These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world. Their poems are for real people.

POEM OF THE DAY 每日一首

RUSTED LOVE

  • By Gu Baokai

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists*

  • A ceaseless drizzle falls on winter's wharf,
  • and falls on life's journeys, too.
  • I tried to call out your name but swallowed it.
  • I dare not touch those things that taper to a pointed end,
  • the heads of weed, the bristles of barley, a flimsy light.
  • I see a tree that summons a lifetime of strength just to
  • heal its wounds.
  • That day the earth was split asunder by a thunderstorm,
  • and things hidden in the dark suddenly became clear.

  • *Duck Yard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/5wneVY40LDVfMnxHJqUDOg


爱情是一件生锈的铁器

  • 顾宝凯


  • 一场绵密的细雨下在冬天的码头
  • 也下在一生的旅途中
  • 我尝试叫出你的名字又咽了回去
  • 我不敢去触碰过于尖锐的事物
  • 草尖,麦芒,微弱的光
  • 我看见一棵树用尽一生的力气
  • 修复自己的伤口
  • 那天的雷雨,劈开了大地
  • 隐藏在黑暗中的事物那么清晰




YESTERDAYS' POEM OF THE DAY 昨日的 每日一首

GOOD NIGHT, YOUNG MAN

  • By Ding Peng

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists*

  • The glittering city whispers to you through the cell phone.
  • You can't sleep, you're an electrical conductor.
  • As your fingertips swipe across the screen
  • for second-hand truths, a current makes tiny waves.
  • Your eyelashes open and close, they look like the bristles on a spring millet.
  • Yes, if you die in a game, you will be resurrected.
  • Good night, young man. The voltage is stable tonight.
  • Go back to bed, but recharge your phone.
  • The camera fixes its gaze on you as you close your eyelids.
  • When your heart beats on the earth, you’ll fly
  • through a nebula to reach the edge of the universe.
  • You will come to stand in front of her just like before,
  • and kiss her, and share your sorrows.
  • Good night, young man, see you on the screen tomorrow, when
  • Truman Burbank will be fleeing his beloved hometown,
  • and breaking free is the most difficult barrier.

  • *Duck Yard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/nFkuptl8XO2hxBSzvtM1iA


晚安,少年

  • 作者:丁鹏


  • 城市之光,透过手机向你低语
  • 你失眠,因为你是一截导体
  • 电流伴随你的指尖溅起细浪
  • 指尖滑动,刷屏的二手真相
  • 眨动睫毛,像一棵春天的稗草
  • 像你在游戏中死去,又复活
  • 晚安,少年。夜的电压平稳
  • 躺回床上,手机放到座充上
  • 摄像头在凝视你,你阖上眼睑
  • 当心跳撞击地球,你飞起来
  • 穿过星云,抵达宇宙的边缘
  • 站到她的面前,像过去一样
  • 你亲吻她,和她分享你的悲伤
  • 晚安,少年。明天的屏幕里
  • 楚门会逃出他所热爱的城市
  • 你也会打通最难的一道关卡




LIMITATIONS

  • By Li Qi

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists*

  • So sad— to be deeply attracted to a place,
  • but with no way of getting near even though the heart is willing.
  • My face turns pale, lips turn purple, death awaits.
  • "What you have is a bout of altitude sickness."
  • Here I am, a wretched creature from the lowland.

  • A body weighed down by clumsiness
  • —a metaphor itself or a reminder that
  • heaven and earth are indeed grandiose,
  • unlike my deplorable state,
  • laboring to breathe as I lay dying.

  • These snow-capped mountains and lakes,
  • this is where nature’s soul resides,
  • with hidden power and magic to enchant and hypnotize,
  • but now, all of them are gradually taken away from me.
  • What was a lofty plateau earlier is now a wet chrysanthemum,
  • looking grimmer and grimmer, unfurling a steely chilliness.

  • A transient only, but I have visited and revisited this place,
  • still, all that I picked up were fragments of illumination,
  • and the constant reminder of my limitations.
  • This dizziness is giving away clues,
  • here let me give you one: better to desire in small proportions.

  • Look, the meadow sparkles with children playing with yaks,
  • a sign that everything fits together naturally.
  • A child running with open arms
  • can take off any time now, and he may turn into a cloud or a star.

