Zhang Yuan

It crouches 

              deep in the garden.

 

A bizarre phantasm in a still

aluminum jungle;

 

A wound where

memory 

            flows and stops 

the air, thwarted 

by the refracted light 

             of modernity.

 

A hundred years—

worms, 

            wars, 

humans,  

            guns,

emperors

            paupers  

built

           demolished

re-built

            preserved now

in the name of a billion RMB

gentrification.

 

The same, 

its terracotta redemption 

when time confiscates the iron-trace 

of humanity.

 

*Zhang Yuan, or the garden of Zhang, is a renowned residential house built early of the last century in West Nanjing Road, Shanghai, now an area for bars and cafes.but news comes this garden will soon be demolished for a new shopping mall.

Car Crash On Fuxing Road

I came out from the subway, 

a sense of loss 

began 

to surround me.

People gathered around the exit, 

did not give way.

I hardly knew them, 

I did not understand 

their dialect.

But some words, like birds

escaping 

a horrifying storm,

came to me 

with the sound 

of Death.

 

It was eight in the evening,

rodents began to crawl on the street;

Cameras perched on a branch

and blinked.

A police car 

parked like a corpse

beneath.

Silence In The Morning

The building is closed;

The cafe we used to go to is closed;

7-11 is closed , nobody goes there anymore;

No bells will toll,

the chapel has been quiet for a century.

Only a woman with sand-colored hair walks by,

slowly, slowly, 

and wipes her eyes with a handkerchief.

 

We are outside in the yard, trying to figure out 

the scorching silence in this big city.

On the walls that surround us, 

red characters are minacious and ready to lash us away

– red characters crying destruction.

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.