Part I Poems

My Struggling—Inscription on my photo taken 30 years ago

My hair is disheveled
Like a tuft of weeds
And I look like a "bandit"
Wearing presbyopic glasses
I look like a thorough conservative
An ashtray
Contains nothing but life-giving coffee candies
Books and papers and seals on my desk
Make it more pell-mell than a grocer
The computer keyboard is tapping in dim light
Tapping the future
I do not let myself down
The chaotic table-board is the world to be confronted with
I make light of exterior things
So as to cherish each inch of golden time
And to strive against each minute and second
Though unkempt
My mind is free from contamination
I do not look awry, and I fix my gaze
At the height of human stage
Instead of fooling away my life
All I bosom is hope — and strength
Spring of 2007, Bangkok

An Old Walking Stick——In memory of Mother

  I still remember the scene when I, at the age of seven, was nestling in the bosom of Grandmother in my shorts, who instructs me while pointing to a buffalo lying in front of the door: "See, if you don't study hard, you'll till the land all your life like that buffalo." Her words are engraved onto my mind, which develop into a great impetus for me to exert myself in my daily school performance.
  Hainan Island was occupied by Japs in 1939, when my parents exiled with us brothers to Kwangchowan (now Zhanjiang City) which was then the French Concession. Our then neighbor is a poor book lover, under whose influence I become a bookworm. From night to night I read under the streetlamp; when the clock strikes ten, my mother would leave her candle in the home to fetch me.
  At the age of 19, my family cannot afford my tuition, and I have to wander around the world to earn my own bread by the sweat of my brow. The then continuous political movements have severed me from my mother for 25 years.
  In 1988, I accompanied my mother to Bangkok to treat her eye disease and, my mother, within less than three months, returned to our hometown, missing the native land, the native well, the trees before the native door, and the ancestral residence with a history of nearly one hundred years.
  In 2000 when she was at her 94, my mother left me permanently. When she left Bangkok, my mother also left a wooden walking stick, which I put at my bedside for my company from night to night.
At my bedside
A walking stick accompanies me from night to night
An old walking stick
Accompanies me from night to night
It brings me unfading memory
From day to day —
On August 2, 1988
Mother in her 82
Leaning on this old walking stick
Comes to Bangkok the capital of Thailand
From Hainan the hometown thousands of miles away
After three months Mother returns to the native place which haunts her mind
Leaving this old walking stick
Forever to me
In my babyhood
Mother feeds me with her breast
In my childhood
Mother raises me with her sweat
When I enter the prime of life and begin to establish myself
Mother comes to my side over rivers and mountains
Leaning on this old walking stick
And she carves her encouraging words
On my very heart
But when my career reaches its most pleasant stage
Mother O dear Mother
You go away in silence
Before my obligation
Is repaid
You left me in silence for aye
Mother O Mother
Your son is holding the old walking stick
As if holding your hands and again in your bosom
How can your son repay you
When flowers wither
And my life comes to its end
I will put this old walking stick
Beside me
When raging fire is flaming and burning
Let this old walking stick
Serve as my guide
To bring me back to your side
In order for me to nestle in your bosom
Forever like in my childhood
Spring, 2002

Ode to the Root
Buried deep into the earth
You provide water and nutrition to your trunk
You never show yourself
Nor fish for fame and compliments
Let alone leaving marks of your annual rings
Silently you dig into the depth of earth
While singing a song of devotion
With your own life
The birds make nestling nests in branches above you
Worms and termites make a home in your body
Fowls and animals shelter themselves under the tree
And people enjoy the cool in the shade
While appreciating flowers and fruits on the tree
But who has ever noticed you
And your selfless dedication to the world
Buried underneath you are a hero nameless and voiceless
September 20, 2001

The Glowworm
Don't hold me in contempt due to my tininess
My light can penetrate darkness
Don't underestimate my energy
I can fly in high sky
The hippo is large
But it is confined in a corner of water
The elephant is huge
But it is enslaved to human beings deprived of freedom
As for me, I am glowing and twinkling
While winging and wheeling
Freely and gayly
June 16, 2002