  • In the distance, a herd of handsome gazelles
  • hear something, freeze as if in a trance before swiftly turning around.
  • Look at the beautiful outline of their skulls.
  • They pause before dashing off again.
  • Did something just enlighten them?
  • They look like fairies
  • floating gracefully through the air.

  • *Duck Yard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/D66T23m5WRSeNLinbj95Jg


局 限

  • 作者:李琦


  • 真是悲哀,被深深吸引的地方
  • 我又一次力不从心
  • 面色苍白,嘴唇乌青
  • 几乎奄奄一息。“你这是高原反应”
  • 我这可怜的、来自低处的人

  • 肉身的尴尬和沉重
  • 本身已形成隐喻或者提醒
  • 天地大美,我却如此不堪
  • 连呼吸都开始困难,如弥留之际

  • 绝美的雪山和湖水
  • 大自然最为幽微神奇的地方
  • 那些魂魄之处,必有玄妙和暗藏的机密
  • 而此刻,这一切正逐渐对我关闭
  • 高原,这个词是泡开的雪菊
  • 颜色渐深,缓慢散发着清冽的凉意

  • 我是过客,即便来过数次
  • 也只能是拾取领悟的碎屑
  • 更为懂得,什么是局限
  • 有些暗示,竟是从晕眩中获得
  • 比如,什么叫作——适可而止

  • 你看,那和牦牛在草地上玩耍的孩子
  • 简直金光闪闪!那是默契的光芒
  • 那个孩子,他张着两臂奔跑
  • 随时都会飞起来,变成云朵或者星宿

  • 远处,一群矫健的小羚羊
  • 听到动静,忽然怔住,蓦然转身
  • 头颅的轮廓,那么优美
  • 停顿一秒,而后,它们似有所悟
  • 继续奔跑,轻盈的身姿
  • 飘逸如幻觉



DAISY IN SPRINGTIME

  • By Mowo Er

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists*

  • Who knows if the Milky Way has seasons
  • and their stars tend to stray off in the spring
  • to cascade on Earth.
  • Is that why she encounters a small cosmic force
  • when catching Line 10
  • at Chastity Gate Tube Station^?
  • Holding a bunch of daisies she just bought,
  • next to a friend who has the flashier peonies,
  • side by side they stand on the escalator.
  • Side by side too when they were school girls
  • some twenty years ago.
  • Their bicycles gently glided over the horizon
  • as wildflowers spread around their wide skirts.
  • Nothing captured their heart like Italy then,
  • a web radiating out from the Mediterranean Sea,
  • but now, Lancôme is on the billboard,
  • a pair of red lips—oh, what curvature, how irresistible—
  • as if urging her to break away from old bondages.
  • Of course, the names Daisy, Aster, or Marguerite de Valois
  • evoke more than the names of the seasons.
  • At the tube station,
  • their newly awakened bodies
  • wait for the carriages to come to a stop.
  • Maybe this time the right door will open,
  • and unlock a secret world for them.

  • Note: ^Anzhenmen Tube Station

  • *Duck Yard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/bC5fyrddjNlrgGHweKcBeA


雏 菊

  • 作者:莫卧儿


  • 银河里的星星在春天
  • 时常因为决堤改道
  • 奔流到地球上来
  • 地铁十号线安贞门站口
  • 她遭遇了一场小规模瀑布
  • 怀抱刚买的雏菊
  • 和怀抱洋牡丹的女友
  • 肩并肩站在电梯上
  • 轻松倒带回二十年前
  • 高中生的单车
  • 摩擦着地平线的睫毛
  • 小野花雾气一般弥漫在大裙摆间
  • 再没有比意大利做经线
  • 地中海做纬线更诱惑的网了
  • 面前Lancome广告牌红唇的弧度微妙
  • 泄露是否需要挣脱网绳
  • 成为这个时代的悬念
  • 而春菊、延命菊、玛格丽特之花
  • 这些孪生名片听起来
  • 比季节更有说服力
  • 地铁站里的她们
  • 有着刚刚觉醒的胴体
  • 只等一节呼啸而来的车厢
  • 插入锁孔,咔哒一声
  • 秘密机关洞开



THE RUMBLE OF THUNDER, METAPHORICALLY SPEAKING

  • By Nan Qiu

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists

  • No sign of heavy rain despite the incessant rumble of thunder.
  • A premonition that I better heed.
  • At least I should be fully attentive
  • to analyzing the source.

