染葉 Stainings

Translated by Gordon T. Osing  


Stainings



The tea is bitter; I remove the bag casually
to the napkin by my cup, and soon enough find its white field, too,
Staining steadily as a browning edge of leaf, spreading
Like the inevitable twilight, like an awareness of music,
Like the lamp light that is drowning in the known winter outside.

A blank page gets ruined like this, soon as words are put down
And sealed, pressed into layers, or torn carefully
Into shapes fragmentary and suggestive. Or say a letter does
Pass through winding alleys to a secret address, where the words
Are reversed in a painterís mirror, in the shadow of a dance

That is the silhouette of flowers on a peeling wall.
Delivered so, they are no longer the same words; they drift
On an expanse of water, held in the surges and ripples of waves.
Like a note in a bottle, my words are found and unraveled
Right in front of my eyes and Iím all but undone.

You stare out, then down, recalling Ė what?
When you look up at me, your eyes both laugh and cry.
You havenít seen between my lines but read easily the bitterness in the tea.
Hands on the wheel and looking straight ahead in the mirror,
You take the past born between us and in silence drive off.




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Copyright © AIEL 2008. All words and images are the property of Leung Ping Kwan and his associates. All Rights Reserved.