2011-09-03 16:21:54  巢圣  所属诗集  阅读4201 】


这36首诗选自巢圣在澳洲教学和担任客座作家期间出版的两本畅销诗集《Paper Boat》和《Fate of a Grasshopper》。均已收入澳洲教育官网的《AusLit澳洲文学》,供澳洲和欧美大学教学研究使用。

1【Experiment in Australia】
(For Rodney Hall)

I locked the clock
in the drawer
then tried to listen

like overhearing
the gossip
of a neighbour

I could hear nothing
except silence

it was so overwhelming
I was suffocating
as under the water

I waited
quieting my heart

a tick was heard
bursting into my ear
a sudden crack
of an egg

peeled off
time began to shuffle

a dragging sound
became a march
on my heart

I saw a coffin
moving out of a tomb
by ants

I opened the drawer
finding the face
of the clock



2【For Sale】

Perth is for sale
its land is for sale
its water is for sale
its shops are for sale
its houses are for sale
its banks are for sale
its hospitals are for sale
its museums are for sale
its universities are for sale

Perth is for sale
its penis is for sale
its vagina is for sale
its wombs are for sale
its breasts are for sale
its flesh is for sale
its hips are for sale
its lips are for sale
its souls are for sale

Perth is for sale
nothing cannot be sold in Perth
nothing does not have a price

Perth is for sale
everywhere is empty
everywhere is full
goods goods goods
merchandise merchandise
is carried everywhere

Perth is for sale
Perth is a purse
for sale


3【Rings Interpreted】

my son was fascinated
by the rings in the window
so I told him a joke
when adults
get married
they send each other a ring
so that husband and wife
don't have to hang together
all the time

my son looked up puzzled
asking does that mean
they are married twice
when they wear two

I did not know what to say
because some remarried people
do put their ex-ring
or ex-rings on their fingers
as a kind of memory
or historical record

like youngsters
of some tribes
preserving the skulls
of people they have killed
to mark their manhood

it sounded too cruel
particularly the metaphor
so I did not tell my son

and actually some men
are simply successful
with their business
they send a ring
like a piece of a cake

or as sort of compensation
to prove their substantial love
since they are too busy
to husband their wives

while some others
their finger bones
would feel weak
without the support
of certain rings
which serve as slings
or plaster

I tried to work out
some other possibilities
none seemed positive
so I did not say anything

like most Chinese parents
I was doing my best
to keep my son
in a green house
from all cold stuff

seeing I was hesitant
my son went up to a lady
who happened to be passing by
her hand swinging
with three rings

at first
the lady was shocked
but soon recovered
and softly she said to my son
I want to keep off men

my son son came back
and repeated to me
obviously he was confused
another metaphor
bumped into my mind
it was suitable
so I spoke to my son

the lady's rings
are like the aussies
leaving their radios or tvs on
when nobody is in
to keep burglars away

to my surprise
my son nodded
with understanding
I sighed with a relief
indeed he is the son
of a metaphorical Chinese poet



in the land without a wife
moustache beard whiskers grow like grass
as in jail

time strides by
tramping scrunching a salt-bleached crust
cannt cr---y

wires nerves strung cutting into stumps
sustaining a series of crosses
fencing private properties
is dr---y

vast expanses of wheat belt yellow
golden as my passion
are gawped at by a few dirtied kangaroos

heat twisting into mirage, breath frying forests
she-oaks shedding needles cones, sound
shuffling above, blistering
my cr---y
is dr---y

I don't have a wife on this sunburnt ground
all my life I have been drifting
from the thirsty outside to the thirsty inside
from the itching hands to the itching feet

as the earth turns by itself
so do my days
I can't cry

for this land too is my flesh
for this land too is my life
I cannot rebel against it
as I could not rebel against my homeland

time presides
a charcoaled grass-tree remains standing
stubborn as stupefied
against the stupendous blue



Each night
I go to bed
where I become a bed

wake up

and play
as when I was a kid


【Dream of a Chinese Refugee】

a boy fell headlong
from upstairs
the thud

the boy climbed up
still sleepy
his hands
wrapping his hair

in a mess
he was taken away
brain pieces
left on the ground

this morning
a pain in my head
I was shocked

in the mirror
was myself
hands wrapping
my head

the boy
a reminder
of some friends
back in China


8【Dream of a Model】

they were sketching me
some positioned behind
some before
some overhead
others below

the whole studio
from different perspectives
was busy working
some asked me to look up
some to look down
some to turn back

a while later
the whole studio
was quiet and musing
all painters
before their easels

