MY SILENCE

 

"Talk, talk, talk!" That's what they taught

When I came here.

But everytime I see you I cannot talk,

Because my tongue can't mumble a word,

And my heart only knows how to tremble.

 

"Talk, talk, talk!" That's what they taught

When I came here.

But everytime I meet you I cannot talk,

Because I'm a dumb Quasimodo,

And you're the beauty of the Studentenhaus.1

 

"Talk, talk, talk!" I hate that word,

As I hate my face and I hate my fate.

And I hate too my heart,

For it always dreams of love adventures.

LÝ TỐNG

UNO-INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA

1 Tên của Cư Xá Trường Đại Học Innsbruck

tại Áo Quốc trong thời gian Lý Tống được

học bổng du học mùa Hè năm 1987.

 

 

YOUR KINDNESS

(Bài Thơ làm tặng Caroline, cô gái Mỹ, nhân viên Cao Ủy Tị Nạn LHQ tại phòng giam Sở Di Trú Singapore.)

LÝ TỐNG

 

 

YOUR MYSTERIOUS EYES!
(For Dr. Anitha Gaddipati)
 
I’ve never seen anyone’s eyes
That have been saying a lot of things like yours!
Like a mirror reflecting from a great soul full of compassion
To a revolutionary, an activist in Jail.
I will never see and never find
Any more beautiful, innocent, humane and holy eyes like yours!
Because yours are unique
In beauty and in mystery!
They’re not only the symbol of the great India of the past
With thousand years of Legend and Secrecy
But also the hope of mankind future
In the crumbling New World Disorder.
I’ve never trembled and moved before any wonder
Even the glory and splendor of Miss Universe
But a mysterious glance from your eyes
Has intruded my forever dream.
It has woken my night and lulled my days
To make me confuse the reality and fantasy.
It has turned the hell into the paradise
And changed a dying root into a strong bud.
It has refreshed my gloomy heart
And energized my troubled mind.
Your empathy toward me might originate from
The lingering image of your greatest leader
The skinny and small Gandhi in a simple outfit
Glowing through the past to the future
With his non-violent struggle and sacrifice for a better India
Who’d better die or win than surrender to
Power abusers, Justice Defamers, Court perjurers
And all the petty tyrants who were in charge of Justice System
But corrupted it, crooked it with their cruelty and cowardice!
At the end of the tunnel there is a light
That light of Hope is shining from your beautiful eyes
Warming up a lonely Freedom Fighter with dreamy nights and longing days.
 
LY TONG
Main Jail's Emergency Room 6/14/2012

 

Chú thích:

Tại phòng cấp cứu, mỗi Bác sĩ chỉ trực ca trong vòng 2 tuần. Người đầu tiên là một Bác sĩ trẻ VN. Cậu ta chỉ đến thăm tôi 2 lần và không hề biết vụ xịt ĐVH hay Lý Tống là nhân vật nào và tâm sự: “Cháu chỉ lo cho chuyên ngành và sinh kế, không quan tâm đến vấn đề chính trị!”  Vị Bác sĩ kế tiếp là cô Anitha Gaddipati, gốc Ấn Độ. Do sự xung đột giữa Trung Cộng-Ấn Độ nên cô đồng cảm với hoạt động chống Cộng của tôi. Ngày nào cô cũng ghé thăm, có ngày 2,3 lần, rất quan tâm và săn sóc chu đáo. Bởi vậy tôi đã làm bài Thơ nầy tặng cô Bác sĩ trẻ, đẹp, có tâm hồn nhân từ, bác ái để kỷ niệm và nhân cơ hội chỉ trích công tác xét xử của Chánh Án Tòa Hall Of Justice trong vụ án XỊT Ca nô Đàm Vĩnh Hưng.

LÝ TỐNG

Phòng Cấp Cứu, Main Jail

6/14/2012

 

 

NEO-PLATONIC WORLD IN YEAR 4000

 

Humankind in year 2000 dreams of  the world in year 4000

Where everyday is a Valentine Day

With millions of different lovers to enjoy pleasure.

