The New Rubáiyát
These quatrains of a reclusive roamer were not meant for
the coronation of an empire in its afterglow
Like lustre and reflections on a blue-white porcelain vase
peacefully set the winter horizon aglow
In grasping a brief word you grasp a miracle
When you take it in firm grasp, you get firemarks and commandments
At the labyrinthine crossroads
you spread words to make your garden fragrant
Like a herd of stones whipped forward
In them the impact of oceanic waves have left traces
There found mellow words their emblematic forms
Like wreckage giving the long-lost sunshine an embrace
Your songs are brimmed with gloomy spruces
loaded with stones and overgrown with roses fading
Hurricanes whistle through them
abandoning on the escarpment a pieces of eagle-wing
All ephemerality in your words vanishes swiftly
Tranquility resides nowhere but in the velvety hearts
The autumn moon is a spectacular funeral of flowers’ prime
When plants rested in elegies and rhythmic bars
Constellations twinkling into oblivion
have seeped through the delta of sorrow
Like wisps of reminiscence clinging on the mind
covered with faint moroseness and taken into tomorrow
Flags of the husk are waist-deep in ashes
and spattering blood have grown into stone-cold rust
Every strand of blood divaricates into two underground rivers
Similarly smelling of iron, salt and aromatic dust
Underneath curtains of dusky snowflakes
hibernates the weary city
A bleak soul exploiting inward, cannot resist
radiance of the crystal deep within,melting into nihility
Uninvited snow comes out of the blue,
An azure vault swirls between tender hands
hands of innocent children
Into serenity flow melodies from celestial bands
A flash of amazing inspiration
and marvelous fragrance in profusion
A thread of ethereal voice
and semantic contact with revelation
A sighing breeze has landed from Jerusalem
which hovers in a sky of jasmine flowers
This breeze of eternity from Holy City
has led pilgrims through torturing hours
Features of the paradise
emerges from a mundane mirror
Sometimes mellifluous and fresh
sometimes murkier and dimmer
“He tames flames into roses.”
and made water balmy of jasmine and daffodil
He is the yeast of immortality
transient instants that light and heat could barely fill
Sun Qian is a Hui Islamic poet and freelance writer, born in the 50’s in Bao Ji (“Cradle of bronzeware”), Shaanxi Province, while having roots in old imperial capital Luo Yang, who has been engaged in poetry writing for 30+ years, in a trident form of writing: a combination of neoclassic poetry, Islamic poetry and artistic poetry, whose poetry anthologies include Book of Spiritual Strength, The New Rubáiyát, The Muslim Poems, The Book of Realms, a collection of his poems and essays Sagittarius Rising and many other literary works. During late years, he has been devoted to Islamic poetry writing, by which to create an Islamic atmosphere in Chinese poetry and to advocate religious divinism in poetry. His works have appeared in Poetry, the Stars, Writers, Ethnic minorities’ Literature, Oriental and Occidental Poetry, One Line(America), The Blue Star(Taiwan), Epoch Poetry(Taiwan), International Chinese literary(Australia), and several other magazines abroad. His works were translated into Japanese, English and Arabian listed in a variety of poetry selections home and abroad.
At times you are sincere with yourself and recognize that
The disease is part of life. You enjoy to stay sick.
If life is rotten or holed by worms, the genes should be to blame.
Seeking to heal himself is an art.
Good cures are on a screen or in a psychiatric hospital?
The personality is instantly simplified, if it is not a matter of schizophrenia.
“Your suffering will only serve as a source of inspiration for another.”
A poem is being forged.
Similarly, you search for the mystery of the placebo, by making masks by words.
Suddenly, feeling your throat very bitter, you catch up the habit of withdrawal.
“Life is ephemeral. Quick, spread your viruses.”
Langji Tianya obtained a Ph.D. degree in Robotics from a French university, and works now for a group company based in France. She takes great interest in poetry and essay writing, and her works have been published in magazines in the past few years. In 2017 she published a collection of poems entitled “The Mystery of Superstring” written in Chinese and French.
