable

In its ability to accomplish many tasks.


The low mountain aids the mother mountain

Carrying streams and planting trees

Weaving the tapestry of the mountains

Each day, becoming greener.


The small mountain assists the father mountain

Shielding against storms, wind, and fog

In the mountains, across four seasons

Birds sing and dance.


Yet, one might pity the mountain

Standing steadfast all year round

Unable to wander like me

Attending school to learn and read.


Throwing cotton ball game in Spring

In a high pillar of cotton ball game

A red bullseye circle

Resembling the crimson sun

Hovering atop the peak

Awaiting the arrival of the cotton balls


Your cotton ball ascends

Mine descends

Like a flock of swallows

Circling, seeking the bullseye


In skillful hands 

Cotton balls glide through the red circle

The bullseye acts as the gateway

Welcoming the fortune of spring.


Once a year, during Tet,

The cotton ball throwing game commences,

No matter where you roam, recall

The spring festival in our hometown.

(Translated into English by HFT)

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