Archive for the ‘March 2008’ Category

the life that sprouts

三月 11, 2013

3Leo

wee

little wee gets up to play
we are more than what we are
sometimes we may call it god
wee may call as soon as twelve
sometimes we may call it light
wee may call as soon as two
wee may always call at night
little wee wakes up to cry
we are less than what we are
wee may sleep as soon as noon
sometimes we may call it god
wee may call as late as eight
sometimes we can see the light
wee can call us any time
sometimes we can feel the night
sometimes wee can be alright

October 2007

頑張る

Second Anniversary of the 2011 Japan Earthquake

hold it

(quakes, tsunamis, nuclear threats …)

the days of the blossoms
the yellow the white
the shoots and the air
and the birds and the bees
the flies and the beetles
the earth and the trembling
the cars that come floating
the buildings come tumbling
the life that sprouts

MW March 2011

innehalten

(fuer japan, yunnan, burma …)

die tage die blueten
die spitzen die gruenen
die weissen die gelben
die bienen die fliegen
die wogen die steigen
die wagen die treiben
die erde die bebt und
das leben das keimt

MW Maerz 2011

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/ToriiAndWreckage.jpg

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some

三月 31, 2008

some

quite a few have been arrested
some have simply disappeared
somebody has picked them up
riots go with violence
all the witnesses are saying
peace and order are restored
like in some andean countries
and at many other places
all the witnesses are saying
quite a few have been arrested
some have simply disappeared
somebody has picked them up
some of them turn up again

MW March 2008

manche

三月 30, 2008

manche

manche sind verhaftet worden
manche andre sind verschwunden
jemand hat sie abgeholt
unruhen sind nicht gewaltlos
sagen alle augenzeugen
recht und ordnung gibt es nicht
wie in manchen andenstaaten
oder auch an andern orten
manche sind verhaftet worden
manche andern sind verschwunden
jemand hat sie abgeholt
manche tauchen wieder auf
manche haben ueberlebt

MW            Maerz 2008

we are ready for the games

三月 27, 2008

we are ready for the games

heute wird es wieder warm
es gibt kleine lila blumen
und die rosen kommen wieder
und die voegel singen auch
der maulbeerbaum ist arg beschnitten
manche voegel sind gefangen
und gehoeren alten maennern
auf dem schulhof stehen kinder
exerzieren in der sonne
oder manche auch im schatten
heute wird es wieder warm
ich glaub es sind gut 300
kinder zwischen sechs und zwoelf
alle sind gut vorbereitet
we are ready for the games

MW        Maerz 2008

kein mond

三月 27, 2008

kein mond

der mond ist heute nicht zu sehen
aber sterne leuchten hell
weisse wolken ziehen auf
der wind ist kalt und schnell

MW        Maerz 2008

Maia and Zhuang Zhuang

三月 26, 2008

Maia and Zhuang Zhuang

Kindergarten

三月 26, 2008

This is the official photo from Leo’s third birthday on Friday March 14 at Kindergarten. Maia looks very happy!

birthday

Balthasar

三月 24, 2008

Balthasar

Hutong children

三月 24, 2008

Balthasar, Ludwig, Theresa and Maia

er ist heute wieder gruen

三月 24, 2008

er ist heute wieder gruen

er ist heute wieder gruen
er ist auch noch ziemlich voll
sterne sieht er auch ein paar
und der wind frischt wieder auf

MW        Maerz 2008

Rechenberg Couture in Beijing

三月 24, 2008

Sign

ostersonntag oder montag

三月 24, 2008

ostersonntag oder montag

ist er wieder rausgekommen
ist er wieder auferstanden
ist er wieder aufgewacht
hat man ihn ans kreuz geflochten
hat man ihn ins grab gesperrt
was ist dabei rausgekommen
fruehling ist herausgekommen
sonne wieder aufgestanden
mond ist wieder aufgewacht
letzte woche war palmsonntag
kathrins vater ist gestorben
unser sohn ist drei geworden
und in lhasa war ein aufstand
und an vielen andern orten
was ist denn herausgekommen
wer ist schuld an diesem aufstand
wer war schuld in 1960
oder 1989
wer war schuld am tod der juden
wer ist wieder auferstanden
auferstanden ist die hoffnung
sie ist wieder aufgestanden
er ist wieder rausgekommen
er ist wieder aufgewacht