Each beauty is a unique masterpiece of art.

All are single, healthy and perfect

With buttocks, breasts and waistlines of ideal shape.

Varieties of colors for hair, eyes and of attractive scents for skin, breath.

Miss World and Hitler’s Aryans are only Miss “Thị Nở” (the ugliest girl).10   

Males can all be rivals of Samson in strength and power.

Our current world’s sports records are their kids’ stuff.

Their dresses are very “poor” in cloth size, mostly exposing sexy body parts.

Beautiful clothes elevate people’s beauty

But their beauty is at the peak while they wear no clothes!

Handsome males and beautiful females all are lovers of one another in nudist world

Time surrenders to their “Amortality,” “forever-young-and-beautiful-keeping art”

There are thankfully no pregnancy, no childbearing, no childbirth in the old-fashioned way

But advanced technology with “In-Vitro Fertilization, Artificial Uterus,

Gene and DNA Transplant and Treatment, Stem Cells Duplication and Cloning”

To “Muscle-ize” all spongy forms of sexual organs

So the more sexual intercourses, the bigger the breasts and penises and the tighter the pussies

The more experienced, the wetter the mates.

No need to insert marbles, to make slashes on the penises’ heads in Thai or Filipino styles to enlarge the cocks’ sizes

Or to use dry sheep eyelash rings, horses’ tail hairs as sex tools or to tighten vaginas. 11

Lovemaking is the best method to keep shape

No need for diet, fat sucking or body massage.

No more ugliness, ignorance, diseases, handicaps, love sickness, inferiority complex, suicide…

Procreation plan balances the population in gender

And preserves the natural resources in abundance to satisfy human needs.

                                                    ***

Males from the beginning age of semen ejaculation and females of menses

Have an absolute right to master their own sexual desire.

Children are nourished, raised and educated in the Dream Land

By top-rank experts in order to achieve perfect wisdom, talent and expertise

In music, games, art, literature, boxing, dancing, athletics, sports…

All are versed both in civil and military affairs.

                                                   ***

Multiple sorcerers result in rotten corpses; multiple prophets in rotten souls.

LOVE GOD, replacing the cruel and impotent BIG GOD, is a unique monotheism

With L for nose, O for male breast, V female one, and E sexual organ;

And 7-Crown for thorough knowledge, long hair for strength, * at the navel for universe

Book on the right foot for intellectual, hammer on left foot for laborer.

The followers say prayers outdoors under the azure glass dome

Lying naked on their backs and keeping their hands in three positions:

At the head: Pray God, at shoulders: Pray for others, and at the waist: For oneself by self-criticism 12

Five times a day and the ceremony is ended with lovemaking.

Inhumanity, jealousy, greed, stupidity

Self-interest, cronyism, individualism are to be completely annihilated.

There remain no robbery, murder and rape.

Paradise Island is the center where all criminals born due to technical mistakes are finally to burst into flames. 13 

People are naturalists, living close to multicolorful and splendid nature.

                                                ***

With the whole globe being “air-conditioned” at the ideal temperature.

Solar energy is to be transmitted by sound molecules.

Most of operations are computerized, automated and robotized.

All natural catastrophies, calamities as hurricanes, floods, droughts… are eliminated

Volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis are controlled

By means of  “Lava-Sucking Technique” and “Rice-Cake Binding”

The former reduces exploding pressure while the latter stops the earth surface’s drifting and crushing 14   

The environment is pure, clear without pollution, contagion, epidemic…

Thanks to high, low “Frequencies of Sound Waves” which exterminate

All germs, viruses, harmful and useless insects, animals, plants… 15

Only beautiful trees, flowers, birds, animals remain.

People are not worried and occupied with cooking, laundering.

They rest, sleep in hotels and eat, drink at restaurants, bars.

There are only three classes the billionaires of our time cannot compare and compete with.

They are classified by their strikingly excellent initiatives and inventions.

People never eat the same dishes and make love with the same mates.

All achieve erudite knowledge without learning by heart as book worms

But through “Technique of Recording and Duplicating” while sleeping.16

From time to time they attend TV seminars in which new breakthroughs are to be presented by their authors.

