Shiying Fang was born in 1980 in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China. He has published three books of poetry, Rocking Alone (2011), Stone Poems (2016) and The Moon on the Canal (2016). He was an invited attendee at the 32nd "Celebration of Youth" Annual Poetry Gala organized by the Poetry Journal. He won the Chinese Young Poet Award (2017) and a number of other awards. He lives in Hangzhou.
Dr. Xuantian Li, aka Ajiu, is a professional engineer and poet. His first book of poetry in Chinese, The Langara Journal, appeared in 2015. His is the translator of Philip Larkin's Complete Poems (2017). He lives in British Columbia, Canada.
Moon on the Canal
Time and time again, I'm a blank piece
of Xuan paper, quietly falling on the water
in the faint evening glow.
Every pore on my skin listens
as the water flows by, an unnamed love
awaiting the moonrise.
I declare total failure, finally.
In the fishy air I smell sadness
that permeates through the wood's rings.
O, memory requires a beginning, but the endpoint is the moon
in the canal, whose face is always changing,
a face that makes me cry after my tears dry out.
Finally, I have to admit failure,
a failure with no redemption even if I get stewed
to the gills. Fragments of porcelain from past dynasties
are shrieking in the river bed
and my moon, drifting on the canal,
is a dream that flows down to my son.
Every second is meant for silence.
In its stillness, an empty wine bottle lies
under the evening light. An empty heart reflects
on the lingering old days.
I believe every bit and piece
is indispensable in destiny.
I concentrate my attention
in every tuning
to forget the pain, to forget
that my home has moved farther away.
Every second is counting down.
A nameless tree lives outside my window,
its roots squeezed by rubble and debris
yet standing stout and upright.
I've got used to this topsy-turvy biological clock –
dreaming in the day, sleepless at night.
Even if one day I lost my sight,
I'd still have goggles to stare
at this world of love and hate.
And my heart, my clock, ticks on.