By Mo Xiaoyu
The house is yours, the furniture in the house, the dust
on the furniture, is mine
The clock on the wall is yours, the ticking sound
of the clock, the days that tick are mine.
What also belong to you are the fences and
along the fences, magnolia trees, roses, seteria, and the yard
with gapped wooden floor. But these things
don't belong to you -- shadow of fences, dew
on roses, love magnolia has for seteria.
In winter of the little yard, snow covers
every inch of the plants, the prints of barefoot
on the snow, the tiny buds
of magnolia trees, they are all mine.
There are many more that belong to me -- in early
morning sparrows garrulous in my ear to show off
their skills of knocking down ants and stones, crows
occasionally come to demonstration on my roof,
gray magpies, good at peacemaking, stayed with the man who
lived in the house, must've witnessed, like me, the game
of a spider catching a fly. When I
played two-string instrument at night, his invisible
fingers were strumming too. He left his smell,
his escaped hungry white cat to me, also left is his wild
drunken laughter. The tiger I raised,
after moving in, in order to find his white cat, forever disappeared
on a summer night. The summer was set on fire
afterwards, the fences burned to ashes. The house, vacant
for years before I moved in, now filled with cooking
smokes. The nostalgia he left here, made my Tiger
born on the sea, back to the dark sea.
(Written in Qingdao on September 9, 2017)
作者简介 About the poet:
Jianwen Liu, pen named Mo Xiaoyu, is a poet who writes in Chinese and English. Having worked at the World Bank, Jianwen is an agricultural economist, a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow to Cornell University (2000/2001), and has published two poetry collections, "Across the Shining Ocean" and "Smoke between Water and Fire". She is also the co-editor of "New Century Chinese Poetry Anthonogy". Her poems have been included in various poetry anthologies and yearbooks in China. She has won poetry awards such as "Ten Years Achievement Award for Chinese Poetry" by the 6th Chinese Poetry Spring Festival Gala Awards in 2020 and "Culture Warren Poetry Award", etc. Jianwen is from China and lives in Central Coast of California.
English version is edited on April 6, 2023. -- Mo Xiaoyu