These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world. Their poems are for real people.
ISBN 978-1-939426-15-4

21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 13 (AUG 2014)

This issue features the poetry of Nie Le 聂勒(Yunnan),Liu Guanghui 刘光辉 (爪哇岛)(Shandong),Ren Xianqing 任先青 (Shandong),Zhai Wenxi 翟文熙(Guangdong),Lang Qibo 郎启波 (Beijing),Li Sheng 李盛 (Hunan).

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Nie Le 聂勒

  • Love and Songs(Excerpts)  |  爱与歌(节选)
  • ...My Lost Herd  |  我的牛群丢失了
  • ...When I am Old  |  当我老了
  • ...The Moon Comes up  |  月亮升起来了
  • ...Where Do I Belong?  |  我属于哪儿
  • ...There is No Need  |  用不着
  • ...White Clouds  |  白云

Liu Guanghui 刘光辉(爪哇岛)

Ren Xianqing 任先青

  • Fears for Peach Flower Buds  |  忧虑那些桃花骨朵
  • Stone Bridge in a Little Town  |  小镇石拱桥
  • Sound from the Quarry  |  采石场的声音

Zhai Wenxi 翟文熙

  • Qi Mu Poetry Scroll  |  桤木诗帖
  • Old Trouble (Adam)  |  阿难
  • The Lord's Dice  |  上帝的骰子
  • Here is the World  |  所在即世界
  • New Year  |  新年

Lang Qibo 郎启波

Li Sheng 李盛

  • A Worker’s Notes: “Discovery” Poems  |  劳动者札记:《发现》组诗
  • ...1. Uranium, Hidden in the Recesses of the Great Land  |  铀隐藏在大地的深处
  • ...2. Discoveries  |  发现
  • ...3. Through the "Blackout Zone"  |  穿越那层"黑障"
  • A Nice Short Stretch of Spring  |  一段简捷的距离叫春天
  • ...1. A Nice Short Stretch of Spring  |  有段简捷的距离叫春天
  • ...2. New Calendar  |  新挂历
  • ...3. Thoughts  |  比如
  • ...4. Fantasy of a Water Droplet  |  一滴水畅想

From 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 13

  • I believe
  • migrations happen
  • not only after massacres
  • but also because one race
  • longs for some distant place
  • following a beautiful dream.
  • I believe
  • a people found its name
  • and a place to settle down
  • only after countless encounters with other races.
  • I believe
  • all men on earth, like me,
  • would like to know
  • where they are from
  • and where they belong.
  • Universe, please listen to my reply:
  • I belong to an ancient tribe
  • that was left behind after numerous migrations
  • and now has an address.
  • I belong to a race
  • that is the carrier of love and beauty.
  • I am a small dot in the history
  • of a small village in southwestern China.
  • I was given a bright baby name
  • when born to this beautiful planet.
  • — Nie Le, Where Do I Belong?

  • Immerse,
  • immerse myself in this misty place.
  • .
  • Five hundred hectares of lotuses of gleaming leaves,
  • but not one keep your diamond heart from rolling off.
  • .
  • The lotuses emerge from the water
  • like pink lanterns standing in couplets or quatrains.
  • .
  • Let me be open-hearted like them, and keep a vigil
  • for these five hundred hectares of saintly flowers.
  • — Liu Guanghui, Greetings to A Sea of Lotuses

  • I am a little worried
  • ——because I am not sure
  • about this old peach tree.
  • The buds on its branches, can all their wings open up?
  • These flower buds, they look painfully delicate,
  • reminding me of the unrequited loves in my life
  • that were plucked away by wind and rain
  • when heavy storms came down, pounding on my heart.
  • I am now on a pilgrimage that has no return address;
  • to fly away or not to fly away, neither choice offers peace.
  • — Ren Xianqing, Fears for Peach Flower Buds

  • Old Trouble, he climbed out from the sea.
  • Old Trouble, he shed his lungs and fins.
  • The study of invertebrate is useful philosophically.
  • Old Trouble, he starves without the apples on the tree.
  • "You must come down."
  • Old Trouble, he returns to the cave,
  • he watches lions and sunrise through the opening.
  • Old Trouble, he cut down a tree;
  • he builds a house.
  • Old Trouble, your children are still starving,
  • — Zhai Wenxi, Old Trouble (Adam)

  • but the soberer he gets,
  • the more his empire looks like a castle of delusion,
  • not to mention the absence of a constitution,
  • there isn’t even an outline or guiding principle.
  • The drunken Wumeng
  • is our dear sweet brother,
  • he invites us to his dream in a world without dreams,
  • with him we are happy to call a stag a horse.
  • — Lang Qipo, The Great Yunnan Empire

  • We go, ah, 10,000 years
  • towards the first dawn or night,
  • towards the first brilliant star.
  • If the sea must dry up, let it dry up.
  • If stones must crumble, let them crumble.
  • .
  • We go, ah, 10,000 years,
  • listening to the river in heaven.
  • On the other hand, we still have dinosaur bones
  • sleeping peacefully under out feet;
  • old memories are being recovered bit by bit.
  • .
  • So, go, just go, as early as possible!
  • Do not hesitate, and do not forget
  • to take along those complicated human emotions,
  • and the truncated lines and boxes of modern poetry.
  • — Li Sheng, Discoveries