The Cat and the Wren
Partitioned by the French windows
The old killer becomes a law-abiding beast
Plus the changing autumn tints
Hunger reveals the empty beauty of long absence
A beam of light is inserted silently
To illumine the hunting blood-shot pupils
The gemstone is more profound, the gold more lifelike
Even the withered bamboo is dyed in sunglow
And a good speaker is ignorant, hence dauntless
This is the only means of antagonism
Living in one’s own secure world
Secretly in love with everything: worms or green apples
Even the pocket-size panther which is fond of killing
Time tells truth, the birds
Are much braver than us
Wings are quicker than bending for jumping
The antagonizing black recluses
Contemptuous a short distance away yet poles apart
The huge garden is put into the cage
Slaughter gradually becomes a game
Hence no reason to be afraid
The desperate heart of ambition is changing the situation of winds & clouds
Partitioned by plume and hair, joy and sorrow
The heartbeats are audible but no exchanges
Freedom is bending itself, the ornamental bow has been locked deep
The fiery beak and silvery hook sharpen the weapon of words
Come on my dear enemy
A lethal blow is better than lifelong loneliness
Xiang Yixian was born in Wanyuan, Sichuan Province in 1963. He now lives in Chengdu, a poet and professor at Sichuan University. His poetic and academic works include “The Poets Beyond the Lakes,” “Music of Tang Poetry,” “My Confucius,” “My Pronunciation,” “Diary of Chinese Official Titles,” “The Chronicle of Chinese Stone Carvings,” and a long historical drama “Legend of Mulan”. His poems have won the Special Prize of the First Chinese Poetry Exploration Contest in “Poetry”, the Tianzhu (Baiwei) Poetry Award, the Natong International Confucianism Award, the “Chengdu Commercial News” Chinese Poet of the Year Award, the First Yang Wanli Poetry Award,and the “Star” Annual Poet Nomination Award, Li Bai Cup Poetry Award. His poetic works are richly anthologized and translated into many foreign languages both at home and abroad. In the 1980s, he and his colleagues successively launched a few freelance poetic magazines such as “Red Flag”,”Dynasty” and “Xiangwang”.
The Realm of Rage
Who witnessed these dramatic changes?
Who could imagine the lava under the seabed
would erupt, and cool down to be the basalt,
like a dark pillowed couch that a tyrant lounges on?
Who could know our seabed rocks
Would slowly deform like ice cream
coated with a thin crust of chocolate, kids’ favorite treat?
And it’s strong enough to support a continent, more than
enough to stage the drama of the rise and fall of an empire?
Through the centuries, who witnessed
the unnoticed shift of the notorious fault
near San Andreas, California,
which has made San Francisco and Los Angeles
turn away from each other?
Who is recording these collisions and crushing, like
a man who just lost his job waving a steel bar to break
anything around him, leaving his weeping wife,
frightened, feeling cold from head to toe?
Who would narrate all these events: The gentle sea rises
to be a horrifying tsunami while a quake is playing a game
on the edge, like an April Fool’s prank that goes too far?
We saw reflections of salt grains in the rainy seasons,
But the scourging August can’t stop the sea
from sending a mind-cooling breeze. A man stands for a limit.
On the quiet ocean surface, giant ships get all the attention.
We try not to go too much in depth:
Every mountain ridge is different; the oceanic troughs
are so complex in structure, like our own stomach
filled with bubbling gastric fluid ––
A blind spot in our ego, a delta of conflicts.
Explosions rocked my neighborhood, near the church.
Plumes of black smoke rose over the scene like wrinkles
rising from a massive plate collision.
Tariffs go lower and lower, wheat prices and avian flu go
up and down, a living show of an ocean trench event:
The precise expression of a lost strip cannot explain
the aggravating situation on the earth until it breaks,
sinks, spreads, and eventually comes to
a most violent showdown, a war –– a live volcano,
the end of an endemic: A turmoil through which
a steep rock bed formed. To maintain the delicate status quo,
however, the continuous lift must be suppressed,
though nobody knows where the limit is of the rage.