I walked around
and found little was done
on their boards
except some circles
ovals and wires

what they were conceiving
whom they were drawing
I had no idea

fading back
to my childhood
I kissed the tomboy
I had never loved


9【Modern Emperor】

he opened his mouth like a drawer
took out a revolver
and through the peep-hole
fired at the back
of his minister's head

and soundlessly
the bullet vanished
as into rubber
all subjects flew away
and crows

the dynasty
plunging into the dead of hell

he with a leopard face
his wrinkles striping
a modern throne


10【Dream of a Librarian】

the pop
of a black confusion
broke an opening

beams of light
poured through
the library

a mirror was formed
like a lake
a head burst up

the dream
popped black

a minute later
a reader was seen
in a bottle of wine
as ginseng


11【Dream of a Hermit】

where I was
spread an immediate pool
of light

not a singer
nor a film star
I was put on the stage
a hermit
clinging only
to clarity

at my turning
I saw numerous faces
a ghostly tree

I sped up

a splitting crashed down

I found
the bloody pool of light
was shed
from overhead-
a butchering



12【Dream of a Metamorphoser】

hands flitting
I was flying
nothing in mind

a stone dropped down
perching on a branch
and trees on the stretch
stepped out
guns pricking up

I took off again
bounding for my human home

there I was on the roof
I was about to land
when spears and swords
thrust up

a piece of paper
looped down
by a window

bald heads
were bleeding
beneath a shaver

run run run
there by a street bin
my urgent shout
my human form

yet pedestrians
turned back

a rainbow
whistled across the sky
and that is my blood vessel
pulled out


13【Dream of a Survivor】

the dead serpent
when I trod on it
came to life

the bank began to slip
a sharp pain
in my arch

I opened my palm
it was blistering

I started to run
shouting for help
in sight
only trees

when at last
appeared a house
there two dogs barked

looking at my palms
I could not move
any longer

my hand was forced
to pluck off
the decaying flesh

the finger bones
revealed themselves

I did not howl
nor did I know
I was playing
with a chicken's



last night
you dream-walked
out of your girlfriend's hand
to commit suicide

I ran forward
and clutched you

you said to me
you are lucky
your faith has made you
a home

like a ghost
you vanished
out of my clasp
it was then morning

your girlfriend
was dressed
like a peacock
ready for a day's display

you bent in the dark
on polishing
your leather shoes

I looked around
dreams were mute
I went back to bed



15【Chinese Secrecy】

the fish leapt out of the basin
flopping on the floor

the water shivered

not the fish nor the water
I tried to watch
in silence

the fish wetted itself with foam
from its gills

then became still

the water was soon calmed
both lying on their backs

their eyes gaping

when I saw in the water
my face
I felt a disgrace

16【Waking up in Perth】

I saw my wife
welling up in my dream

upon my eyes

she was tiptoeing
over the Indian Ocean

I stared at her

my heart twitching
I dared not weep

my tears
(I was afraid)
would melt her
like an ice figurine


17【Old Bachelor's Song】

beauty walks by
a face a body
the haunt of many
a perfumed lie

beauty walks by
a ripple a smile
recalled in a wrinkle
lays my soul dry

beauty walks by
has never turned back
time stops to tick
a metallic cry


18【To a Pruient】

your mouth was full of women
and contracted
by sizes of breasts
and hips

your teeth
shone like blades
ready to chop
into pieces


19【The Fate of a Grasshopper】

the parents were quarreling upstairs

the child were down in the garden
bent on scooping
with his small hands
a hole in the sand
for his pet grasshopper

the quarrel developed into a fight

the child dared not look up
he tried to be deaf
by burying alive
the grasshopper his pet
with heaps of sand

a shriek pierced the sky

the child turned violent
pounded the mound
with his fist

the thunder pealed deafening

the child stood up
trampled on the grave
tears tempests
his small
but hardening


1992, 1996

20【Wounded Lover】

hiding in her long black hair
her face pale
came down
and down
her eyes

became larger
and larger
until tears
jerked out

a kiss
a sizzling ripple
I was deadly hurt

down that hundreds-of-year
pregnant mountain
I had fallen
off my bike
legs broken

where I rolled over
I had visualized
with a shriek
a gaping wound

for me
to eternally bear



this morning
as I was sitting in the garden
I spoke to my husband

is like the rosebush
so fragile
that it withers
and dies
if we fail to water it
just for a week
or even less
it might have been here
for forty years

faith is the same
sighed my husband



a troop of shrill cries stopped our conversation
Pauline with a listening expression spontaneously said parrots
I went out from the verandah
and saw a huge crowd of blanched birds
flying high in the dark sky
springy with notes trilling up my mind

Rod down there in jeans calmly said cockatoos
without raising his head from his barbecue
as if he knew them like his pets

I was roused though I did not know what cockatoos were
nor did I know how to spell the word
I was just enthralled, agog, my mood
spreading under the enormous height of darkness
shining like stars
their shimmering feelings
leaking through the silence of the universe


23【Poem of a Black Cat and Acknowledgments】

a flash of a black cat
my black ink decisively catches
and it soon becomes alive
standing in the garden
stretching still its black tail
eyes piercing
startling part of my inside
like a shadow

in the interlapping
flux of my thought
my black pen has resolutely
chosen to grab
a pure black cat
and immediately
I myself have become alive

now is night
the black of a black cat
should matter less
yet to my surprise
it has been clawed
by my thought

which is drifting
in the daytime
there I cannot see much
striking me alive
except the black cat
from the neighbour
stealing into the garden
seeking company
of a gentle pat

I must thank my black pen
for its decisive act
to have written down
a black cat
and changed or directed
the life of my tonight