Remaining free times are used for exercise, practice, performance

Entertainment, recreation, enjoyment, body building, sports and lovemaking.

Divided into 13 principal regions, the globe is run by local and world governments.

Each City’s architecture is designed in the octagonal shape

Its outskirts compose of factories

Next are offices, hotels, restaurants, gyms and stadiums.

In the center are theaters, cinemas, dancing halls, bars…

Much of people work with computers at their residences.

There are no shopping centers and merchandise is advertised on TV and delivered by orders to the hotel rooms.

Electrically powered big buses follow their programmed super highway on the automated guide ways.

No “Mr. Lonely” in the latest models of Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Mercedes...

At the mammoth cow-formed factories, the grass inputs become the beef outputs. 17

Water-and-sea products are reared and caught by plan in separate specialized regions.

                                                    ***

Relic Parade, the annual grandiose festival, extends 7 days.

Leading the procession is God’s Statue, lying on the back with 6 arms

Carried by all religious leaders and fake prophets of our time.

Next is Plato, founder of the Neo-Platonic Republic

Sitting on the throne set on the heads of tricking Communist ring leaders

Then promenade greatest ancient, modern, Eastern, Western philosophers and ideologues

Followed by inventors, scientists with breakthrough achievements

At the end are selected beautiful women from Beauty Queens, Miss Universe

To the most beautiful movie stars, singers, artists: Males and females with outstanding talent and beauty.

All personages are living embodiment of the quintessence of the past thanks to “Cloning Technology”

From hairs, teeth, bones of their excavated corpses’ remains.

They are nourished till the climax age of their celebrity, then being frozen.

And hibernated after the ceremony with the “Ageless Caring Technique”

Once a year they are awakened for a week by thawing their bodies

In order that people in the year 4000 can witness with their own eyes

The ugliness, stupidity and fanaticism of our epoch

And feel totally satisfied to be born in the fifth millennium.

                                                  ***

The symbol to remind and recollect the past is the toilets

In which the water-tank buttons are cast statues of proletarian dictators

Including Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim…

With foxy Ho Chi Minh as its security guard who keeps on talking:

“Comrades! Welcome in to relieve yourselves.

Compatriots! Do you hear my words clearly?” 18

 

Footnotes:

10 Thanks to the Gene, Selection and Hybrid Technologies… mankind can be created each one with different color of hair and eyes and different fragrant odor of skin and breath.

11 Many Thai men grind the glass into small marbles and sew them under their foreskins or inject their penises with silicon to enlarge their sexual organs’ sizes 2-3 times bigger. While Filipino men cut, slash theirs and then eat crabs to have thick scars in order to better their sex tools to serve female mates.

12 God Religion: To pray God to favorably bestow on oneself a destiny and a noble mission to achieve. To self-criticize about how to behave and deal with others and to accomplish one’s duty that time in order to improve and perfect oneself.

13 Paradise Island is criminals’ residence. They can enjoy the first-class living standard and satisfy all their wicked bestialities in their illusion thanks to a special drug. After 30 days, they will burst into flame and disappear from the Neo-Platonic World.

14 Nowadays, due to temperatures and air pressures dissimilar at different zones, especially at the Atlantic with undercurrents of hot water, water evaporation and wind movement cause rains, storms and floods. The abundance of water in one's area causes its scarcity in the others, resulting in drought and crop failure. But the earth in the 4000s is “air-conditioned” by special radio waves with their sound molecules spreading heat quantity equally all over the world; therefore, the whole globe is under the same idealist temperature. Due to having the same temperature and air pressure, natural calamities are eliminated and glaciers and icecaps in Antarctica, North Pole and others containing approximately 70% of the world's freshwater melt, some kept in huge artificial lakes, reservoirs on the spot, and the rest moving to 5 continents through mammoth canals. Dykes are built along the belt of coastal waters extending at most twelve nautical miles from the baseline of  coastal states to contain fresh water. Lakes, reservoirs, dykes and canals are constructed by “sea-water analyzing technique” (as a pilot artificial island was formed from a simple frame). The abundance of fresh water help change deserts into fertile soils. Volcanoes’ lava are to be sucked to reduce pressure and transported through pipes to house frames to cast buildings. Earthquake is a trembling movement and crushing of the earth’s surface. “Rice-Cake Binding” is a technique using super-strong carbon bands to bind or wind around the earth along its meridians and parallels to prevent it from drifting. Bands crossing oceans become super highways for intercontinental cars and trains and runways for aircraft. Along them are built hotels, restaurants, factories, stadiums… to expand mainland surface.