Portrait of Life
A group of inferior creatures are having a meeting
The seething atmosphere is like sugarless espresso
The cockroach takes the lead to speak while flapping its wings
I can fly heavenward and go beneath the soil
And I adapt myself to day and night and to the four seasons
And I am worthy of the name of a hero
The earthworm has something to say
I benefit human beings by improving the soil
I am not showy and I do not fish for fame
And I am a hero in the real sense
The lizard makes its voice downward from the ceiling
I kill mosquitoes and pests for human beings
Who are thus exempt from all diseases
And they should grant me an insignia
The mosquito is humming madly
This is a world of freedom you impinge on human rights
You are flagrant and even death cannot atone for your offence
You shall be accused on courtroom of the world
The tortoise is breathing while nursing an anger
You all suffer mishaps and misfortunes in your life
Do not contend for fame and gain which are transitory
After one hundred years you have to change your faces to meet me
A boa creeps here stealthily
The other creatures are overawed at its sight
Only the tortoise holds its ground
It dreads nothing and is self-poised
A flock of sparrows are hopping on the treetop
In spells after spells of spring breeze and flowery fragrance
Singing leisurely dancing festively
While crooning longs and shorts of love
May 11, 2003, a polling day in Bangkok

My Wish
The night sky is serene and still
Only the eyes of night accompany the moon
And the Moon Goddess has the Jade Rabbit for company
In heavenly court there is no distinction between poverty and wealth
No contest and contention
No battles and wars
Only peace and harmony reign
I would like to join the stars
And to follow the Jade Rabbit
So as to detach myself from the world of worries
What I am seeking after
Is constant love and tranquility in the world
August 16, 2002

When you go away
The enchantingly radiant sunny day disappears
In blazing sunshine
Cold snowflakes are falling
Flowers withered
Brooklets and rivulets sing no more
My heart is floating in the air
Let me bring time forward
Let me confide my feelings
Fate binds us together
Even at the ends of the earth
You shall bring along my heart

Riding on the back of yellow crane
I fly over rivers and seas and lands
In the vastness of white clouds
I am looking
Looking for my lost dream
The sun rises in the west
And time is flowing backwards
I regain my former coolness and smartness
Hand in hand with my first love
We are roaming about the universe
September 15, 2001

White clouds upon white clouds
The sky is so lonely
Through the aperture of clouds
The sun sees you sitting before the window
On the looking around by yourself
Countless days
Countless dusks
Countless yearnings
Countless dreams
All are congregated into the expression of your eyes
White clouds upon white clouds
The sky is so lonely
Through the aperture of clouds
The sun sees you sitting before the window
Embroidering lovesickness by yourself

Someday I suddenly see
A terrestrial globe as clean as the mirror
From which all squalid garbage is cleared away into the immense universe
Evils and crimes are melted into water to run into the bottomless ocean
All worldly poverty is transformed into steam
Which is dissipated in the wind along with drifting clouds
All moans and groans in the world are rinsed
And are traceless
I see a terrestrial globe filled with glee and gladness
People are singing and drinking on the moon
And they follow their inclinations in the universe
They roam and ramble with clouds and rains
A long street extends from Asia to Europe
Both men and women enjoy a long life of millenary
But someday the earth is hit by a planet
Which is reduced into dust
And my fantasy is broken accordingly
September 23, 2001

To the Moon
I do not covet your fair and fortune
You are homely and penniless
But I love you deeply and profoundly
For your unstained soul which is pure like jade
Though my love for you is so distant
It is durable like the Galaxy and declines not
In spite of dark threatening clouds
In spite of tempests and rainstorms
Your transparent light of goodness and kindness
Still illuminate all things and beings on the earth
Free from any bias and selfish motives
You never let down people who love you
My love for you will be consistent and steadfast
And time will prove the first, midst, and last of my love
September 11, 2003

The Seagull
Is soaring beneath the clouds
To listen to the howling of the sea
Is gliding over the sea
To appreciate the dancing of clouds
But it never flies beyond the clouds
To dangle after vanity
Neither does it call brothers with the whales
In spite of its supremacy over the sea
No obstructions or obstacles ahead
And its life is full of hopes and expectations
O vast is the sea and high is the sky
For the seagull to wing and wheel

