Sa Mộc – Phạm Vân Anh (Chapter 7 – end)


Hoarfrost strings across the cliff make things go numb

Tingling spring valley awaits your footstep

Patrol among immense on-going season

Hat off to salute the ceremonial soldier of Northern pass

Leaves waving across the pass

We march and sing

Make the ground warm for every patrol step

Sky scatters light in love for clouds

Fountain loves the mossy green watershed

Walking by empty path

Hasten slope…

Then pass…

Afternoon is thin of pan-pipe sound

Mother stirs up fire

Child swoops into warmth

Father gives spice

Child drinks up fermented words

For lives, the ancestors have seized the rock

Without border, without home land we become mendicant

The intellectual philosophy of mountains and forests is simple as that


Sound of junglefowl

Urge the foot to be tiredless

Gun tip rises to the sky’s summit

Sweats on the silent green shirt

Corn and rice blossom

Mother land is bright brown

The sun is out of reach

Blurry blue dew floats along faded mountain shadow
Patrols along the vast fumigated season
This spring step carves on spring

Rocky slope of thousand turns, thousand peaks

Could not stop the leg stepping on floating clouds

Though the cold icy rain is intense

Under tempest, the naked chest is ready

The soldier just as that forest tree

Firm root and fresh branch overcome harshness


Drink mountain’s breath to green

Dyed with forest sap to vivid


Empty post hanged in whirlwind

Night by night, thought the mountain shakes

In the Two thousand summit the kitchen’s fire head isn’t warm

Miss the freezing sweet Northern wind

Miss the bitter smeech Laos wind

Miss the off-shore wind that soaked of saltiness

Miss the forest path where comrades stick together

January, a grouchy old man

sew the sky with dry branches

Next to me in a cold watch

Cunninghamia cheers

Carves in the sky the proud eagle wings

Pride along four lonely seasons


Somebody has always thought that the border is only green forest

Not knowing an outpost of burning sunshine

Hillful of balm-cricket shaked of sound

A sharp pain inside longing for those back home

Desolated tree left the woods in a hurry

Patrol road disentangles condensed sunshine under hoofbeat

Eases the burning thirst

A water drop shared in a day of getting lost in the forest


Young men that keep the land tonight

Keep the children’s eyes always pure as the sky above the border

Keep the elders’s wise about the root

Protect every single page of the thousand-live epics


Even the moment that has never been told

In the border’s afternoon seeing those who seems familiar yet so strange

Monstrous sunshine draws bands of pink cloud

A platoon whose chest stained with flag’s color

A line of cunninghamia waves across the pass

Solemnly sallutes the milestone

Then flies up, flies up


Border’s road doesn’t count days and months

But counts the color of time on the milestone

What divine is the moment we salute Homeland

Watching mountain shape, river streak defines border of a thousand lives

Recognize traces of fox and civet through smell of dew and cloud

Can tell from a tuft grass whether human footprint or animal’s

Touch a mark left on the milestone

Feels hurt!

Border’s road doesn’t tell story of now and then

But tells the story of everytime the forest shooks

The howl resounds through forest slope, fountain’s deep

Call the entire village to unite under the tall house

Comfort words bring freshwater to the field

Convert the lost, reveal the devil

Happy gong to the wind!

Border’s road doesn’t count slope or pass

But counts the white taciturn hamlet in the valley of afar

Counts the slow-burn, warm love of human being

Counts the seed of trust and love in the cold wild of every man’s concern

Of all the classes that been through, of all the house that been made

Of all the rice field that entering harvest season

Unremitting spring dyes the colorful cabbage field

Fresh windy wind blows in hill of the white vernicia montana

Golden bell season roosts on corn husk

A bell for each of children’s school day

Let the blue of rock’s eye rustle


Here, there found a love

In mount’s shape, river’s form

In house after house, roof after roof

In the halo of sun that day by day urges the chicken to crow

In the red-color road that sweeps through eternity

You have to be salt in order to marinade people’s heart

Mother’s word lightens up the forest road

I tried to be a hamlet’s boy so as to see through hamlet’s heart

Tried to be a village’s boy so as to see through village’s heart

Green badge dirted with the hill’s red soil

The fever throws emaciation across the face

Through a hanged strip of dress that forest’s po be understood [1]

Accustomed to mountain’s soul through a tied bunch of leaves

Through traces of leaf on the path there know dangerous threat awaits

Through flying path of bees there came the acknowledgement of shame resilience

Wade in the middle of flowing stream to acknowledge what diligence is
Seeing the mothers who’s for life the forehead strained of lủ cờ, acknowledging the word “content” [2]

Take the village’s heart that wide as the old-growth forest

Endorse hamlet’s heart that truthful as a straw roof

Generousity is our village’s corn

Tear a handful of sour pig’s ear rolls longing the leguminous scaffold

Pick a bunch of amla longing the fruit of baccaurea

I miss the way father fixes roof tile as seeing the tilted tall house

Longing for the rice dried by mother as seeing the sleepy sun

Touch the stunning chrysanths color

Red-whiskered bulbul noisily calls summer

Has the sun golden straw, lotus blossomed?


A hundred-domain country arouses

Which arousal can be as of tonight’s words of entrust

Bee’s flying path is flower path honey path

Carve on space so real a concept

Which road is resiliently sweet as border’s heart

Nursing in memory the river station of childhood

to love more ferocious waterfalls

A running layered of rock, an underground ravine urge us to hold tight the gun…

Protect the aquifer to construct nature

A beloved hamlet’s name making us strong

Build mountain’s deep trenches, setting up people’s heart battleground

An i-t class of throbbing sound of the olds and youngs[3]

Name another new lecture

A flap of cress, a bunch of

The youth thirst for devotion

Empty post of thousand stars where our heart warmth of earth

Nostalgic young chest touches the smell of Home land

Far border land, don’t you mind stepping up

There’re arrival for every departure

Mount festival is leisurely held

There’re longing for every time we love

Border land‘s nature is vast and wide

Wanders through land of epics

Calls a-thousand-year floating cloud

Cunninghamia in a cold night at the post

Stays up with this nature!

[1] When people of Mong hang white dress on fences, people of Thai tie leaves and hang in front of the house, that’s a signal for the family having something going on and currently not available for guests.

[2] A type of basket used to carry food, a farming tool specialized for women to lean the straps on the   forehead and carry on the back

[3] Translator note: i-t class is a term for classes opened to solve illiteracy. Teaching people the basic alphabet. Occurred during the period after the Vietnamese revolution against the French in 1945.

What do you think?

Written by Trúc Anh

Vietnamese, English, Thai, Chinese

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Truyện ngắn của nhà văn Uzbekistan: Sherzod Artikov