15 Chemicals used to kill germs only have impact in a small areas. To exterminate  all the germs, bacteria, insects, harmful or useless animals, trees or to cure diseases, the high-low “sound frequencies” are the only efficient means to obtain this ultimate purpose because sounds can penetrate every nook and cranny, whose frequencies are broadcast from satellite system covering the globe. For example: High frequency 16.5 kilohertz used by an inventor to get rid of groups of youths regularly gathering near some business areas to disturb but unable to intrude to hearings of older people.

16 “Tape Duplication” is an advanced technology composing of instruments to convert the sounds and images from education tapes, DVDs into special signals transmitted and received by the brains while people are sleeping.  Human brains are also dyed with recording material owing to a special positioning drug. This technology helps people have a Ph.D. level knowledge within a year and a lasting memory which can be updated with new data the same way magnetic tape is to be erased, recorded and corrected.

17 The cow-formed factory composes of sections imitating a real cow’s organs. The difference is that the factory does not produce useless stuffs such as hairs, bones, skins, but only beef steaks and its life span is much longer than that of a real cow. The factories can produce pork, lamb… by following the same model and method with the same inputs – grass – but having different outputs depending on different animals’ digestive organs.

18 The “infamous” question by Ho Chi Minh when he read the Independence Declaration on 2 September 1945 at Ba Dinh Square.

  Freedom Fighter LY TONG

   Valentine Day 2/14/2005

    (Klong Prem, Thailand)

 

I’D LIKE TO RUN AWAY                                       

“At the heart of love, there is a simple secret:

The lover lets the beloved be free!”   

                (For LY TONG)                                               

 

I’d like to run away from you,                        

But if you never found me I would die.           

I’d like to break the chains you put around me

But I know I never will!                                

You stay away, and all I do is                         

Wonder why the hell I wait for you?                

But when did common sense prevail for lovers 

When you know it never will?                         

 

Impossible to live with you,                           

But I know, I could never live without you.      

For whatever you do                                      

I never, never, never want to be in love with anyone but you!

 

You never treat me like you should,                 

So what’s the good of loving as I do?               

Although you always laugh at love,                  

Nothing else would be good  enough for you.    

Impossible to live with you,                                           

For whatever you do                                         

I never, never, never want to be in love with anyone but you!

 

You make me laugh, you make me cry,

You make me live, you make me die, for you;

You make me sing, you make me sad,

You make me glad, you make me mad,

For you!

I love you, hate you, love you, hate you

But I’ll want you till the world stops turning

For whatever you do

I never, never, never want to be in love with anyone but you.

             THU H.

(Mission Viejo 30/4/ 1984)

 

IT ALWAYS SEEMS TO LATE

 

Ly Tong

It always seems to late,

     to do the things we should have done.

You can’t return tomorrow,

     nor bring back the setting sun.

The reasons always come,

     after the wrong is fate.

Angry words aren’t forgotten,

      and whispered  sorrys come too late.

Things can’t go right,

      if the poem doesn’t rhyme.

“I love You“ is so easy to say,

      if we only take the time.

We never take the time to listen,

     nor the time to cry.

We never try to know the person,

     until that person dies.

Praise is always saved,

     for another day.

And paths are never taken,

     until we’ve gone away.

And the friend we never touched,

     and the lover we never kissed,

Are listed in our minds,

     with all the other things we missed.

It always seems too late,

     to do the things we should have done.

You can’t return tomorrow,

      nor bring back the setting sun.

Thu H.

