Poetics of Re-homing 


where are you from?
maple leaves drifting
here and there

Where is my home? Taipei, the capital of Republic of China (aka Taiwan), with its towering glass office buildings, where I was born and raised, the place I used to complain about? Or County of Mount Dragon in Hunan province, People’s Republic of China, a small town surrounded by waterfalls, mountains, and valleys, my father's home that I've never set foot in?

Taiwan’s moon
caught in Lake Ontario . . .
geese gone south

Or is my home Ajax, Ontario, a bedroom suburb of row upon row of indistinguishable bungalows and front gardens in the richest province of Canada? Here I have a piece of property and continue to struggle with a life in transition and translation.

treading on
my white neighbor's shadow –
illegal alien

Where then is my home?


Chen-ou Liu was born in Taiwan and emigrated to Canada in 2002. He is the author of Ripples from a Splash: A Collection of Haiku Essays with Award-Winning Haiku and Following the Moon to the Maple Land (forthcoming in July).  His tanka and haiku have been honored with 14 awards. Read more of his poems on his poetry blog, Poetry in the Moment (http://chenouliu.blogspot.com/).