from Wheat Has Ripened

Hai Zi

Mozart Says in Requiem

Women whom I can see
women in the water
please pick up my bones
in the wheat field
bones like a bouquet of catkins
and bring them home in a violin box

Women whom I can see
clean women
women on the river
please reach into the wheat field

When I am without hope
riding home on a bundle of wheat
please pick up my scattered bones
put them in the little maroon chest, and bring it home
like your rich dowry

Let Me Rest My Feet on a Carpenter's Toolbox at Twilight

I sit at noon, pale as a bird in water
pale as an indoor carpenter
While I'm nailing a cross
on the door in my hometown
a bird on the opposite roof
is dying of age

Who says, in quiet water, I met this aged bird

Let me rest my feet in the stable
If not for bad timing
I'd remember I came from a better place
Let me rest my feet on a carpenter's toolbox at twilight
or let my feet grow into white wood in the carpenter's home
As a pigeon or the bird in water flies across my fiancée's belly
the carpenter saws me open, turns me
into his son's cradle. Cross 


Days in April      the best days
Days in October      the best days
even better than April
They are two horses      pulling a cart
pulling me toward a hospital bed
and unfortunate sickness

A green cliff falls into a shepherd's arms
Two horses
fly over the mountain

Two horses
one white and one red
snow cumulus and maple leaves
are like two sisters
are like flowers
of two sicknesses

Wheat Field of May

Brothers all over the world
will embrace in a wheat field
East, south, north and west:
four brothers in a wheat field, good brothers
will look back at the past
recite their poetry
and embrace in a wheat field

Sometimes I sit alone
in the wheat field of May      dreaming of my brothers
I see cobblestones roll over the riverbank
The arc sky at dusk
fills the earth with sad villages
Sometimes I sit in the wheat field reciting Chinese poetry
My eyes disappear, my lips disappear


translated from the Chinese by Ye Chun