(Mission Viejo)

 

LY TONG

Know that your stubborness would not help the situation, nor resolve any misunderstandings. Love does not dominate, it cultivates; you know? Sometimes think that if you really want to understand me, please hear what I am not saying, what I may never be able to say, because you see things as they are, and ask “why?" But, I dream things that never were, and I ask “Why not?"

 

Our lives are like two roads diverged into a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the differences.

 

All my love came to nothing at all my love

When I woke up to find you were no longer mine.

All my love thrown away after all this time

Now there’s no place for me in the future you see.

I don’t understand you, I’ve done all I can do

Tell me how could I give you more, more than all my LOVE?

                     

At the heart of love there is a simple secret:

The lover let the beloved be free.

Auprès de toi j’ai connu des jours sans soleil.

Thu H.                                                          

(Mission Viejo)

 

I WISH

(For Chú Lý Tống)

 

I wish I could show you enough

How I am feeling

It's so deep but also so high.

You are so close but also too far

I thought I felt you

But you are untouchable!

I feel the pain and happiness at the same time.

Being apart is so hurt

But the love is so strong.

I wish I could be a bird

So I could cross ocean and mountain

Come to you and be around you.

Who said "Out of sight, out of mind"

Maybe because they didn't love enough.

Even though we have never met

My love for you is stronger and stronger as days go by.

I've dreamed of being loved by you.

And I strongly believe that

You are going to make it through this

Because "After the rain

Comes the rainbow."

You will come back to me

By the shining sun

That you've always had

And also with the same honor.

You will burn up those communists.

I have faith in you, Chú Tống

Just like when it comes to time

That's too much to take.

I think of you

And by doing so

I know I'll make it through!

I believe in you!

VQ

12/1/1994

 

I AM THINKING

 

I am thinking of you today...

thinking of how much I miss you

and wish you were here

Thinking of what you are thinking

at this very moment!

I wonder if it hurts you

thinking when that tomorrow will come?

I wonder if it hurts you

thinking of others living their boring happy lives back here?

I wonder how much it hurts you

When the domestic Vietnamese

couldn't support you?

And if you are disappointed?

Please, don't be, Chú Tống!

I believe in you

In the way you have chosen to live your life

Good you've accomplished and will continue to work on

and the values that have shaped up your philosophy

I know you have what it takes to overcome obstacle

and never give up

when life goes bitter

I've seen it again and again

And I strongly believe that

You are going to make it through this

Because after the rain

Comes the rainbow

You will come back to us

by the shining rainbow

that you've always had

and also with the same Horace

you will burn up those commmunists

I have faith in you, Chú Tống

Just like when it comes to time

that's too much to take

I think of you

And by doing so

I know I'll make it through!

 

I believe in you!

VQ

 

HATS OFF TO LY TONG

 

Well, Ly Tong, a hero, in grand style

His heart grew wings, oh, flying high

Once he moved, I 1  River, just a streamlet

Under his grave, Cheng Ke 2, so much surprised

Kiet 3 , Muoi 4, scared to wet the Uncle's Tomb

"One-eyed" Anh 5 lost his nerve to function

The Party Central Committee held their breath

People throughout the country having fun.

 

Seventy million population hatted off, altogether

Three thousand worlds 6 solemnly stood to honor

Giao Chi 's 7 dignity was up to the roof

How beautiful, oh, watching the brave bird soar.

 

Fiends and foes respected that son-of-a -gun

Redeeming somewhat for red-faced refuged combatants

Giving the rest of his young life for a belief

Death, as slight as a down of pink swans.

 

Where Black Hawk landed in Saigon

His name, that street should be called

Forget all Sau 8, Khai 9 and Troi 10

City streets shouldn't be named after damned baboons.

 

Where Black Hawk returned being a prisoner

Tombstone, his deeds, surely, long remembered

How many out there would be doing like that

Generals, Commanders are kowtowing the invader.

 

Ly Tong parachuted into the history

Right or wrong, well, it's his gallantry

Only he played the game of death

Challenging a well-armed hostile army.

