Posts Tagged ‘soil’


一月 2, 2018

Ye Zhen

When father got out after his operation
he took everything they gave him back home:
plastic chamber pot, spittoon, washbasin.
Chamber pot remained a chamber pot,
spitoon remained a spittoon.
Washbasin at first was used for washing,
later it got cracked
so father added some earth
for growing flowers and herbs.
When father passed away,
the chamber pot was under the bed,
the spittoon on the side.
The former washbasin stood at the window
full of chrysanthemums
yellow and white.

Translated by Martin Winter, December 31, 2017


FEAR – 李异

九月 15, 2016


Li Yi

In 1950
on the eve of the liberation of Hainan Island
grandpa was still in Wenchang
as a fisherman.
One time
he was out on the sea,
three days and two nights,
without any catch;
hanging his head, going back.
he hauled up
a sea creature just like a human.
Black everywhere all over the body,
darker than Africans,
eyes full of tears.
loosened the net,
let him go.
Coming home,
he told the village what happened;
everyone thought it was a bad omen.
On the same day they beat drums and gongs,
called a meeting,
He went back to Qiongshan, working the soil.
When I was small,
he told me this story;
he said on this world,
there were not only mer-cows and sea hogs,
there were also mer-people;
everything that lived on the land,
the sea had it all.
In 1966
grandpa was dragged up on the stage;
head smashed, a dozen shovels;
sank into the mud,
could never be found.
15 years ago
I was on the boat
leaving the island.
Stood at the railing,
stared into endless surge all around;
thinking of grandpa,
there was this idea
spinning round in my head.
Under the sea,
do they have also
a tribe of people,
living in fear?

Tr. MW, September 2016


CLAWS – 石薇拉

二月 6, 2016

Shi Weila

Shi Weila

clumps of soil
to the claw of a tractor

a calloused hand
digs its own grave

Tr. MW, 2016



六月 26, 2015

Zhang Xiaobo

Zhang Xiaobo

bitte sorg dich nicht, wir werden gebeine
bitte sorg dich nicht, wir gehen ein in den lehm
bitte sorg dich nicht, erde füllt augenhöhlen
bitte sorg dich nicht, tränen sickern heraus
nicht mehr nötiges haar, säuglingshaar
wächst noch
im lehm
sorg dich nicht dass die kinder in socken
auf unsere schädel treten
er und sie, reihen um reihen
die versunkenen krieger
mit ihrem geheimnis mit ihrem lächeln
mit ihren zerrissenen armbändern
sorg dich nicht sie kratzen aus unsern augen die erde heraus
das ist nur, das ist der lehm der bewahrt den gesichtsinn
und dreht sich hinauf in die luft bei den kindern
die schädel richten sich noch ihre haltung, so können sie denken
sorg dich nicht dass sie kommen die schweren lastwagen
die kinder rennen, der vogelschwarm fliegt
sorg dich nicht dass die riesige axt dass das meer
aufschichtet schicht um schicht, opferberg
tief unten im abgrund
da rutscht der ring, der in den finger gebissen hat
ganz leicht herunter. oh, vogelschwarm fliegt
oh, kinder rennen

Übers. v. MW, 2015

Zhang Xiaobo

do not worry we will become bones
do not worry our bones go into earth
do not worry soil filling up eye sockets
do not worry tears still seeping out
unnecessary hair will still grow, baby hair
still grows
in the soil
do not worry kids wearing socks
kicking up our skulls
he and she, row after row
that sunken army
those soldiers show their mysterious smiles
they have torn their armbands
don’t worry they dig out the soil from their sockets
it’s just, it is just the soil retaining the vision
turning towards the children up there
skulls arranging their stance, the better to think
don’t worry the heavy trucks coming fast
playing kids scatter, birds fly up high
don’t worry the sea is a big ax
arranging an offering
deep, much deeper down
ring that was biting the finger
slipping in silence. oh, birds flying high
oh, scampering kids

Tr. MW, June 2015

Tief - Lied des Todes

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