Kite

We had so little
one set of uniform
and a pair of sandals
pencils short like cigarette butts
canvas shoulder bag full of patches

But we had colorful candy wrappers
bamboo sticks and string
to make kites
into a hope filled summer

I still remember him
stick skinny
swimming in this hand-me-down shorts
bare foot skipping on the hot tart road
launched his rainbow kite
into the tangerine sky

We cheered so loud
drown out the sound
of the foraging birds
We had very little
and we had it all

Siblings from The Same Root

Four trunks from the same root. Photo by Cassa Bassa

This image reminds me of an ancient Chinese poem titled Seven Steps Verse written by Cao Zhi who was one of the sons of Cao Cao, a well known Chinese statesman.

The poet uses osmunda and beans from the same root as a metaphor for brothers who share the same father and mother, and accuses Cao Pi (his brother) of brutal persecution of himself and other brothers. The tone is euphemistic and deep, serves as a reminder and advice in the irony.

Here is my attempt to translate this well known poem.

Seven Steps Verse

The beans are crying
in the heating wok
while the osmunda is burning fiercely
to fuel the cooking
Aren’t they from the same root
Then why the torture
to cut lives short

七步诗

煮豆燃豆萁,
豆在釜中泣。
本是同根生,
相煎何太急?

恋周庄 (In Love with Venice of The East)

Zhouzhuang, Venice of The East, China

在那里
忘了时间
忘了世界
深深地沉蕴在那里
历史的长河在呼吸间
显得格外亲近
当年诗人的情怀
似乎还如明月般
打动我的心
独醉在傍晚的暮色
情动在深夜里沉眠的水流如镜
薰香唤醒了迷醉的我
炊烟在潮湿的晨雾里推动我的泪
留恋那里与世无争的沉静
正如我默默思念的你

There
time is invalid
the world is far away
soaking in the long river of history
feeling close in one breath

The poets before me touch my heart
like a bright moon
drunk in the evening twilight
mesmerised by the still water
like a mirror reflecting my rest

The incense wakes me up in the morning
Cooking smoke brings on my tears in the moist morning mist
Nostalgia for the peace and quiet there
as I silently miss you

新年好


新春
聚团年
五湖四海
四洋七大洲
年货丰盛累累
五代共聚一祠堂
芍药和鸡公花争艳
银柳剑兰大黄菊相配
爆竹在村头铺成红地毯
孩童的笑声预告兔年幸福

Happy New Year

Celebrating
New Year
Family reunion time
Coming from all sides
Four oceans and seven continents
With abundant gifts, goods and supplies
Five generations gather in one ancestral hall
Peonies and crested cock’s combs compete for beauty
Silver willow, gladiolus and chrysanthemum bundled in perfect bouquets
Firecrakers paper roll a red carpet through the village entrance
Children’s laughter heralds happiness in the coming year of the rabbit

Notes: This poem is written in incremental characters/words each line. The chinese characters illustrate a better shape due to the square form of each character.

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