 

So,what's the VC octopus going to do?

And Confluence Clique's frivolous move?

Any petition by Viet Pen Club?

Now, "fifth-column" critique, go ahead and boo!

 

Oh Black Hawk Ly Tong, my man

This Unorthodox Poet greatly admire a friend

A thousand years later, it's still hard

To find anybody dare a half of his stunts.

 

(BÁI PHỤC LÝ TỐNG - MẬU BINH)

English version by NGÔ ĐÌNH CHƯƠNG

1 Name of the river Cheng Ke crossed from Yen to Ch'in

on his way to assassinate Ch'in Sui Huang.

2 Knightly swordsman Cheng Ke, a brave man who took

an impossible mission to assassinate the King of Ch'in.

He failed and was killed, but his name lives until to day.

3 Vo Van Kiet

4 Do Muoi

5 Le Duc Anh

6 It's a Buddhist belief that there are three thousand worlds men would be reincarnated depending on how that person behaved in the previous world, the higher up the better.

 7 Ancient name of Vietnam

 8 Vo Thi Sau, a garbage collector

 9 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Mr Ho's alleged girlfriend

1 0 Nguyen Van Troi, would-be McNamara's assassin, failed and blown up by his bomb

 

LIKE THE BUTTERFLIES

(To Tong Ly - as a Hero)

 

It 's not really Bombs or Bullets  

and not even Rockets

Only the Leaflets

Were dropped into Saigon City

Like angry Butterflies bringing

Proclamations to the people

To rise up to change the communist regime.

 

They didn’t make an explosion or thunder!

They didn’t make any ruins on the ground

But, they've just produced a terrible stir

Very formidable - stunning

For the Communists-Party. 

They've also produced a wonderful stir

Very happy – hopefully

Freedom and Democracy

For the people waiting for a long time 

because, they need and want

A Peaceful-Country and Human Rights  

Freedom – Democracy for the Country

Human Rights and a comfortable life

That’s a dream in their mind for a long time. 

VO TINH

(USA - Thanksgiving Season 2000)

 

“THE HIJACKER”

In rememberance of September 4, 1992,

Ly Tong parachuting down to Saigon.

 

Have you ever heard, read, or thought about hijackers?

To elude punishment or persecution in the place left behind,

They force unexpected landings against pilots and passengers,

In the newly chosen destination, pardon or safety to find.

 

Pirates, plunderers, smugglers, launderes, murderers,

Would escape to the third world, as neutral zones, to hide;

Or terrorists, saboteurs, rioters, traitors, deserters,

Would retreat to their comrades’ den on the opposite side.

 

The United States succeeded in persuading the Soviet Union

To compromise to prosecute and sentence those that deserve.

Then the international community began to act in unison

Against hijacking, travelers to protect and travels to preserve.

 

But, when a human rights activist, Vietnamese-American citizen

Just for the just cause managed to disseminate from a plane

His appeal to the people for a change to liberate his brethren:

He was captured and has been maltreated by the inhumane!

 

He faced no punishment or persecution in America to flee!

He compelled no itinerary change, judging the law-tied factor!

He got no behind-the-bamboo-curtain chiefs to receive or agree!

No! a thousand times, a million times, he was not a hijacker!

 

You, who have safeguarded freedom, democracy, human rights,

And sacrificing your blood to fight each foe even in his cave,

How could you have the heart to tolerate the evil and its blights

And to not help, justify, and emancipate Ly Tong, the brave?

THANH-THANH

(Nhuan X. Le)

 

 

QUESTION FOR THIS COUNTRY

 

The United States of America is big country now

Any problems in the world will clear very easy

With many people came here as refugees

All will become US Citizen.!  

Tong Ly's a Vietnamese refugee

He became - a US citizen!

Before - he was a fighter pilot

For Human rights and Freedom.

He just came out of Thailand prison

So – that means – he is a free man!!

Why does Thailand have to take him back again?

And give him back - to the Communists of Vietnam

Why US government doesn't have a way – to help him?

This question needs answers for all American in this country.

