連葉 Leaf Contact

Translated by Kwok KwanMun, Lo Kwoi Cheung, John Minford  


By chance we come to this lotus-field
And walk on an old plank into the thick of leaves
silence rubbing silence, utters sound
This is a wonder, green answering green
an encounter in this morning of a world
there the wind blows open the closed faces
here it sets in motion my cusped leaf-edge
we shall make contact
and begin clumsy explanations
the leaf-veins which language can illuminate
are the only world we have
the fresh morning dews which gradually grow round
make me still, my silence
touches another leaf, each bearing alike
the weight of an insect at rest
A chance encounter in this world, side by side
with no intentional prosody
we utter the same sound, then drift apart
rather than explore each other in the wind,
better raise our heads naturally, meaning will surface gradually
there will be frosted snow on the leaves to weigh upon me
Growing from the same shallow, narrow water
we strive to stand erect on a hollow green stem
to reach a space more genuine
I know we cannot depart from this world and its
language but neither would we follow it
When we fall silent, there will still be noise
each abiding the seasons' dust
listening attentively, and as we unfurl
we can sense the colours of distant waters

Summer 1983





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