The Black Swan

Buzzing, buzzing is the mid-summer day that drives 

cicadas into the tree, though listless , 

how it spreads the cadmium-green reflection

into your eyes;

Therein with peace and grace glides alone

a black swan.

 

The world is lost to you

when you look into the flourishing days of your youth,

days much like now in this eternal summer,

full of sounds, full of faces time blends and blurs.

Will the black swan,  if only for an instant ,

pick up the face of a lonesome man 

and suddenly remember the sad poetry of his eyes?

 

-written 2016 revised 2018

Snow

It was almost the beginning of another season,

almost time for the love smitten to think of a home,

almost time for the disfigured chrysanthemum to wither,

almost time for the homeless a handful of despair,

when the snow suddenly sailed down,

silencing all the theatrical of this town.

 

We stood then by Cafe De Monmatre,

I saw his ears turn red in the cold as he lit his cigaret.

He turned to me, his breath was of Cognac.

“I have seen it all “ he declared “in Nepal “

“I have seen the spiraling snow up the Annapurna, 

and I tell you, I never felt so insignificantly small.”

 

I nodded, and kicked a newspaper out to the street,

it was picked up by the wind and floated like a useless soul.

 

“Now Imagine things mightier than us , things we can’t

comprehend , and answer, are we the snow ?

or the forces that push and pull and twist?”

“listen to the howl ! Listen to the palpitation”

 

The snowflakes curved down from the perfect heaven,

and melting on his face; He seemed sad.

 

“In this amphitheater the the world, I… I 

have been waiting for the denouement…it never comes.”

“I think I have paid the good price…

I hear the giggles behind the curtain…each day…”

 

I was silent; the cold air filled my lung.

A sudden gust drove me to him yet he was so absent 

in a different space and time where the snow,

yes the snow, had absolute dominion.

 

“But tonight, it’ll all end.” he mumbled and killed the smoke.

 

-written 2016 revised 2018

Something Peculiar About Him

Something peculiar about him catches my eyes,

his early thirty-year-old face so intense 

with an expression of a pleasure seeker , who, 

at the same time, is slightly remorseful.

The struggle is between his trembling lips 

– the very sensual lips bring me to reverie.

Then he turns to the bar, where men meet men,

a little hesitant , a little withdrawn,

like a young man on the way to his first groom.

 

The billboard outside will see him in a few hours 

when his erotic fever is gone; In fact,

the billboard knows him as a total stranger to the world,

and to himself as well, 

But his sad look registers all the pleasure that hurts.

A New Day

The pen is useless now, 

lying there like an exhausted man hanging by his last breath ;

So is the table where he puts his notebook, quiet, reprimanding.

The world he builds in his writing suddenly withdraws 

into the dark solemnity of ink , lost its clarity.

And the world outside his window opens up,

a growing vortex of everything rushes in

and scatters like precious pearls.

 

Other voices throng like thunder 

down there on the boulevard, where everything new takes place;

Twenty-Seventh of September, two thousand and eighteen.

It’s a new day of a new week in a year reeking of yesterday.

无题

一湾三泉五重楼,

半水半月半江山。

吴歌声起秋深处,

一片归心待月圆

 

Untitled

Three brooks merge into the distant bay, and off it 

some buildings come into view;

The moon half in her veil spills down her silvery light,

half the bay is lit, and half the world too.

 

In Autumn’s deep grove, a song is heard, 

a song in its local Wu dialect ,

and my heart that longs for a home , though suddenly, 

remembers that it’s almost time for another full moon.

 

Note: written on the mid-autumn festival 2018 ( 24th September, a typical day for family reunion when the mid-year moon in full ) in Chinese, in the style of ancient Chinese poems in rhymes, which is difficult to translate into English, well I’ve tried my best where the rhymes are missing, I supplement with clear-cut imagery.