Eventide Reverie
The sun throws the earth to roadside
Before it carries halo home on its back by itself
Thus leaving dimness and darkness
To the earth
Sitting on the threshold of worries
I am gazing at the fencing
While in silent expectation
Of the returning footfalls
I see
A pretty form is moving
I hear
Footfalls are nearing
Full of hopes
I extend my arms to embrace
O the moon shadow cold and aloof
Is falling on me
The sun throws the earth to roadside
Before it carries halo home on its back by itself
Thus leaving dimness and darkness
To the earth
April 29, 2003

The Butterfly—A butterfly flies into my study
In rainbow colors from beyond Heaven
Flapping with elegance fluttering with gaiety
What interesting thing gladdens you
What strength deprives you of your memory of the past
And what goal is guiding your future
Sometimes you pause on the cover of Evgenii Onegin
Sometimes you repose yourself by standing on the Complete Works of Lu Xun
O my darling you also dream to be
A writer-poet
My advice is that you return to nature
To the great nature
To enjoy the freedom of finite life
Instead of being infatuated with the mortal world
Which is filled with intrigues and turmoils
Deep night, April 30, 2003

Plaint of the Peacock
My beauty is inherited from my ancestors
Instead of my own choice
I am cornered due to my beauty
Cornered in the park for visitors to appreciate
Their praises, though high, are void and invalid
Far from freeing and disengaging me
My beauty incurs my harm
And deprives me of my freedom
I would rather become a crow which escapes people’s attention
So as to fly heavenward with my ugliness
To soar in high sky and return to nature

Wild Grass
Tough and tenacious
You do not succumb to the scorching sun
When wild wind blows you down
You stand up again
When floodwater attempts to drown you
You stick your head above it
When snow and ice cover you up
The next spring witnesses your rebirth
Who gives you such strength and courage?
I would rather be a blade of wild grass who
Never kowtows to fame and gain
Never stoops before vanity
Never bends to authority
And never has wishful thinking about nabobism
I am only willing to add in silence
Some green to the world with poetic words

The Sea
Is expansive and stretches to the horizon
While incomparably imposing in all directions
In a fury your billows are lofty
While before the sand beach
You are wise to shrink back
Though some land has been conquered by you
The limit can never be slighted
Do not be self-conceited
Even your level is brought into full play
Just so-so are your abilities
I do not envy your magnificence
Nor do I dream about your magic power
In spite of your greatness
I will sail a sail on your head
And surf on your head with great ease

Rush in
And hurry out
You take away mortal melancholy
As well as human joys
You are indifferent and ruthless
Life vanishes under your torture
Never to return
And every inch of you I will gild
To fill in the latticework of my life
Which accompanies me to the ends of the earth

The Doorsill
The high doorsill
Witnesses my childhood
Mother is sitting on it
To sew trousers with open crotch for me
The high doorsill
Is shedding tears in silence
For past pleasures are gone and no more
O mom, where are you now

The Little Sparrow
At sunrise
In crowds you are hopping and singing before my door
While pecking at my millets for you
How free and cheerful
But do you know the sorrow in my heart
My dear mother is gone for ever
The little sparrow
Who is flying in the sky
Please bring a message to my mother
How her son is missing her
Please send my well-wishing to her
In order for her smiles to remain forever

Remembrance on a Rainy Night
The night raindrops
Fall against the embroidered curtain
The cool wind creeps over the wall
While bringing sweet memory of yore
Maternal love is stowed away in my heart
In the dim moonlight
I nestle against you
Holding fast to your hand
I am enjoying the warmth of maternal love
The wind wafting from afar
Fails to disperse the remembrance on such a rainy night
August 9, 2005 Bangkok

Do not sing to the rock
Which does not appreciate your songs
Do not reach your hands for floating clouds
Which never collect anything for you
To experience mortal sweetness and bitterness
Use your taste
To perceive light and shade in the world
Use your heart
Wipe off your tears
Cast away your sorrows
In order for your songs
To reverberate across the world
October 27, 2001

Part II Group Poems

Group Poems on Human Life

Human Life

Human life is a poem
Full of vitality love joys
Each line is glittering with happiness
Each word shall be retained
Human life is like a flower
Which is gorgeous and brilliant when abloom
But it can sear and wither
Therefore it is valuable and priceless
May 1, 2001

