Monthly Archives: April 2015

from Spring Songs (8)

Originally posted on Translations from the English:
from Spring Songs (8) 8. Nothing more can happen in April so I am waiting The rain is waiting too clouds simmering in the south The grass wants to touch you but looks…

Posted in Poetry, Translation | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Can’t Sleep

Each night I listen to the rain of macadamia nuts on my roof as the possum leaves his dray* and lands with a thud on my roof * Last night he landed where the neighbours’ new cat sat * Tonight … Continue reading

Posted in Diary, Poetry | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Completing Jane Austen

It’s time I give away my Jane Austen novels.  I know I’ll never read them again. Every day for five weeks I drove myself to hospital and in the waiting room buried my head in one of those novels.  They … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Flight

Hovering above Casting shadows Shrouding peaks Blue white blue white blue Sky cloud sky cloud sea (c) Mary Tang 2015

Posted in Poetry | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Third Age

Apologies to Tolkien fans, this is not about the Elves.  I’m talking about being a thirdager, and I can see that at least spellcheck is refusing to acknowledge our existence.  It seems to be saying, there is no such word and … Continue reading

Posted in Diary | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Azalea and The Cuckoo

What do the azalea and the cuckoo have in common?  I should have asked my learned Northern Hemisphere friends who are no doubt about to post pictures of both on their blogs.  However, if my friends ask me this question, … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Language | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

That East and West Thingumajig

What is a ‘thing’?  A ‘thing’, it seems, can be anything. In Chinese, however, it’s ‘east’ and ‘west’.  Honest, that’s how we say ‘thing’: 東西 (pronounced dongxi in Mandarin).  東 (dong) means east and 西 (xi) means west.  Put them together and … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Language | Tagged , | 2 Comments

from Spring Songs (7)

Originally posted on Translations from the English:
from Spring Songs (7) 7. Argument of April hail does not convince a leaf Cold wind cannot decide what to turn its back to comes back around knowing it can’t come back

Posted in Poetry, Translation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Unclaimed Grave

Originally posted on Translations from the English:
Note: Mary Tang, a poet I follow and who has been translating my Spring Songs series into Chinese, wrote recently about her grandmother’s life and death, and after reading those posts on her…

Posted in Poetry, Translation | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the Absence of Rain

It rained ice in Sydney the other day. I translated Jeff Schwaner’s recent poem and read it on a voice file for him.  Afterwards I realised that I’d mispronounced the word ‘hail’  雹  in Cantonese. I’ve been trying to learn … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Language | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Bread by Robert Okaji (with audio in Cantonese)

BREAD 麵飽 That year we learned the true language of fear. 那年我們認識了恐懼的真意 I baked boule and you haunted medical sites. 我烘麵飽時你搜索醫學網址。 You said to arrive I must first depart 你說:我要先離去才能到步 or be willing to suffer self-awareness. Let’s not 否則寧願受自覺的折磨 。先別 … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry, Translation | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Living Offline

I lost my internet connection during the storm.  I am hoping that one day it will be restored so that I can post this on my blog. I live in what I call a ‘black hole’ where I cannot get … Continue reading

Posted in blogging | Tagged , | 13 Comments

from Spring Songs (6)

Originally posted on Translations from the English:
from Spring Songs (6) 6. Lightning in the western sky over mountains. East are riverstones of stars blinking through the swift current of clouds. Wherever I look across a rainy day and night…

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

MOMENTS

  in the Kimberley; in the bush; in New Zealand; on the train * Like dashing into ‘town’ driving 200 kilometres into Kununurra so tired I nod with sleep at the wheel and the desert sun dives below an outrageous … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Trees Topple

I feel like one of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf is trying to blow the house down.  I’m the one with the brick house so I think I’m safe but my container trees are not so … Continue reading

Posted in Garden | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

from Spring Songs (5)

Originally posted on Translations from the English:
from Spring Songs (5) 5. As the space between branches fills in The incomplete sky gets more interesting: The less I see the more it takes shape. The more I see in the…

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Word Games

Because of the jigsaw puzzle nature of Chinese characters, we love playing with words.  The modular form (think Lego) makes it ideal for making up cryptic clues for word guessing games.  Here’s an example: 明月半遮雲腳下 殘花並落馬蹄前 This is a couplet … Continue reading

Posted in Chinese Language | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

from Spring Songs (4)

Originally posted on Translations from the English:
from Spring Songs (4) 4. Mid-April moths insistent as saints. A nest on the top of the maple a sewn shape that withstood winter by being empty. A hornet drops from the blind…

Posted in Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments