Monday, May 23, 2016

A Yang Lian Poem/MUSIC: Gong Lina and Shina

FADO: Return of the Sea 

Thread drawn from the flesh 
Is like a sleeping child    softness of the child 
Demarcates how far I must look into the distance 

Endlessly stripping off a piece of gleaming dolphin skin 
Ripples of light sing    from birth 
Scattering jade blue    sundried words 

A million years of song await that return 
A million years    every instant is a cliff 
The silvery white of fish bones suddenly penetrates the body 

Fine sand diffuses the speed of light underwater 
Light from the lamp on the sunken ship’s mast 
Night after night plumbs    the depth of the heart’s dead seabed 

Sing    on the locked sea 
The wrecks’ love stabs blind the eyes    wounds 
Ripples of onlookers surround the wound in the home village 

Sing    a thread of blood in a sexual encounter 
Does not deny the child’s pain 
Scorched orphan splashed up by the reef    at birth 

Is shattered    and in life is shattered while growing 
My focus follows the tides within the name 
Growing to maturity    goblet with the sea’s bitter saltiness 

Always being removed    at the edge of the sky 
An open louvered window    sea gulls 
Fly towards it always    returning to a single singing voice 

100,000 years of brilliance    100,000 clouds 
This cloud holds tight a small face    burnishing it with gold 
To love the sea is to love you    and the fate that I swallow


(Trans. Mabel Lee)

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