Tuesday, 5 August 2014

3 Poems by Zhijian Tao

The Totem Pole
  
In slough and withered grass, on home land
Half of your trunk fallen, you stand
For what are you keeping watch
Like a frail elder, a candlelight
At wind's command

No longer are here brave hunters
Nor wives and kids expecting food back in the band
No longer do they need your protection
Nor do they need you —
To record their story, and fill their soul
With epic they best understand

No longer are here tepees around
To set you off glorious and grand
Nor to take you as witness of their history
Epitome of their life and land —
No longer do they gather around you
To keep you company
And take your command

But, why did you not move
Like your brothers
To that charming and bustling park
To adorn the scene, neatly built and planned?
There you could attract many eyes
Get into countless photos
And earn your vanity a footstand

Or, why did you not move
Like your sisters
To one of those royal museums
To emboss the progress of civilization?
There you could wear gorgeous costumes
And live in palaces splendid and grand
If only you would wear a wisp of smile
And show some grace may it be bland

Your prominent relative, Machu Picchu,
At least draws tourists' worships and laments
But you, in silence, on the shore stand —
Enduring the sea winds, of a thousand years
That rough up your greying hair  
And suffering the rain and snow, in all seasons
That wash off your warrior-like colours of yore
Scarred and bruised is your face
Mutilated are your feet and hands

Is it that — in the wind
You again smell the gunpowder and blood?
Or that — in the mist
You are still searching for your lost half?

One day, I know not when
You may quietly fall
Worn by the sea, torn by the wind
Or you may be buried in sand
Yet, you would rather
Until that day
In solitude, here stand


Atop Visegrad Castle
            — To the tune of Qilu*

In Buda's suburb guests are few
The ancient capital I come to view
With withered grasses hills extend
To gleaming river th' sun casts hue
On lofty fort my eyes reach far
In ruined walls my sighs renew
I glance where winds a banner stretch
And wonder whose flags once there flew


* A Qilu is a seven-character eight-line regulated verse, or a septasyllabic controlled poem.


Bringing it, You Came

Bringing it
You came
In that wintry month, it is a sparkle in your eye
In spring thunders, it is a bud promising a leaf

You tie it to your hair
And it swings your braids
You wear it on your feet
And those feet stride on clouds
You hang it on your eyebrows
And they pull the corners of my mouth
You throw it to my chest
And my coat hides the tip of your nose

Bringing it
You came
Under the solitary lamp, it is a stamp, on the envelops
In days of company, it is a flame fluttering in the hearth

You bury it in soil
And flower buds rise between leaves
You spread it on trail
And the ground is awash with sunlight
You knead it into days and nights
Wind, rain, sleet and snow, they all make a veiled view
You hold it in your palm
And it instantly gilds the sea, and blushes the sky

Bringing it
You came
At times it is a burst of foolishness
At times it is a mess of confusion

Yet,
Whether on Gaspé's promontory
Or by Death Valley's sand dunes
We'll keep it with us
Wherever we land

图腾柱

站在故土的荒草中,泥沼边
身躯已经断掉了大半
你在守望着什么
像一位老人
风烛残年

这里已经没有了勇敢的猎手
没有女人孩子盼望他带回美餐;
没有人再需要你的护佑
没有人再需要你——
把他的故事记录
把他的心智充满

这里也没有了一座座帐篷
烘托你的辉煌和高大
把你作为他们的史迹
他们生生不息的标杆——
没有它们站立在你的周围
为你做伴

可,为什么你没有去
像你的兄弟一样
到那旖旎而熙攘的公园
去点缀整洁美丽的景致?
那里能吸引众多的目光
能进入无数的照片
给你的虚荣留出一点空间

为什么你没有去
像你的姐妹一样
嫁到某个王室博物馆
去衬映文明的进步?
那里能得到华丽的服饰
能住进宽阔的宫殿
只要你做出几缕笑容
显出几分悠闲

你的豪阔远亲,马丘比丘
至少博得游客瞻仰,唏嘘感叹
而你,默然站在岸边——
任千年海风
吹乱你灰白的头发
任四季雨雪
洗刷掉你昔日武士般的的风彩
你的脸庞伤痕累累
你残留的躯体疮迹斑斑

是否——在风中
你又闻到了那血腥和硝烟
是否——在雾里
你还在寻找那丢失的躯干......

不知何时
你或许会悄然倒下
你或许会——
被流沙埋没
被风蚀腐烂......
可你宁愿站在这里
直到那一天




匈京塞上旅人稀
驿外驱车探故畿
荒草萋萋山阔远
长河滟滟日斜西
崖头危堡堪极目
垣里颓城凭叹息
横看疾风吹展处
谁家曾竖霸王旗



你带着它

你带着它
来到我身边
冬月里它是眼睛里的亮光一闪
惊蛰时它是绿叶冒出的尖尖

你把它系在头上
它甩动着你的发辫
你把它穿在脚上
步履跳跃在云端
你把它挂在眉梢
眉梢拉起我的嘴角
你把它投在我胸口
大衣裹藏着你的鼻尖

你带着它
来到我身边
孤灯下它是信沓上的一张邮票
厮守中它是壁炉中的一缕火焰

你把它埋在土地里
花蕾升起在枝叶间
你把它撒在小道上
阳光就铺满了地面
你把它揉进日月里
风寒雨雪都是清清的烟岚
你把它托在手掌上
它顿时染红了海,映红了天

你带着它
来到我身边
有时它是傻气一股
有时它是乱麻一团

就算走到加斯佩的海角
走到死亡谷的荒漠
也要把它带在
你我的身边


Bionote

Zhijian Tao, regular photographic art contributor to Poetry Pacific, and member of the Chinese Writers Association in Quebec, Canada, is a scholar and translator, with a doctorate from McGill University. His published works include Drawing the Dragon: Western European Reinvention of China (monograph),  Bibliography Complex (translation from Chinese to English). He has also translated, from Chinese to English, two poetry collections entitled respectively The Fortuities of a Shoe and A Line at Dawn: Anthology of 20 Poets from Canada and China. He has also published prose writings, poems, etc, written in the Chinese language.

These three poems appearing here have all been included in A Line at Dawn: Anthology of 20 Poets from Canada and China, lately published in MontrealCanada.

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