MW Maerz 2008

karsamstag

三月 24, 2008

also

gestern war der zweite mond
morgen ist der ostersonntag
zweiter nach dem fruehlingsfest
gestern war der volle mond
fruehlingsfest ist zweiter neumond
nach der wintersonnenwende
ostern ist der erste sonntag
sonntag nach dem ersten vollmond
nach dem aequinoktium
tag ist gleich lang wie die nacht
fruehlingsaequinoktium
also gestern war karfreitag
orthodox ist nochmal anders
jedes jahr ein andrer tag
aber immer fruehlingsanfang
tibet ist nicht ganz wie china
vietnam hat eine katze
qingming-tag ist auch nicht weit
qingming ist der graebertag
oder auch die zeit des pfluegens
ueberall ein bisschen anders
wenigstens hat es geregnet
also wird es hier in beijing
mit dem sandsturm nicht so schlimm

MW Maerz 2008

Maia in Beijing March 21, 2008

三月 21, 2008

March 21

rain

三月 21, 2008

March 21 in Beijing

late reports

三月 21, 2008

late reports

evening papers!
late reports
they were shooting in the sky
finally we have some rain in beijing
latest stories from tibet
sound like taiwan ’47
taiwan and tibet in china
they are different views of china
vietnam or mongolia
there are many different views
wanbao, wanbao!
zao you zaobao
wan you wanbao
bushi bu bao
shijian wei dao

MW March 2008

art

三月 20, 2008

Two days ago I went to Wikipedia in Chinese and stumbled on a photo of the Dalai Lama. The browser started generating error messages. When I tried to get there again, my screen went black. Then it was blue, with a message from Microsoft about a serious system failure. “Starting memory dumping” was at the bottom. I had been using Gladder, a Firefox entension for circumventing the Great Firewall when you’re in China.

In the 1980s, when I was an undergraduate student, we had a Chinese reading class. It was mostly Chinese government-issued information on Tibet. There was one phrase I remember. The soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army were generous, so they didn’t ask the Tibetan people immediately to pay back the cost of pacifying their land. That was a memorable sentence. Then in 2001 or so I was translating and dubbing films for the Ministry of Culture in Beijing. There was a report on celebrating 50 years of liberating Tibet. Somebody important called me and asked me to please finish it quickly. It was a very important piece. Hu Jintao, who was already very important back then, had led a central party delegation on a fact-finding trip through Tibet to prepare for the celebrations. They stayed at ordinary people’s homes. And when they left in the morning, they gave the peasant family gifts to thank them for letting them stay. They gave them framed pictures of the core leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. Chairman Mao Zedong, Chairman Deng Xiaoping and Chairman Jiang Zemin. That was a memorable scene.

What is art? What is music? Music makes you dance or cry. Art is truth. It’s the truth in the ear of the beholder. Or in other orifices. Or somewhere in between. They call it the heart. There have always been found objects. And pictures of leaders.

er

三月 19, 2008

er

er ist eine gruene maske
er ist wieder ziemlich kalt
sandsturm war erst heute morgen
hoffentlich hat jedermann
einen warmen unterschlupf