  • A lot like someone crying a long cry but there are no tears.
  • A lot like a long rehearsal without saying a line on stage.
  • A lot like a mansion with open doors but no one comes and goes.
  • A lot like a Taoist monk reciting incantations
  • but no relatives are present.
  • A lot like a protagonist in an epic novel who has yet to appear.

  • Perhaps this world is an illusion,
  • only the rumble of thunder is real.
  • It strikes a contrary note
  • that thunder rumbles high and far but is incapable of human pathos.
  • Perhaps thunder struggles to communicate,
  • and we are far too preoccupied with other things.

  • *Duck Yard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊) : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/0LqSaStMngwlZDtuFpg35Q


雷声,或者语意

  • 作者:南秋

  • 这么长久的雷声却不见大雨落下
  • 我必须引以为戒了
  • 至少,我必须认真地倾听
  • 剖析它们的来路

  • 这多么像长嚎之人却不见眼泪落下
  • 这多么像蓄势已久的朗诵却不见一句台词
  • 这多么像一座大房子敞开着却不见一人出入
  • 这多么像道士忘我地念念有词地做法事
  • 却不见一名至亲在场
  • 这多么像长篇巨著中未有一个主角现身

  • 或许,这世界只是个虚拟
  • 只有雷声是真实的
  • 或许,恰恰相反
  • 雷声虽然通天,却未必通晓人间
  • 或许,雷声言不达意
  • 我们已经入木三分



A HEART SWIMMING IN SOLITUDE

  • By Sea of July

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists*

  • A drowned man returned from the night
  • to touch her fingers, to teach her to play
  • the river that was not there.

  • Eyes float in the dark,
  • and the heart swims in solitude.
  • She wants to cry for the water’s sorrows,
  • and laugh for its happiness.

  • “I can no longer keep up
  • with the white goddess, let me submit to my own magic.”
  • A voice digs deep into her.

  • She takes his place and looks out the window
  • where the moon rises, plain-looking like a white dot.
  • The river’s waves are meaningless, too, hardly a eulogy.

  • All night she could not leave the dark spell,
  • but she loves the water’s lacework
  • far more than the snake deep in the river.

  • —How beautiful and quiet it is!
  • When she was cast ashore like a big fish,
  • she continues to search for the mysterious water.

  • *Duck Yard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/v1N0mt4Jv1PwBk7qOQOlmQ


一颗心在孤独里游泳

  • 作者:七月的海


  • 溺死的人从黑夜中返回
  • 又一次牵动她的手指,去弹奏
  • 那条乌有的河流

  • 一个人的眼睛
  • 在黑夜里浮动,一颗心在孤独里游泳
  • 她想替水哭,替水笑

  • “我再也无法追上
  • 那白色的神像了,我只能屈从于自身的魔力”
  • 一个声音洞穿了她

  • 她替他忧伤地看着窗外
  • 而此刻,月亮只是一个白点
  • 浪花更是无用的悼词

  • 整个夜晚,她都在魔障里转圈
  • 但她爱锯齿状的花边
  • 胜过那条藏于水底的蛇

  • ——多么寂静而美好啊
  • 当她突然像一条大鱼
  • 被抛到岸上,她还在寻找那些秘密的水




ZHANG XIAOJING’S AUTUMN

  • By Tian Fa

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists*

  • A busy time for Zhang Xiaojing in the autumn.
  • Even before her crowfeet can relax,
  • she has to be in the field for the day’s work.
  • The grapes are ripe. As her husband,
  • I can only afford to come home now and then.
  • Therefore when my neighbors see me, they are all smiles:
  • “you are here to lend a hand.”
  • It seems as if Autumn is hers only,
  • and dreamlike I have been left out.
  • For Zhang Xiaojing, Autumn is here,
  • and I'm more like one of her hired hands.

