Jaan Kaplinski (1941--), contemporary Estonian poet, translator, philosopher and cultural critic. He has published is influenced by Eastern philosophy and religion, especially Daoism and Buddhism. He has been awarded many prizes, and has been named to contend Nobel Prize in literature.
Fan Jinghua is a bilingual poet and translator. His poems have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore and USA. He has been invited to several international poetry festivals and has read his poems in different occasions, and he has been awarded prizes for his poems and translations. Jinghua works as a university lecturer and lives in Singapore.
Non-being pervades everything and being is full of peace.
Your translation of Lao-tse can be right or wrong—an open book
speaks today as an open butterfly and in the pollen
movement meets immobility in the same way.
The spring breeze flows through our hair and clothes.
If I speak, it is because the consolation is so much more
than ourselves waiting for it: waters breaking in from everywhere,
the tent-roof taking flight in the clear night of Lappland,
necklaces falling shattered: phrases, life and wisdom.
So this is it, this is you. The eyes are melting
in the white clouds, it is love, love that cuts us
from squared paper and lets the fire warm us
and the rain come through us until between the earth and us
the last borderlines vanish. This is love: the leaves of trees
and the light like ourselves full of evidence of the infinite.
We shall be and we shall be what is not,
we shall remain what belongs to no one.
We started home, my son and I,
Twilight already. The young moon
stood in the western sky and beside it
a single star. I showed them to my son
and explained how the moon should be greeted
and that this star is the moon’s servant.
As we neared home, he said
that the moon is far, as far
as that place where we went.
I told him the moon is much, much farther
and reckoned: if one were to walk
ten kilometers each day, it would take
almost a hundred years to reach the moon.
But this was not what he wanted to hear.
The road was already almost dry.
The river was spread on the marsh; ducks and other waterfowl
crowed the beginning of night. The snow’s crust
crackled underfoot—it must
have been freezing again. All the houses’ windows
were dark. Only in our kitchen
a light shone. Beside our chimney, the shining moon,
and beside the moon, a single star.