Fri | Apr 23, 2021

Poems

Published:Sunday | March 14, 2021 | 12:18 AM

How can I not miss her?

By Bannong Liu

Translated by Rick Rugang Ye

A few silky clouds float in the sky.

Embracing the ground, a gentle breeze blows by.

Oh!

It touches and stirs my hair.

How can I not miss her – my fair?

Moonlight is in love with the sea of night,

The sea is in love with moonlight.

Oh!

The silvery night is sweet like honey,

How can I not miss her – my sweetie?

On the water flower petals slowly flow.

In the water fish swim in a row.

Oh!

What are you saying, swallow?

How can I not miss her so?

In the cold wind a withered tree sways,

In the dusk wild fire burns with bright rays.

Oh!

In the western sky remain rosy afterglows,

How can I not miss her – my rose?

About the original poem: This famous poem was written in 1920 when the author was studying at a college in London. The pronoun “her” in the poem can be interpreted to be his motherland China, his mother, or someone he was in love with. This poem is one of the most important modern Chinese poems. Besides its significance in poetry, it also played a pivotal role in the development of modern Chinese language. Indeed, the Chinese version of the pronoun her (and she) was first used in this poem. The author Bannong Liu was a well-known writer, linguist, educator and pioneer of Chinese New Culture Movement.

About the translator: Rick Rugang Ye is a professor of mathematics at University of California, Santa Barbara, he is is a well-known mathematician, poet, and translator.

Courtesy Confucius Institute, the University of the West Indies, Mona.

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I’m not my hair or skin colour, I’m a woman

Some misunderstand the beauty of our women in the land.

They say it is the colour of the skin, the length and flow of the hair,

The slim and sleek of the cheek, but you’ve got strong kinki coils and chocolate skin with flat broad feet.

Rise and stand tall young woman,

Speak confidence and empower the reflection you dare to look upon.

It’s not about appearance ,

It’s about being strong to overcome obstacles,

Perseverance when faced with adversities

Determination when you have tried all and fail,

Courage to take bold steps, you’ll tell the tale

Faithful to your creator who has destined you for greatness,

He knew you from your mother’s womb and directed your steps.

Beauty is not appearance, it is showing gratitude, being kind, caring and loving.

It surpasses hair, race, colour, skin and melanin.

Beauty is lifting others up, affirming, empowering and standing with them.

Give us the world to run and watch the power and strength of women.

We are powerful beyond measure,

Man needs a mate, so women they desire.

Don’t be jealous of your kind,

Work in one accord, one love to achieve peace of mind.

We should work together to defy all odds,

To dismantle domestic violence and gender inequality,

We have skills, talents and understanding, not in disparity.

Rise and stand tall young woman, see from a distance,

Your worth is not determined by your appearance.

– Tashana Clarke

-----

Embrace life

Covered under a cloud of shadow

Keeping up a façade of perfection.

A secret well guarded

That the picture painted is just what it is.

Hidden in a swirl of confusion

The world must not see

Behind the painting

The web of mixed emotions

Coloured in blues.

Answers desperately needed

Can never be sought

From doors that never will be opened

To give a glimmer of hope.

Dance on sweet lady,

Carry your load while you swirl.

Each prancing step will

Take you closer and closer

To release your mind

From the webs you encounter.

Take a deep breath,

Breathe in the realities of life.

There is only you dancing in the midnight

So move on and embrace the break of dawn.

- Carol Thomas -Johnson

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Seasons

A drifter and gardener

I am many stories old

Don’t tell me to go away

It is only May

In the winter I saw you

I was truthful and bold

You too were on a journey

Of static resistance

When we laid to play

Don’t send me away

It is only May

A drifter and gardener

I answered their call

Like a perennial plant

I need to feel from standing tall-

The emptiness of twigs,

For survival

Renewal with leaves

And flowers and flying maniacs

That tickle my parts

Take not from me

The joy of my recall

Of pods and nuts

Fruits and all

The emotions sad and glad

Of summer’s maturation

Until the autumn

Leaves fall

Please don’t send me away

Till the end of fall

If you must

Send me to your garden instead

Together we will mulch

And cultivate

Drain and aerate the soil

For new roots to grow

Summer is not too late

For winter’s crops to sew

By then the vermin that attack

Our love will know how well

We understand

The competitive nature of weeds

We did not sew

So don’t send me away

Until the winter’s crop

We reap.

– Lennox Washington Taylor

Edited by Lisa Taylor