  • *Duckyard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers:: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/3m9aPRoFEleae4ENVWqabg

张晓静的秋天

  • 作者:田 法


  • 张晓静的秋天是忙碌的
  • 连眼角的鱼尾纹
  • 也顾不上舒展
  • 就要去地里干活
  • 葡萄熟了。而作为她的男人
  • 我只是隔三差五才能回来一趟
  • 以至邻居见了我,都笑着说
  • 回来帮忙来了
  • 仿佛,秋天只是她一个人的
  • 潜意识已把我
  • 忽略。张晓静的秋天
  • 我更像她的一个雇工



EMBER-ROASTED SWEET-POTATO

  • By Zhang Xinquan

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists*

  • To roast sweet potatoes,
  • he selects the finest ones that speak to him,
  • places them in a barrel-shaped oven,
  • and arranges them to get snug and cozy along the oven's wall
  • in a circle, stretching, sweating,
  • just like poets. Aah! Aa! Ouch!
  • roasted over coals, they slowly turn soft, aromatic, sweet,
  • moans and sighs are now softer, giving steamy scents,
  • Mmm...
  • Before considering it done, he’d make sure
  • everyone is evenly roasted front and back
  • until he too becomes an ember-roasted sweet potato.
  • The red glow on his face and his coarse garment
  • has me awestruck,
  • so I huddle close to the oven and listen to his stories.
  • When he is flat out, I handle the money and change,
  • sharing his simple fare of strong tea and baked sesame bread.

  • It's dusk and I ride with him on his sweet-potato cart to go home.
  • Q: What do you do, my gray-haired big brother?
  • A: I write, paid by number of words, a few decades now.
  • He chuckles and says: "Far better to code sweet potatoes.
  • Change job, better to be a sweet, warm-hearted street pedlar..."

  • *Duck Yard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊) : https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/zKn-uAZcNxiORBCQXlo56g


布衣红薯

  • 作者:张新泉

  • 烤红薯就是把红薯中
  • 优秀而落寞的选出来
  • 放进炉子,让它们贴着炉壁
  • 站成一圈。伸腰,淌汗
  • 诗人一样——哦!啊!噢!
  • 然后逐渐变软,变香,变甜
  • 由叹气到哈气,到噫吁嚱
  • 卖红薯的烤完前胸又烤后背
  • 直到把自己也烤成一根
  • 红光满面的布衣红苕
  • 直到吸引我驻足观赏
  • 偎他炉子听他身世倚他车辕
  • 忙不过来时,帮他收整找零
  • 也接受他浓茶伴烧饼的便餐
  • 黄昏,搭他架子车回家
  • 问:白发老兄什么的干活?
  • 答:一个几十年的码字工
  • 他笑笑说,码字不如码红苕
  • 改行吧,来当糖心蜜肺的小商贩……



A HUMBLE POEM

  • By Zhang Zuogeng

  • Translated by Duckyard Lyricists*

  • The inexplicable
  • tiny
  • eye of a needle that lets a camel walk through,
  • the camel that looks like a small tumbleweed
  • will now enter my eye.

  • The earth that shudders under the wheelchair,
  • the rain’s glitter that falls through the air undetected,
  • those sobs that faintly ripple between the fingers,
  • the tender bud unaffected by the cold spell in spring…

  • The meteor shower
  • that slid by and caressed my cheeks,
  • the inexplicable
  • tiny
  • bristles of spring wheat that brushed against my heart…

  • —each of them a grain of sand that built the pagoda—
  • my humble and tenacious life.
  • Things infinitesimal,
  • smaller than a second,
  • but when I hold them all,
  • I feel larger than the universe.
  • When I gather all of their lightness,
  • I feel all the things that make up my life.

  • Therefore, I bend
  • like a sheaf of wheat.

  • *Duckyard Lyricists is a group of devoted poetry lovers:: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

  • Symultaneouly broadcast in China via Wexin (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊): https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/jRqB8KxNlxbvgYfl366RhA





卑微之诗

  • 作者:张作梗

  • 那微妙的
  • 微小的
  • 针孔里走骆驼的
  • 从任一方向看去都像微末的飞蓬
  • 要钻进我眼睛里的
  • 那轮椅下战栗的地面
  • 那空中察觉不到的雨星儿
  • 那微澜,那从手指缝里迸出的啜泣
  • 那一粒倒春寒也捂不熄的嫩芽儿
  • 那滑过我脸颊的
  • 流星的抚摸
  • 那微妙的
  • 微小的
  • 像春天的麦芒儿拂过我心尖的吹息……
  • ——它们聚沙成塔
  • 构成了我卑微而顽强的一生
  • 这些微茫的
  • 比一秒钟还小的东西
  • 当我完整地拥有了它们
  • 我感觉我比宇宙还大
  • 是它们的轻,让我获得了生命的重量——
  • 我因此像谷穗
  • 低下头来。