Huang Lihai







the starry sky


the clarinet of autumn

ever more complex

pauses and bridges bring

angels, Satan alike

into a dream it’s not

fun like a game your lover

turns, runs from the city

where she had lived a long time

old stuff bores her

but she can’t love her new flat

wild novelty sweeps by

sad songs heard everywhere

the lemon blossomed every year

but this year fruit has given up

in wind, in water, debris

of past shelters blows by

life lighter than a dandelion

in an even smaller night

you consider your star

it could be in the sky

of either pole

it’s never in your breath



©Trans. by Song Zijiang




Burma, the moonlight


we often speak of that night under you

water was sleeping moonlight fell on those

at their last gasp the whole world anxiously

on the same map desire reaches secretly

along a strange road for the poor, dark night

is a coat of fear they’re lucky enough to have

moonlight, though it is cold like water nature

does not have the body that could comfort

the frightened the forest must face

the sharp axe birds disperse

not for them the sparkling freedom of stars

fate is made into the dark sorry earth

just an instant and the moonlight

in Burma transformed to silent mountains



©Trans. by Song Zijiang




next year’s flowers


in days elusive as shadows

afternoon sun a little worn

the flower takes an umbrella’s shape

no one knows how much rain

it has endured I looked to the clouds

for the way that was lost

life’s last passion must overcome fear

fate befalls the flowers

once the scent is gone



©Trans. by Song Zijiang






this morning, no need to mow the lawn I can’t find

the door to the garden that’s not there even in the dream


this morning, I rush to the metro, I keep getting closer

to life survival has these depths


this morning, clouds in the blue so strange

as if from the map of a far-off land


on the way, there’s no discussion of the weather

I am lit by the sky, alone in a drop of dew



©Trans. by Song Zijiang




a tree


a night shrouded tree

leaves rain thrashed

so many layers

such a weight

of the dark


the tree inhabits the dark

looks around

tiny heart huddled

tries not to let skin glitter

hears faint breaths

of the wind

in the dark

as if leaves

were flying off



©Trans. by Song Zijiang










Huang Lihai  was born in Xuwen, the town in the farthest south of the mainland, and now lives in Guangzhou. His poems are collected in more than a hundred anthologies. He has published a number of books of poems, including I Know Little about Life and The Passionate Mazurka and volumes of criticisms about art, dance, film,and poerty. He has won a number of prizes, including the 8th Lu Xun Literary Award (Guangzhou, 2009) and Lebanon International Literary Award (2013). Huang established the poetry magazines Poetry & People in 1999, and“Poetry & People Poet Prize”in 2005 which has been awarded to Adam Zagajewski, Tomaž Šalamun, Tomas Tranströmer, etc.

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