I must also thank
that pure black cat
though it first appeared
in the morning
as my fright

my thanks also go
to the quiet of tonight
which generously allows me
to be exclusively involved
with a black cat
the vagabond or fugitive
of daylight
from the land

of black


24【Australian Night】

an enormously long granite table just placed
under the moon-flower decked veranda splendorued
with contemporary limelight and ancient torches

an enormously long granite table just mattressed
seats them like an audience watching
fits of wind crossing over time ephemeral and time eternal
with their shirts and blouses bulging
appetite alighting

an enormously long granite table just centred
with gigantic plates of fresh seafood and bricky bread
bottles of wine white yellow brown and red
dotted like a blessed game of chess

an enormously long granite table just gleaming
with forks knives plates glasses clicking
into frail echoes of sparkling tingling lights

an enormously long granite table
like the Swan River carrying them far to the tales of night
the new moon rocking a canoe of cleansed light
over the billowing Indian Ocean


25【Letter to Elizabeth Jolley】

dear Elizabeth
when I returned from Mandurah last night
saw yor letter on my desk
I read it a couple of times in one breath
silently and noisily to myself

and later woke up in a dream
a cock was brooding on a blank paper
its claws turned in to a pen in my hand
yet nothing but scribbles was in my mind

dear Elizabeth
this morning I read your letter
a few more times
some lines were imaged in my brain
on my way to Mount Lawley campus
some lines were murmuring in my head
on the way back
where a car shot by
startled my soul into flight

looking up at the sky I felt thankful
as if I had begotten a new life


26【A Chinese Immigrant】

days have twirled

like a zero
around his head

his life so faint
he grabbed

wrinkles of time
for support

sighs arise
in smoke

a body
of shadow



he came across
a classmate from his childhood
in foreign sydney
he was wild with joy
wanted to wake up
and write a poem about death

he tried to open his eyes
yet they were a bar of iron
he tried to turn his head
yet it was rusted on the ground
he tried to sit up
yet he could not find his trunk

crawling in a tunnel
he was an under-river without water
red misty
smelling of blood

his classmate asked what are you doing
he said I come as exchange
supposed to teach at a uni
but it turns out to be no vacancy

the hair of his classmate
dated from his teenage
suddenly began to change
from black to ginger

two aussie children there
one girl one boy
his classmate's pupils
began to sing london bridge
with a cheering voice

he wept underground
as if listening
to his national anthem



ten years later
I met you by the swan river
waves were tugging
a net of undifferentiating memories

ten years later
we met in a foreign land
marveling an exotic landscape
thinking in mind of settling down
the lawn was pulling long a tree shadow

ten years alter
we stood in the depth of being
white seagulls were staring up at us
with their small blood-ringed eyes
you concerned for your tomorrow did not notice
and I directed my eyes up
at the alien but pure blue sky


29【A Chinese Couple in Australia】

last night
the couple with their flat
appeared in my dream

hand in hand they faded
yet their flat
the whole night

I went to their place
and by their window
saw nothing within
but a makeshift bed

on the way back
I met the couple
hand in hand
coming over

they smiled to me

as in their flat


30【Nostalgia 2】

I sat by lake monger

a violent wind
tosses up
a troop of seagulls

pieces of lost white
wrote a skyful of cries

all the long necks
of black swans
were twisted
upon the crumbled

a sharp pain
crackled in my brain
as if the root
of my nostalgia
was to be pulled up
like my hair



each morning I pick up the hose
like I have touched the blood and vessel of Perth

each morning I turn on the tap
like I have felt the pulsation of Perth

each morning I sprinkle the plants green
I begin to cherish each of my breath

each morning I stand or stoop by them
I feel my life has again and again risen from death


32【Moon Flower】

when dawn slowly opens on the wall
I see a hand shaped like a paw of kangaroo
describing the visual and gradual
blooming of a moon flower

when dawn slowly opens on the wall
the feast of last night now in my stomach
begins to smell

and memories like the fragrance of my soul
begin to recall
the fully blossomed moon flower
quaking in the wind
cool as pale

when dawn opens on the wall
the imminence of some death I begin to feel
not the moon flower only
but all earthly beauty
is soon to fall



the drowsy tossing
of an emperor's chariot
in my hollow
and ancient mind
threads dangling
into a road

brown dust--
the delicate flesh
of queens concubines
splashed by hooves--

covers gulps
in billows of smoke
what passes

all protrusions of the earth
appear vanish
vanish appear
all glories of human wisdom
such as pagodas pavilions
curves cones

to say nothing
of their builders

up in the sky
flames of clouds
pose quaking
in still motion

a transfixed dragon
the legendary totem
of a nation


35【Looking towards the Shore】

the land
a huge raft stagnant
deep sunk

knowing not
where to take
all those buildings
and wisdoms


36【Perth Clouds】
for Andrew Lansdown

each time
I watch the clouds
a strong desire rises
that I want to glide
with furry white

each time
I watch the clouds
my hands like wings
gradually open
and I pavan

each time
I watch the clouds
the building inclines
the window a trap
I cannot be quiet
though it is just
an illusion

each time
I watch the clouds
my energy my poetry
from my body

I know
I am but a tent
put up by clouds


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