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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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,
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
Please don’t send me away
Till the end of fall
If you must
Send me to your garden instead
Together we will mulch
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
The competitive nature of weeds
We did not sew
So don’t send me away
Until the winter’s crop
– Lennox Washington Taylor
Edited by Lisa Taylor