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,
and wipes her eyes with a dirty 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.
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.
The nudity of a man rises out distinctively
from the steam of the sauna house,
like the mid-year moon dashing
from the encaging mist of the night
and falls into the crystal pond of my eyes.
The moon is warm.