What is life
Life is an arena
The weak
Lower their heads to duck and dodge
Only the strong
Can step on the arena to challenge
Who can defeat me
August 2, 2002



In gorgeous days when a hundred flowers vie for beauty
I am merely a blade of grass at the side of the pond
I dare not disremember myself
I want to work wonders in the world

The earth is fuming from the burning of the sun
Going up against adversity I am careless
I do not keep guard for an old well
Let alone flying a kite high in the sky

The ground is red with a blanket of dead leaves
A victory shall be exploited each minute cherished
Before mountains are snowbound
To traverse cliffs to scale heights

Without plaint for the vanishing of flowers and birds’ twitters
Without seeking momentary ease in the icebound cave
I keep running toward the goal
And I am a man of integrity
November 3, 2006 Bangkok

Coursing on the Earth on the Grassland
The future is afar
On the horseback I am coursing on the earth on grassland
Throwing off my overclothes
For the sunshine to shine straight
To restore the original complexion out of maternal abdomen
Wearing an earphone
To stop the hoofbeats that kick off dust
So as to listen to one’s own breath of heart
A rainbow in the west
Is alluring by its multifarious colors
I care nothing about instantaneous beauty
Gold is glittering by the roadside
And I do not deign to pick it up
For this is not my dream
The road beneath hooves is bumpy
Which makes an unstable walking
The cacti are abloom by the roadside
Which are covered with thorns
Wolves are howling in dark night
About which I care nothing
The future is afar afar
On the horseback I am coursing on the earth on grassland
I am pursuing night and day
In search of the headstream of everything on earth
As well as the naivety of my childhood
And my primordial dream
November 7, 2006

Time of Love
Time elapses by each minute and each second
Which shall be valued and cherished
Time goes by never to return
Each minute and each second can not be retained
Let love beam and blink in the horizon
Forever like the Milky Way in the universe
Let love be brilliant and resplendent
To enlighten each minute and each second of human life
May 17, 2003

Atop the High Mountain
Atop the high mountain
On the hard ground
Looking afar at the rising crimson sun
The light enlightens darkness beneath each grove of trees
And my heart turns along with the earth
Atop the high mountain
Dark clouds are lingering beneath my feet
Finally to drop down as raindrops to soak into the soil
The wind is howling raging
Before its trace is nowhere to be seen
The earthquake
Myriads of animals flurry and flee desperately
Fails to shake me a bit
Fearless and dreadless
I am standing atop the high mountain
Autumn, 2006

Looking Northward at the Divine Land
Looking northward at the Divine Land
In the remote place
It is season to transplant rice seedlings
The roamer is in expectation from night to night
When to return when to return
That is the place where my parents grow up
My homeland
Where there is the well from which I have drunk water
And there are my most endearing people
At the moment the squirrels
Are jumping searching
On mango trees before the window
To eat mellow fruits stealthily
Durian trees are heavy with fruits
Exhaling spells after spells of faint fragrance
Mountains are blanketed with Red Hairy Lichees
To work out an embroidery of beautiful rivers and mountains
But they fail to attract my eyes
For I still yearn for my hometown
Where I grow up
Where there are my most beloved people
March 2, 2002

An Arrow Shot Never Returns—On my birthday
The target is ahead
Whoosh an arrow is shot
Which does not swerve
Nor does it return
Do not mind the distinction of roadside grasses
Nor analyze the tone of insects outside the hole
The target is ahead
The arrow shall be shot ahead
Whoosh an arrow is shot
The arrow shot never returns
Autumn, 2003

Revelation of the Football
——The world football game is held is Asia for the first time

Irrespective of complexion and race
Irrespective of area and country
With smiling faces greeting by hands shaking
Orderly ranks to sing different national anthems
For one shared globe of luck
Aptitude and power is rivaled
O my people
Please take the globe as a football
Please substitute war with peace
Hate with tolerance
Confrontation with cooperation
And the world will be filled with sunshine
June 5, 2002

Group Poems on the Great Nature


Dark clouds as its backup force
The lightning is domineering
And has frightened rats and the like into their holes
When the lightning intends to lord it over the earth
The frog is scornful while perking up its head
And is snickering

Occupies the sand beach time and again
And is exhausted
Leaving patches after patches of froth and foam
No advancing means receding
The crab runs amuck
And is in contempt of hypocrisy and imbecility

The vault collapses and the ground caves in and people perish
The hegemonists are contending for domain
Who cares?
The nature and power are both expanding and swelling
Science and technology and benevolence
To save the earth in vain!