VÔ TÌNH

USA – year 2000

 

LY TONG, THE HERO OF THE

SPACE FLOWN INTO HISTORY

 

Black Eagle splendidly appeared

Flew back to the motherlandin writing

The heroic history story .

 

Oh ,Vietnam! The beautiful multicolored one

Oh ,Autumn! The very deep blue homeland

Your words echoed in every direction

Waking up someone, still fast, sound, asleep

 

You returned in the middle of the autumnal falling leaves

A petal of shooting flower, hanging in the air

A million hearts, awaiting quietly

Write your name, it made history

 

Oh , Ly Tong! You’re the immortal one

Not disheartened with difficulties nor dangers

Your work is rescueing your fatherland

Leading people up to the bright sky high

 

You’re the gracious heroic airman

The unique one in the world

Are you a genius ?

Famed in the world over

 

Your work commands respect

Like angel of the 20th century (20th generation)

Written in verse, eternally bearing in mind

Composing a symphony for loving Ly Tong

 

TÔ SƠN NGUYỄN TRI
Written in Santa Ana, 10-10-92

A dull night.

 

MY POEM ON LY TONG

 

My Poem on Ly Tong,

Is not written

Just to prove

Any affinity

Between me

And him:

 

No. Not at all.

It did not matter

That I’m an Indian

And he is not.

I could have been an African.

An Australian or an Icelander.

Would that ever matter

In writing this Poem?

No. Never.

As to me Ly Tong:

 

Is an INNER-MAN

and not just

A Vietnamese.

This is all I want to say about him.

 

But.

Now I feel.

The readers of this Poem may not accept my Thesis.

Well.

All I can do.

Is to substantiate this:

I mean, my thesis.

 

First.

Mr. Ly Tong's sense of humour.

Coupled with wit.

In his "Long Trek to Freedom.”

He mentioned - The Phantom

That the four Vietnamese soldiers spotted out.

The Phantom to them

Was none other than he.

Forced to strip for compulsory swims

Holding his clothes in a bag on the top of his head

When spotted by the four.

He leaped into the air with a yell 

Unearthly: "WHOOOO!"

Armed although.

Like birds away the soldiers flew.

Am sure the readers can imagine the situation too

The last but not the least.

Comes the crux.

Forced to hide himself in a clump of tall grass.

Soldiers unable to locate him.

Tried to set fire to the grass.

 

Ly then cried softly after 15 years

Whispering a prayer: "With your help I have come so far

If I am no longer worthy, kill me now!

Don't let me fall into enemy hands."

Prayers were answered.

Grass failed to catch fire. Uttered he.

"I believe in God I cannot die any more."

 

N.B. About Mr. Ly Tong, as I find in Readers Digest, July, 1984.

"For five years, former South Vietnamese jet pilot Ly Tong was an

inmate of various Prison-of-war camps. During that time he often

defied his captors and risked his life in abortive escapes. Event­ually,

he managed to flee overland, and for 17 months he walked, rode,

swam and crawled to five countries. His flight has become one of the

great escape Sagas of our time." Written after reading Ly Tong's Long

Trek to Freedom in Reader's Digest. American edition - of which 1

am a life member.

ASHOKA TIAGI

 

JE VOUDRAIS

“Aimer c’est souffrir – Ne pas aimer c’est mourir!”

                     (Pour LY TONG)

 

Je voudrais te dire des choses si tendres,

Te murmurer des mots si doux,

Que seules les fleurs mortes peuvent entendre

Car c’est tout ce que j’ai de toi.

Je voudrais te confier mon rêve de folie,

Mon beau rêve si insensé,

Hanté par le spectre de la mélancolie

Où viennent sombrer mes penseés.

Je voudrais te dire pourquoi mon âme pleure

Quand tout aime et refleurit,

Pourquoi elle gémit à la fuite de l’heure

Qui part sans apporter l’oubli.

Je voudrais te dire comment je t’adore

Hélas je ne le pourrais pas,

Et c’est en mon rêve qui s’envole à l’aurore

Que je dois le dire tout bas.

             THU H.

(Mission Viejo 15/4/1984)