MW Maerz 2008

almost three

三月 17, 2008

Leonard Winter

memory

三月 17, 2008

memory

we were discussing poetry
the one in scots was very good
and we had a dog with us
reading fathers’ hands aloud
we were having memories
back in 1989
didn’t hear of tibet then
it was early in the year
at the time i was in taiwan
haven’t found the shadow yet
shadow on the other side
there my son broke through the ice
actually there was no ice
when we stepped down from the island
it was getting warm already
we had asked a little girl
did she think the ice was safe
they were swimming in a hole
they have done it every year
it was getting warm already
no more skating on the ice
a touch of blue
the sky was fine
not far from here
in memory
we walked across the shichahai
we walked the ice
the island round
my son broke in
up to the leg
the beijing sky
back in 1989
i remember january
didn’t hear of tibet then
my father’s hands
his hands were warm
when i was small
we were discussing poetry
we climbed out on the other side
we warmed up in a coffee shop
and then we took a taxi home
actually we took a bus
yesterday back from the lake
it is early march this year
actually it’s not so early
it’s the middle of the month
please remember carefully

MW March 2008

my father’s hands

三月 17, 2008

my father’s hands
– after Lisa Suhair Majaj

my father’s hands
are not like mine
his hands were big
when i was small
his hands were hard
he built a house
his hands were warm
they are still big
my father’s hands
he is not tall
maybe his hands
are not that big
my son is small
his hands are soft
are they like mine?
we’ll wait and see

MW March 2008

three

三月 17, 2008

three

the moon was high and bright last night
we celebrated three years full
the stars were out and shone for you
you sat and ate a lot of cake

MW March 2008

Three

if

三月 17, 2008

if

if only night was in the day
if only we were quieter
maybe just a little bit
just a little bit of peace

MW March 2008

drei

三月 14, 2008

drei

der mond ist heute wieder kaelter
der hof ist auch ein bisschen gruen
die sterne leuchten wieder hell
die winde heulen um das haus
drei jahre bist du morgen frueh

