Phan Nhiên Hạo | A Guide on how to write (6)

Phan Nhiên Hạo is a Vietnamese-American poet and translator, living in the United States. He was born in Kontum, Vietnam, came to the US in 1991 and now lives in Illinois. — Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm, the poet and translator, born 1971 in Phu Nhuan, Saigon, Vietnam. The pharmacist currently lives and works in Western Sydney, Australia.

Phan Nhiên Hạo | A Guide on how to write (6)

By Phan Nhiên Hạo, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

A guide on how to write


Write as sweetly as a nail is nailed into wood.

Write as fast as the wind through an infected village.

Write as quietly as the coal shimmering slowly in the heart of the earth.

Write with the veracity of a lion about to pounce on its prey.

Write with the care of a ship meandering through a fog in the early light.

Write with the sensitivity of a dragonfly facing a storm.

Write joy upon the sand and connect them.

Write sadness upon the water and wait for the currents to carry them away.

Write loneliness upon a lantern then patiently wait for the candle to completely burnout.

You could write as shortly as you like but don’t forget the verbs,

the stagnation causative of the flooding of each and every punctuation.

Write after the sunset but never upon the rise of the eastern light,

that’s the bewitching hour upon the return of the spirits,

in a hunt for the burnt offerings.

Write as much as possible when drunk then throw it down the river when lucid,

within the inebriation try not to exaggerate.

Write the lost of death but never invite the trumpets,

the kind of music covered in plastic that can but suffocates the dead. 


Write whatever you want but write it probably

at a high melting point the vernacular slithering.

Write with the chill of a winter’s day in Oymyakon.

Write until you’re as sweaty as a day spent in a Dallol summer.

Write like the rolling meadows or New York either is fine,

but don’t wave a stick around, drunks are not blind,

even though they may barely stand up.

rite in desperation but wait for the moon to at least fall upon the church steeple.

Write with hope as though you’re waiting for your wife to give birth in Từ Dũ.

Write as though nothing was ever forgotten like six years ago,

the beautiful woman with twelve fingers in Bangkok.

Write with the imagination of a child,

listening the night long to the call of street vendors.

Write handsomely but avoid the contradicting double meanings.

Write beautifully but avoid the cheap make up.

Write amidst the crowd but independently,

wear around the neck the board “Do not disturb.”

At the square where nameless people were shot down,

note their faces in blood and not wash your hands,

until the bubbling freedom spreads like soap suds,

erases the dirty stain of history.

(October 2021)

Thanks for sharing 💛🌟

Falling, or: Floating

Sevenling (Our daughter fell) Our daughter fell sick last week on Shabbat (Saturday). She had a fever; was coughing heavily; and had no appetite. Our goldfish has taken to resting at the surface of its aquarium; always in the same corner; sometimes tilted a bit sideways. The two spent a lot of time together. The […]

Falling, or: Floating

Thanks for sharing, nice to learn new poetic form 💛

You Can Now Visit The African American History Museum Virtually

Anyone who’s been to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will speak of its elevator ride through time, which takes visitors from the present day to the 15th century and kicks off the first exhibit, Slavery & Freedom. With the launch of a new virtual platform, visitors can now travel on the […]

You Can Now Visit The African American History Museum Virtually

Thx for sharing 💛☕

Happy International Men’s Day 2021

Introduction – International Men’s Day is observed every year on November 19 to celebrate and recognize the socioeconomic, cultural, and political achievements of men. The main purpose of International Men’s Day is to honor the contributions and achievements of men.  This day also honors the contributions of men to society, nation, community, childcare, family, and […]

Happy International Men’s Day 2021

International Men’s Day

Anything or anyone positive from the ranks of men deserves the holiday 💙🎂

11th November: Saint Martin’s Day

Martin of Tours (Latin: Sanctus Martinus Turonensis; 316 – 8 November 397) was the third bishop of Tours. He has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints in France, heralded as the patron saint of the Third Republic, and is patron saint of many communities and organizations across Europe. A native of […]

11th November: Saint Martin’s Day

Thanks for sharing 💛🥨

Generosity, kindnes, childhood memories:

Saint Martin.

Ripples, or: A renga partnership, VII — The skeptic’s kaddish

“The more you know, the more you grow” Before I began writing poetry online last year, I’d never heard of a tanka, let alone a renga. Once I came to understand the concept of a tanka, I started responding to other poets’ haikus on their blogs occasionally, to show my appreciation. I have long been […]

Ripples, or: A renga partnership, VII — The skeptic’s kaddish

Thanks for sharing ✏💛

World Cities Day 2021

My first question would be

Shouldn’t we go back to the country

Combine lifestyles of farm & city

Reduce traffic, more self reliability


Thanks for sharing this, daneelyunus. (Several countries celebrate Halloween now. I didn’t know, there’s a modern day holiday too.) 🧡🍁☕

Introduction – World Cities Day is celebrated every year on October 31 worldwide to encourage the interest of the international community in global urbanization. The main purpose of this day is to push forward cooperation among countries to create opportunities and address the challenges of urbanization globally. This international day is observed with sustainable development […]

World Cities Day 2021

Life throws us challenges|زندگی ما رابه چالش وامی دارد

“91st story” First published: May.16.2019   A donkey worked very hard for an old man for years. The donkey was getting old and was no longer as fast as his young days; but, he was still loyal and tried hard to be able to do the usual daily tasks so he wouldn’t be a burden […]

Life throws us challenges|زندگی ما رابه چالش وامی دارد

Thanks for sharing this very true story 💛☕

Daily Haibun, August 21th – Golden Harvest Moon

The deep blue sky is filled with a golden harvest moon. Filling my heart with joy. Calming my whirlwind mind. Making me draw deeper calmer breaths. Filling my imagination with energy that let’s imagination take flight.Blessing me with seeds of dreams to cultivate tonight. Golden harvest moon Together with blue Neptune Bestow mystic boons ©RedCat […]

Daily Haibun, August 21th – Golden Harvest Moon

Thanks for sharing — Enjoyed this a lot 💙🌕

Lost – A Naani

it never was painful, until that moment i lost my last chance on you baby Naani is one of Indian’s most popular Telugu poems. Naani means an expression of one and all. It consists of 4 lines, the total lines consist of 20 to 25 syllables. The poem is not bounded to a particular subject. […]

Lost – A Naani

Thanks for sharing 💛☕