by Leung Ping Kwan, reinterpreted from the original Chinese by Arthur Leung
Good Morning, Beijing
old stores dormant.
Bicycles sweeping across in a row, and the sun –
light spot – floating on the bowl of congee.
I raised my head, encountered
a camera shutter reluctantly,
heard engines afar, rumbling.
The teacup refuses
to show a face within,
only the tealeaf heralds
a visiting friend
bobbing its stalk.
I raise the solitary
teacup showing shadows
intruded by bitterness
while hidden jasmine petals
gather and disperse
Light spots on the tea,
hot and brown, counted
drifting in silence,
or stars of summer
that appear from sky’s
entrance and vanish
through cloud’s exit;
there is no moment
to drink to each –
meetings by chance
were felt like fragrance
of tea, faraway.
Europe after the Rain
Rain. I sought shelter in the rain,
meditators, the workers of solemn commitment.
Mottle on four-walls,
embossment of heroic stories,
the course of history was played out
by eerie lights on stained glass.
Among ruins of animal skeletons,
between maps where scars crisscross,
amidst walls half demolished and built
I watched, cleared raindrops off my neck
and found a seat for rest,
leaving those battles of disagreement,
massacres arisen from prejudice,
and a subconscious strangled with seaweed.
Those exiles, here have they found protection?
Someone fed these beggars, healed the wounds?
Nothing listened to my prayer
leaving me to shiver in the cold.
Tired too? – no answer,
perhaps deafened by the vacuum cleaner,
daily commitment to morning cleaning.