Mother and other poems by Chinese poet He Zhaolun
He Zhaolun (born 1970) is an outstanding contemporary Chinese poet. Since 1988 he has been writing poetry, which has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines in China and elsewhere. Zhaolun has published 3 Sangshaws, edited one Sangshaw, and has been awarded the first Dragon Culture Gold Award instituted by Yan Huang Culture research Institute. He lives in Jinzhou Liaoning Province, China. He believes that the coming together of poets across the world will create love and healing for all.
I always used to touch,
Mother’s rough face over and over.
Then, from her gray temples,
Hand to be frozen.
After hot her white hair as early winter snow,
Wrinkles like a river, more exquisite than sewing needle point –
Going through my close-fitting cotton-padded clothes.
Dew watching on grass without sleep,
Cherishing memory of mother’s village.
Mother’s great love,
With fragrance of breast milk for a long time.
I must know,
Mother’s withered breasts,
Must have been storing golden grain.
The rolling barns,
One hundred times more than obesity in our happiness,
One thousand times more than vanity of our happiness.
Land can speak out,
Those words with tears.
The most worthy of love,
Allows me to embrace mother’s silence again.
Old Time, Old Photos
From a pile of old photos yellowed,
I went back to mother’s old time so beautiful—
Her youth like wheat swaying,
Wheat fragrance swaying in front of eyes,
Wheat smell scattering around me.
Good sweet inched into old time,
Mildly pushing me to move forward,
I grasp mother’s skirt and hand,
Feel warm to preserve fingerprints,
Instead of happiness bloom,
So beautiful to fulfill the future.
A pile of yellow old photos, old time so beautiful—
Mother’s wheat no longer green,
Weeds grow fast year after year,
She kept cattle and sheep in mind,
Thinking of bitterness for a lifetime,
Don’t need me to say any words.
So I keep the old time,
Keep the beauty of the old days,
Turn over a few times, warmer in sunlight
An ear of wheat, tender in field,
Just like mother still constantly swaying,
Scattering wheat fragrance from yellow old photos.
Mother Told Me about Great-grandmother
Great-grandmother alive more than eighty years old,
Her life is much longer than grandmother,
Great-grandmother lives religiously,
Poor with Buddha beads in hand.
Grandmother died early, father loses his mother when six,
Great-grandmother had to bring him up,
The life always like a dervish,
Almost see through the world thoroughly,
As to wooden fish itself,
Found her belief transparent.
Water to swallow tolerance,
A bowl for food, a bowl for detachment ,a bowl for Buddha.
It´s a pity that I was late to the world,
She passed away on another road.
Her feet like three-inch-flowers,
She walked with body swaying,
And tried hard to take it easy.
Great-grandmother disappeared among flowers,
Only wind to support her.
Mother told me about great-grandmother,
A lamp in hand,“Amitabh” is all her life.
No resentment of the dust,
A good-natured old Buddhist,
So many years, guided us.
A leave doesn’t know,
It belongs to earth,
Until it falls.
A tree turns old,
It doesn´t fall
It belongs to root
Until it´s exhausted.
In my heart,
There is a pure soil,
Spring never fades
A plant flourishing in it.
Leaves are like childhood of migratory birds,
And the roots are our family indeed.
© He Zhaolun