MW Maerz 2008

second moon

三月 12, 2008

second moon

like a dirty old banana

lying up there on a plate

or a slim discoloured slit

i can see a star or two

but the air is better now

maybe we will have some rain

we’ve been getting only smog

though the days are nice and warm

it’s a dryness in the throat

i don’t think the rain will come

MW March 2008

Qianmen, Dunhuang and Dali

三月 10, 2008
How are you doing? This is Leo at the local McDonald’s. They are bigger than the local KFC, and have a good playground inside. Actually, the weather has been warm enough to play outside for a long time now. Yesterday we went to the Meishuguan, the National Gallery. They’re having a very popular Dunhuang exhibition. I co-translated a book on Dunhuang last year, and I have been there in 2000. This time we went with a painter (Zhuang Zhuang’s mother), who had worked in Dunhuang with her father. The great thing about this exhibition is that they have gathered reconstructions and copies of the murals from the last 60 or 70 years. Many copies and cave reconstructions are very good. The really tried to transform the whole museum into a replica of the site, as far as possible. The caves in Dunhuang are only unlocked when a tourist group comes through, and then the cave is locked again after five minutes. So you have to stay the whole day and follow many different groups, like I did. But here in Beijing it is all spread out for everybody. Buddhism for the masses. It’s great.
McDonald’s
And here are Maia and Zhuang Zhuang at the Meishuguan entrance. This used to be a museum for Chinese stalinist oil paintings, mostly. They still have them somewhere. But in the last two years or so they have had some very interesting exhibitions. They had the Zhou brothers, who come from the 1970s, emigrated in the 1980s and made it big. They gave the whole building a big makeover. The canteen in the backyard is clean and good. There are a lot of military police stationed in the northwest backyard. I don’t know if they are only there to protect the art. Maybe it’s their local headquarter. The whole city is swarming with police guards, and even more with construction workers. They are having the yearly National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference meetings in the Great Hall of the People on Red Square. The construction workers are transforming the old streets immediately south of the Square into a great faux antique theme park. Qianmen Dajie, the south part of the north-south axis going through the city since Mongol times 800 years ago, is completely evacuated and blocked off, including all the side alleys for half a mile in each direction. You can see the theme park buildings rising behind the construction fences, which are decorated walls. Decorated with old city photos from 100 years ago, in part. Everybody moved out, and make it all new, for the foreigners.
Zhuang Zhuang and Maia
Southwest of Qianmen, closer to Hepingmen and the west part of Dazhalan, there are some Hutongs left. They are being renovated. Some old buildings are torn down, but they are being rebuilt with plumbing. You can see the swarms of Mingong (migrant workers) busy in all the Hutongs in the city that are still intact. Maybe they are doing a good job. So it seems that some parts of old Beijing will remain. Some of them are tourist streets already. Nan Luoguo Xiang is a creative quarter, to some extent. They have torn down some streets there too, east of Shichahai lake. Maybe there will be a canal side park. The remaining Hutongs southwest of Qianmen retain some features of the former Qianmen area, complete with cheap hotels. Maybe the mosque is still there, too. People are friendly, the real ones that remain. Friends of us got robbed in some Hutong cul-de-sac near the Square and the Forbidden City last year. Bicycle cab took them for a ride. Not surprising when huge areas in the city center are instant ruins and construction sites. The whole Qianmen walled-off theme park construction site reminded me of Dali, Yunnan province. In 2006, they had been building a six-lane freeway next to the west side of the old city for a few years already. There is a big new highway on the east side already, all the way around the lake. But this is the old Burma road, so they want to show off all the way to the border. And about half of the old city was still off-limits. Some are plants and factories, but some parts are just old streets being torn down and replaced with malls for foreigners. And Chinese tourists, of course. Why did we go all the way to the south of the city at all? The daughter of an office colleague of Jackie was baptized in the Catholic church at Xuanwumen.
Demon
This is Maia in the chapel for the baptism ceremonies. No, she’s not baptized yet. They do it later in the Lutheran churches. Jackie is Protestant, and we have frequented Lutheran services since our wedding. Christianity in China is a very interesting topic. The old church buildings, both in the cities and in remote places all the way into the Himalayas, are all worth visiting, even if you are not religious at all. More than half of Tian Zhuangzhuang’s film on the old tea road in Yunnan is about churches, temples and believers in remote mountain valleys.
Chapel
And here we are at the McDonald’s again. I don’t have a photo from Qianmen Dajie construction street, because I was carrying Leo asleep around the theme park wall when we passed the south gate of that construction site which is at least as big as the Forbidden City. Would have been a great picture, with a real camera. But there was a guard, who was just closing the gate. Leo will be three on Friday. He has grown, but he still doesn’t say more than five clearly discernible words in any language, although he understands a lot and tells you very forcefully when he needs something. He needs to run around a lot. Not fussy with food at all though, and very mild in his temper in general, compared with Maia, or his parents. But Maia can play rather quietly with a friend for hours now. She did that last Friday night in our yard downstairs, with Yang Yang, the daughter of a Chinese neighbour on staircase #2 in our building. Yang Yang goes to the same Kindergarten group as Zhuang Zhuang, Maia and Leo.
Mouth
Yang Yang’s father went with her to the Water Cube and the Bird’s Nest, the two big new Olympic sites. They had asked for photos with the kids in front of the new sites at Kindergarten. Last week, at the last parent’s meeting, they appealed again for photos. Yang Yang’s father advised us against going. Most of the area is still a construction site, he said. Oh well. I have photos of slogans for the Olympics, in the Hutongs and on banners at highway construction sites. They probably don’t want those. They had asked for a small gift for Women’s Day also, for the kids to pass them around the women in the neighbourhood. I didn’t come up with anything, and Jackie was too busy. On the bus on the way back from Qianmen East street on Saturday there was a long speech for Women’s Day on TV. The guy holding the speech was very important at the National People’s Congress and The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference. I couldn’t see the screen. The conductor made people get up to give us two seats when we got on. Leo was still sleeping. Maia sat down on the space above a wheel. Then Jackie stood up for an old man and sat there on the wheel with Maia. It was a long trip. Beijing bus lines go on forever. And then there is the traffic. The 120 makes a detour around Guomao, probably in an effort to ease the congestion on Jianguomenwai.
Spring
Kids in developing countries often make a victory sign in photos. Maybe they learn it in Kindergarten. This was in Beili, on the way to the Kindergarten, just across the road from our place. By the way, if you are in Beijing, please come to Leo’s birthday party on Saturday. The houses in Beili are the same as in Nanli. We live at the top of staircase #5 in house 6. The compound is not too bad. Children can run around, and there are some trees. But even here in our compound we have some Olympic activism. The residents’ committee got rid of all private additions to the greenery on ground level. Our terrace is to high, thankfully. The mulberry tree is still standing, but they removed the trellises that held up the lower branches, and so they had to cut off the lower branches this weekend. Have a good spring!

