Chi Lingyun|talking about the galaxy casts us in shadow

“From One House to Another“, audio by Chi Lingyun

Produced by The Tenonists

From One House to Another

From one house to another, 
no more familiar faces:
what kind of game is this? 

We took turns hiding in closets, 
silent, so no one could find us. 
All the training that love needs: 
to test whose loneliness lasts longer. 

Later, we forgot to look for each other,
and got used to living in anonymity, 
like hiding inside a big truck.

But this is the last time. 
I know you won’t come back to find me.
We have been missing persons for so long, nameless. 

2008.2.27



从一座房子到另一座房子

从一座房子到另一座房子
再也找不到一个熟悉的人
这是一个什么游戏啊——
 
我们曾轮番躲在衣柜里
不出声,不让别人找到我们
一切爱所需的训练:看谁的孤独更持久。
 
后来,我们忘记了要去找到对方
习惯了默默无闻地生活
宛如躲在一个大箱子里。
 
然而,这一次是最后一次
我知道,你再也不会来找我
我们早已是没有名字的失踪者。

2008. 2. 27


The Well

Down an ancient alley,
a wind-filled well
tells me what it has seen and heard.

A lens collecting soul fragments.
Invite us to stare into the void,
but pray for an infinitely-extending ladder.

 2019.9.3


在一个古老的巷子里,
一口灌满了风的井
告诉我它的所见所闻。

一枚收集灵魂碎片的透镜。
教人向深渊凝视,
却祈求一把无限延伸的梯子。

2019年9月3日



Silence Makes the Wind

silence makes the wind, and the river endures in the earth
one setting sun after another feeding gray houses
its emptiness has a fiery past
in every reservoir filled with dust
there’s a long sigh before dawn and a flame after the calm
I open my mouth, yet the song is no longer there
the mirror of early spring has long been broken upon the crumpled map
if I can still sing with a low voice
it’s because I’m sure smoke can last forever, a sad face
feels the embrace ever cherished by death.

2009.2.23



寂静制造了风

寂静制造了风,河流在泥土中延续
一个又一个落日哺育灰色的屋宇
它的空洞有着炽烈的过去
在每一个积满尘土的蓄水池
有黎明前的长叹和平息之后的火焰
我开口,却已没有歌谣
初春的明镜,早已碎在揉皱的地图上
如果我还能低声歌唱
是因为确信烟尘也能永恒,愁苦的面容
感到被死亡珍惜的拥抱。

2009.2.23



Let the Wilt Grow Taller

Let the wilt grow taller, and then go to harvest.
Let the elderberry connect to the groove hungering for death.
Let the solitary gray lips speak.

Let it become dark later, when plants paint colors upon the ground.
Let the spring water glisten with a glimmer of light and pass through the black hole of despair.
Let the pen rise to its feet and the axe depart by itself.

2011.10.29



让枯萎长高一点

让枯萎长高一点,再去收割。
让接骨木,接住渴念死亡的沟槽。
让灰色的嘴唇独自言谈。
   
让天黑得晚一点,草木在地上画出颜色。
让泉水带上微光,经过绝望的黑洞。
让笔锋站立,刀斧自己出门。

2010.10.9



All Sounds Go to Bass

At sunrise, all sounds go to bass.
The movement of night crushes the protruding buds,
dewdrops and teardrops sink into the mud,
everything is annihilated without trace. Only 
the eyelids of the blind remain on our faces,
black ink knows this experience well. A hunger
and sickness grope for kudzu vines like qin strings.
Our loved ones turn their backs
gasping and wordless, unable to wash off
the mess surrounding them. The iron railings of the night
are locked up during the day, no one is released.
There is neither visible ice nor volcano nearby.

2010.10.9



所有声音都要往低音去

日出时,所有声音都要往低音去。
夜的运动把伸出的幼芽压碎,
露珠与泪珠都沉入泥土
一切湮灭没有痕迹。惟有
盲人的眼睑,留在我们脸上
黑墨水熟悉这经历。一种饥饿
和疾病,摸索葛藤如琴弦。
我们的亲人,转过背去喘息
他们什么也没说,他们无法洗净
身边的杂物。黑夜的铁栅
在白天上了锁,没有人被放出去。
没有看得见的冰,附近也没有火山。

2010.10.9



Summer Notes

Of all the skills, I’ve learned only one:
Burning.

To become ash instead of dust
I bend my knees, but do not know how to shine.

How can you devour me when I am about to disappear?
The flames are few, the flames are few.

2009.7.10



夏天笔记

这么多技艺,我只学会一样:
燃烧。
 
为了成为灰烬而不是灰
我盘拢双膝,却不懂如何发光。
 
我即将消失,你还要如何消耗我?
火焰已经很少,火焰已经很少。

2009.7.10



Go Inside a Tree

I can’t depict a tree:
its longing invites endless wind. 
So, let’s go inside a tree. 

I’m not familiar with frank and open branches:
all these greens, trying to note something down. 
So, let’s go inside a tree.

Heal a day’s distortion and dearth:
an easily dimmed fire is easily tied up by an idea.
So, let’s go inside a tree. 

It sees more clearly than I do —
that the beauty of life is buried deep in roots and fallen leaves. 
The air and the earth wake each other, acquiring new qualities. 
So, let’s go inside a tree. 

