Why are we here?
Why are we alive?
To look at the moon.
To think of each other,
to help each other,
to work for each other.
Why are we here?
To look at the moon.
To feel spring.
Why are we alive?
To feel alone,
to feel hurt.
Why are we here?
To look at the moon.
To look for each other,
to be together,
to smell the night.
Why are we alive?
To feel cold.
To hear the city,
to hear each other.
To look at the moon,
whenever we can.

MW March 2019




Daddy, who is this?
He is called Li Bifeng.
I just translated a poem by him.
He is in prison.
They are all in prison.
This one is a writer, too.
Why is he in prison?
He took part in protests, demonstrations.
Demonstration, you remember what that is?
Yes, we were in one together this year.

Where is this?
This is in China.
What else did he do?
He organized strikes.
Do you know what strikes are?
Strikes are when workers in a factory say they won’t work,
all of them.
To get better pay.
To get insurance, you know what that is?
When you are sick, to get money
from insurance so you can get a doctor,
go to hospital.

Daddy, are there any places with no government?
Good question.
There are some places where women are in charge.
They own the land, they run things.
Used to.
Sometimes still do.
Places in China.

Well, they should.
Women are important. Women bear children.

I don’t know if there are any places with no government.
There are some places with not many people at all.
Deserts, mountains.

MW 2013




the moon is coming round
she will be perfectly full very soon
she has been out cold for a very long time
people like her
they try to revive her
she’s coming round
it’s always like that
this time of the year

MW March 2019


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