moslemische grossmutter

三月 7, 2008

von Ma Lan 馬蘭

Huízú wàipó

Huízú wàipó zhàn zài guāngxiàn zhīwài fēicháng yáoyuǎn
Tāde yīshān shànliáng měilì
Zài wǔshí niándài zuìhòu yīgè gūdúde dōngtiān
Gūdúde yīn jīè ér wáng hé
guà zài shù shàng de sǐ wūyā, xiāngyìng chéngqù
Wūwài rúcǐ méirén de lánhuā
Wǒ xiǎngdào huízú wàipó
Shēngmìng jiù kāishǐ lúnhuí, wàipó
Méihuāshù xià, yīnyánde nǚháizǐmen
tàguò nǐde, gǔtóu
Nàxiē shǒulíngrén chàngzhe
jiānshēn de zǔyǔ, wǒde wàipó
Suìyuè zhùjiěle gènghuànde fēngjǐng
Bēnpǎode què shì yángguāng, yángguāng bàozhà
Wǒ zài yèxíngde dīngzì kǒu, jìnlì huódòng ěrduǒ
Xiǎng tīngdǒng wūyā de mìmì
Wǒde huízú wàipó
Cuìlǜde yùzhuó yáoyè ér lái, huáfú, měijiǔ
Dàjiā guīxiù, fùshāng zhī qī
Wúfǎ fēnjiě èsǐde qíngjié yǐjí yīnguǒ
Dàn wǒ réngrǎn měilì a wǒde wàipó
Wǒ shuìyì zhēng nóng
Nǐ zài wǒde shìxiàn zhī nèi, tiāngāo dìyuǎn
Wǒmen cóng yáoyuǎnde dìfāng ér lái huākāi huāluò
Wàipó zhàn zài shēnhòu, yīdòng bù dòng
Nèiyī shàng de méihuā bù néng chéngshòu tāde tǐzhòng
èsǐde wàipó
Jùdàde mìngyùn kàoqiáng ér lì
Chéntǔ, rènxìngde zài nǐde mùdì héwéi
Wàipó, shànē yǒu bào
Rútóng kāizhāijié hé bìzhāijié qùqù láilái
Shéi shì wǒde, zhāgēn zài fēngzhōng de nánrén
Wǒde huízú wàipó

moslemische grossmutter

die moslemische grossmutter steht nicht im licht sie ist weit
gekleidet in schoenheit und guete
im letzten einsamen winter der fuenfziger jahre
einsam an hunger gestorben und an den baeumen
hingen tote kraehen, ein schoener kontrast
die orchideen draussen sind einfach zauberhaft
ich denk’ an meine moslemische grossmutter
an wiedergeburt und samsara, grossmutter
unter dem pflaumenbaum, die maedchen vom festbankett
steigen ueber deine, die knochen
die menschen an der bahre singen
ihre tiefen sprueche, meine grossmutter
die jahre illustrieren die wechselnde landschaft
doch was flieht ist die sonne, das sonnenlicht birst
ich bin an der nachtwandlerkreuzung, ein t, spitz die ohren
willst du das geheimnis der kraehen verstehen
meine moslemische grossmutter
sie schwingt einher in jadereifen, sie trank einen kostbaren wein
eine hoehere tochter, die frau eines kaufherrns
der fall ist zu raetselhaft, hunger und karma
doch ich bin immer noch schoen, meine oma
ich bin jetzt sehr schlaefrig
der himmel ist hoch und die erde ist weit, ich hab’ dich im blick
wir kommen beide von weit her, die blume blueht, die bluete faellt
grossmutter steht hinter mir, unbewegt
ihr gewicht ist zuviel fuer die pflaumenblueten der unterwaesche
die verhungerte oma
dein riesiges schicksal lehnt an der wand
und launisch umzingelt der sandsturm dein grab
grossmutter, karma wird bleiben
wie ramadan kommt jedes jahr
wer ist mein, ist der mann mit den wurzeln im wind
meine moslemische grossmutter