2008. 2. 27



到一棵树中去

我无法描绘一棵树
它的憧憬引来永无终结的风
所以,到一棵树中去。

我不了解毫无保留的枝杈
那绿色,像要记录下什么
所以,到一棵树中去。

要医治一天的扭曲和贫乏
轻易就熄灭的火,被一个念头捆住
所以,到一棵树中去。

它比我看得更清楚——
生命之美深藏于根须和落叶
空气和土壤互相唤醒,获得新的素质
所以,到一棵树中去。

2008.2.27



Talking about the Galaxy Casts Us in Shadow

Flowing light finally rises to the black vault, 
the two of us lonesome and doleful puppets
cowering in their ill-fitting shells,
it is up to us to make up for a certain star’s coldness.

Against the atmosphere, our silhouettes grow dimmer,
perhaps the galaxy is a game we can’t win, 
resembling a cryptic joke
with no special meaning in itself.

And if we believe the fabled galaxy does exist
the moment to recall that world has long passed.

2009.8.26



谈论银河让我们变得晦暗

流动的光,最终回到黑色的苍穹
我们寂寞而伤感,像两个木偶
缩在窘迫的外壳里
某一颗星星的冷,由我们来补足。

在大气层以下,我们的身影更黑
或许银河只是无法通行的游戏
看着像一个艰涩的嘲弄
它自身并没有特别的意义。
 
而如果我们相信,真有传说中的银河
这样的人间早已无可追忆。

2009.8.26



Moment of Crows

When a flock of crows solemnly gaze at me,
quietly feel my fierce cold and thirst,
the sky starts to spin.
I almost want to speak to them.

They are so small, not supposed to love light
but the night is loyal.
A starving homeland quietly feeds them.

My hands are tucked into my sleeves,
measuring what comfort the icy universe receives.
A frozen twig is turning green.

I remember that moment, amid a vast expanse of whiteness,
a solitary birch standing upright,
its leaves gone, while dozens of crows,
perching in the branches, gazed at me.

2015.12.21



乌鸦的时刻

当一群乌鸦保持静穆,注视我
暗中感知我强烈的冷与渴,
我的天空开始旋转,
我几乎要开口对它们说话。
它们那么渺小,不该喜爱光
但黑夜忠于它们。
饥饿的故乡在悄悄给它们食物。
我的手缩在衣袖里
估量着冰冷的世界得到的慰藉。
一根冻僵的树枝在醒来。
我记得那个时刻:白茫茫的雪地上
只有白桦树挺立在那里
所有树叶都落光了。只有数十只乌鸦
栖息在枝条上,注视着我。

On the Freshly Paved Asphalt Road…

Early in the morning, while walking in the mountains,
I enter a solidified space:
on the freshly paved asphalt surface, snakes and frogs
are half squeezed into the road, dozens of dragonflies
are submerged in the glimmering black asphalt,
they want to flit away - colourful 
and translucent wings
striving to open, in pain and scared.

Have they stopped for a roadside rest, or
are they yearning for a new wasteland? But it’s too black
even if they have spectacular, compound eyes.
When they flew down at night,
not a single human hand 
cast a falling leaf to save them.

Is every black, sticky road
stained with snapped, colourful wings?
In that haunting summer, I thought I
witnessed an array of perfect wings,
but all it revealed to me was: the moment I determined 
never to hurt them,
a freshly paved road brought an array
of lives shimmering with tears before me.

2018.12.8



新浇的柏油路上……

清晨,当我去山中散步,
像进入一个凝固的空间:
新浇的柏油路上,小蛇与青蛙
被半压进路面,数十只蜻蜓
陷进黑得发亮的沥青中,
它们想要飞离的样子——彩色
而透明的翅膀
奋力张开,痛苦而惊惧。

它们是要在路上停歇,还是想
察看一片新的荒原?但是太黑了
即使有惊人的复眼。
当它们在夜晚飞行着降临,
没有一只人类之手
抛出一片救命的落叶。

每一条黑色的粘稠的道路上
是否都沾满了折断的彩色翅膀?
在那个难忘的夏天,我以为
见到了那么多堪称完美的羽翼,
而我全部的发现就是——在我决心
永不伤害它们的时刻,
一条崭新的道路,将那么多
泪光闪闪的生命送到我面前。

2018.12.8



Chi Lingyun 池凌云
Born in Rui’an, Wenzhou in 1966, Chi Lingyun has once been a teacher, a reporter, and an editor. She started writing in 1985, and since then she has authored “Selected Poems by Chi Lingyun”, “Light That Sneaks In”, “One’s Translation”, etc. She has won prizes including October Poetry Award, Dongdangzi Poetry Award, among others. Some of her poems have been translated into German, English, and Korean.


“Moments of Crow”, “On the Freshly Paved Asphalt Road…”, “Talking about the Galaxy Casts Us in Shadow” – translation: Cui Yixiong (崔奕雄) and Stephen Nashef
“Go Inside a Tree”, “From One House to Another” – translation: Shen Zhi (沈至) and Stephen Nashef
“Silence Makes the Wind”, “Let the Wilt Grow Taller”, “All Sounds Go to Bass” and “Summer Notes” – translation: Jia Wei (葭苇) and Stephen Nashef.

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