Would the savage force surface like a delayed action bomb
ticking in a jubilant restaurant in Jerusalem?
Hangzhou, February 11, 2004
Wang Ziliang, a contemporary Chinese poet, was born in Taizhou, Zhejiang Province in 1958. Engaged in agriculture, handicraft and high school education successively since 1975, and accepted by Hangzhou University (which was afterwards incorporated into Zhejiang University) in 1977. his career varied from government official, chief-editor of a newspaper and executive of an large-scale enterprise since 1982, and at present professor of School of the Institute of Public Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University. His poetry works began to appear in magazines since 1978, and was invited to the 2nd Youth Poetry Seminar in 1982. He has the following poetry anthologies published: Triangular Prism(1984), A Boat Sailing Alone (1992), Turbulent Boundaries (2004), Tossing the Dice to the Sea(2013),Kangrinboqe(2016), as well as essays and criticisms. Also, his poems are included in An Anthology of Young Poets(1981-1982), 300 Misty Poems and various other poem collections. His was ranked amongst top 100 of the 1st Award for International Chinese poetry hosted by www.artsbj.com. His won silver award of the 1st Chinese Qu Yuan Poetry Award with Tossing the Dice to the Sea(2013) and was nominated for the 1st China Good Poetry Award with the poem Clocks Store.
Iron from Two Different Centuries
On the Magnificent map of this land surged out the mighty waters
Images of ever-evolving sumptuous raiment since Tang Dynasty, drift forward with the flow of history
Like unfinished manuscripts ruffled by breaths of thunders
A broken bridge stands in amnesia of this Century
A river named WORLD flooded over the scroll of ancient China, thus divaricated hundreds of streams from that spot
Tracks of lightings were similar: always crossing the borders of bloodlines and realms
which initiate transmutations, as the ice-breaker of the ever-lasting stand-off
How they trembled in resonances
on the coordinate plane of this marvelous land! Twisting and turning
A long century beyond another, a devious mile after another
They depicted the heaven and earth
On this land, people drink morality from their mother river
And feed on the intonation of wood types
On the boundary of plagues, unknown elements drift or go down in their sleep
When order of the universe falls in the hands of courtiers
On the ancient road appeared the Confucian scholars,
marching on horses, donkeys and mules
Thousands of types, are mirrors of vicissitudes
Iron was born this way, it’s a kind of humanity incubated from metal
which touched the lining of human nature,deeper within. So recluse is the god of birds!
Beyond the great river, flood season came ahead of time this year
During which, people usually stoke their golden wheat
And fondle their women in rustling early-summer dreams
Behind their souls, the essences have been devoured by viruses
Overflowed with religions, the land of the Five Buddhas
has witnessed ages of gloom with the reticence of iron
With all possible blessings, he dived into meditation of Zen
There is a foggy river for the country to cross, before which
It will need iron as a life-supporting element.
The weight and hardness of an era
when rust was used as a reactant for sulfurization
The history of metallurgy just began…
Iron! Once it woke up Ceres
It also condescended to mingle with everything around!
My epic iron!
In the antique breezes that spread all virtues
Only the smell of iron has never changed
（Translated by Yin Xiaoyuan）
Hai Shang: Born in November 1952 in Shanghai, Hai Shang is an avant-garde poet, a critic as well as a freelance. He is an expert in rock paintings, and enjoys widespread reputation as “the Folk Thinker”.
Published books include: The Revived Bird, Death, Desertion and an Empty Boat, Scattered Shadows, Manuscripts of Random Thoughts, Origins of Flora of the Mortal World, A Soul Brimming with Solitude, Mistletoe, Embryonic, and his most famous full-length poem Time, in Its Metaphysical Sense. His latest publication is Star of Amber (Encyclopedic Poetry School’ 10th Anniversary Celebration Series).
Courtesy of La Macchina Sognante, whci published the poets in two installments curated by Lucia Cupertino, in issue n. 14 and 15. For Part I, go to TDM issue n. 4