Ma Lan        Zuo zai nali (Wo soll man sich setzen?) 2004, S. 54
MW                  2006-2008 uebersetzt

muslim grandmother

三月 7, 2008

by Ma Lan 馬蘭

回族外婆

回族外婆站在光线之外非常遥远
她的衣衫善良美丽
在五十年代最后一个孤独的冬天
孤独地因饥饿而亡和
挂在树上的死乌鸦,相映成趣
屋外如此媚人的兰花
我想到回族外婆
生命就开始轮回,外婆
梅花树下,饮宴的女孩子们
踏过你的,骨头
那些守灵人唱着
艰深的诅语,我的外婆
岁月注解了更换的风景
奔跑的却是阳光,阳光爆炸
我在夜行的丁字口,尽力活动耳朵
想听懂乌鸦的秘密
我的回族外婆
翠绿的玉镯摇曳而来,华服、美酒
大家闺秀,富商之妻
无法分解饿死的情节以及因果
但我仍然美丽呵我的外婆
我睡意正浓
你在我的视线之内,天高地远
我们从遥远的地方而来花开花落
外婆站在身后,一动不动
内衣上的梅花不能承受她的体重
饿死的外婆
巨大的命运靠墙而立
尘土,任性地在你的墓地合围
外婆,善恶有报
如同开斋节和闭斋节去去来来
谁是我的,扎根在风中的男人
我的回族外婆

马兰    坐在哪里(2004年出)54页

MUSLIM GRANDMOTHER

muslim grandmother standing outside the light far away
her clothes are kind and beautiful
in the last lonely winter of the fifties
she died lonely from famine and
hanging on trees were dead crows, an interesting contrast
outside are such enchanting orchids
when I think of my muslim grandmother
life goes through samsara, grandmother
under the plum blossom tree, the girls from the banquet
having stepped on your, the bones
people guarding the coffin singing
strange incantations, my grandmother
the years annotating the changing landscape
but running away is the sunlight, the sunlight explodes
i am walking at night at the t-intersection, straining my ears
to understand the secrets of crows
my muslim maternal grandmother
green bracelets come dangling, the robes and the wine
a lady of standing, a rich merchant’s wife
i have no way to resolve this death and the karma
but i am still beautiful oh my grandmother
i am sleepy right now
you are within my sights, through the earth and the sky
we come from a faraway place, blossoms open and fall
grandmother standing behind me, motionless
underwear plum blossoms cannot hold her weight
my grandmother who died from hunger
your giant fate leans on the wall
dust, wilfully blowing around your grave
grandmother, karma is there
like ramadan coming and going
who is mine, the man striking root in the wind
my muslim grandmother

Ma Lan        Zuo zai nali (Where to sit?) 2004, p.54

MW            Translated 2006-2008

chairman

三月 3, 2008

chairman

chairman, he is not a bird
chairman, he is not a plane

what is chairman all about?
chairman makes a chair for you
chairman, he makes all the legs
chairman, he makes all the arms
chairman, he makes every back
chairman, he makes all the chairs
don’t tell me you didn’t know

what is chairlady about?
chairlady will make them too
chairlady makes all the legs
chairlady makes all the arms
chairlady makes every back
chairlady makes all the chairs
don’t tell me you didn’t know

MW March 2008


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