Li Shaojun

 

Li Shaojun

 

(China)

 

 

 

A Small Station Where Gods Arrive

 

three or five little wooden houses

spill one or two dots of lamplight

I, tiny as an ant

get stranded at a small nameless station

in the middle of Hulunbuir Grasslands

bearing piercing coldness and solitude alone but with peace in mind

 

behind, stand cold nights of early winter, ruthless as the wild tiger

further behind, lies a clear and open road

even further, there is Ergun River flowing slowly

bright as a white light in the dark

even further, there is a boudless forest of the simple white birch

and vast wildness, withered and lonely, bright and clean

even further, stars twinkle quietly in low skies

and the blue flossy tender curtain of night

 

even further, there is vast North inhabited by gods.

 

 

 

Expressing

 

under the tree, we talk about our own ideals

you say you would write a biography of mountains and a hisotry of waters

 

and I, only want to take true-to-life pictures of clouds

draw a landscape of the window

(with one or two occasional sounds of chirping birds)

as well as a sketch of my little daughter at home

 

definitely, she must stand under the Chinese flowering quince

 

 

 

Pretty Girl

 

once a country is big, there is room for maneuver

once you are small, you can be relished in hand

so what is a warm and soft body

he moves with ease between the country and you

 

now there are big issues like family and country

then there is long love between man and woman

in a sorry plight, you’re a cooling plaster applied to his chest

in peace, you’re a tenderness lingering in his heart

 

 

 

Them

 

A Jiao, the girl who gets up to lay out the table and fold the cloth early in the morning

is sluggish, slim and tall

her tiny breasts in loose waitress’s uniform

sway naturally and voluntarily

 

Xiao Yu, behind the cashier’s, has sleepy eyes

with the two middle buttons on her white shirt unbottoned

and her snow-white flesh faintly betrayed

which entices but not seduces

 

these ignorant girls

are totally unaware of their own beauty

but vaguely know their own vulnerability

they never go out alone

but always in twos and threes, with one’s arm round another’s shoulder

appearing fragile

 

 

 

Sense of Hometown

 

I’ve exchanged views with people here and there

they all have an opionated but varied sense of hometown

 

a beam of dawnlight projected from that end of the alley

shines the steaming hot breakfast store

shouts to grind scissors and knives

…all this is a sense of hometown evoked by the fall wind

 

there are also people who highlight warm March and apricot blossoms in south of the River

in printed umbrellas in the long lanes

beautiful maids knitted with lilac-like lament

 

but, what is more striking is a wanderer’s sleep-talking

only when thick grass in the courtyard somewhat lie waste

is there a sense of hometown, and broad leaves

green and yellow, grow and fall…

 

 

 

Translated By Zhang Xiaohong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BIO

 

Li Shaojun was born in Hunan province in November 1967. He graduated from the Department of Journalism of Wuhan University. His published poetry collections include A Collection of Grassroots, A Poetry Reader: Thirty-two Poems, Be Blue, and Those Vanishing People. He also edited the anthology Selected Poetry from the Twenty-first Century. His works have been translated into English, Swedish and Korean. He advocates “grassroots-ness” of poetry, which has become a key word of twenty-first century Chinese poetry. He was known as a natural poet, He is currently Vice editor-in-chief of Poetry Periodical.

 

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