Covered with green trees and red flowers
Millenarianism presents itself
Everything is latent
On the verge of eruption
The Heaven and the Earth are upside down
Even corpses are hard to come by

All the colors of the rainbow
Are hanging beyond the horizon
Which constitute beauty itself
You are an attention-getter
Which can hardly go through the test of time
You are a flash in the pan

The Dried-up Field
Tenacious drought
Has chapped the field
Birds and insects are dying out
But so long as the earth persists
The hope

When yellow leaves wither and fall
The trunk is upright
Which buries its root deep into the earth
Each inch of time cherished
Through trial and tribulation
Spring is not far behind

Changeable and variable
Floating on high
You have neither opinion nor position
Under a spell of wind
You are transformed into rain after which
You are nothing

An Age-old Tree
In spite of lashes of winds and rains
The root is deep-rooted
What can move me
Regardless of days and nights
The branches are pointing heavenward
I still remain my former self

The Sun
Discloses all darkness
No shelter is left for mediocrities
All of whom are exposed
No fantasy to prolong the night
The order of nature
Shall be obeyed by everybody
Winter of 2006

Group Poems on the Streets of Bangkok

Roadside Restaurants

A cauldron of broth a pile of vegetables
A piece of pork a cooker of rice
The poor make a fortune out of the poor
The vendor is praying God
Instead of lining their pockets
But for God to be merciful
To ensure a clear sky free of rain

Across streets and into lanes
In search of a passenger
The taxi is like a cock seeking after worms
It is on the running
It is on the looking
The driver's wife and children are waiting to be fed
When he goes out early and returns home late

The Roadside Shop
In order to do shopping in a quiet place
Just go into the roadside shop
The majority of buyers are attracted into the supermarket
And the shop owner at the door is waiting
Is waiting
Waiting for remnant guests out of the supermarket
Waiting for their swallowing up by the multinational supermarket

Larger ones cover half the sky
Small ones make use of every possible interspace here and there
All are coaxing money out of people’s pockets
Coaxing people to rise to the bait
This is the vitamin of the city
To foster the wealthy of the city
Which has nothing to do with the have-nots

The Beggar
Along the streets under the bridges beside the roads
Begging voices are always heard
To those disabled
Helping hands shall be extended
But some are proprietors camouflaged*
Who are reaping without sowing
So long as they are not exposed
Beggars and swindlers are hard to distinguish
* Some beggars have houses under their names to rent out, so they are called proprietors camouflaged

Multinational Market*
Mammoth is the multinational group
Which is domineering in the city life
Its magnetic field sucks vehicles and foot passengers
It is the city frother and boiler
As well as the emptier of shops and stores
By nibbling and swallowing
Only remains remain of the small and weak
* Here multinational market refers to multinational supermarket

Air Tramcar
Like rainbow in the sky
Again like boa in the mountain
More like a stereograph in the air
Which sketches out a beautiful city
Running around the clock
Not to serve the wealthy
To award according to contributions
The air tramcar is the undisputed hero

The Girl Selling Flowers along Streets
Risking her own life
A girl is walking among speeding cars
To hawk bunches of flowers
Her skin is tanned by the sun
Her clothes are soaked by the rain
Having lost the favor of Plutus
She is earning her own bread

Large or small all cars are queuing up
Like the moving of ants
Social distinction
Is paraded here
Owners of Rolls-Royce and Benz
Are no have-nots
In spite of models and magnitudes
The numerous cars reveal social prosperity

The Swallow on the Electrical Wire Pole
It is cleverness itself
For the swallow to choose electrical wire as its home
So as to share urban prosperity with human beings
While it is hoodwinked
By the false belief that they constitute a big family
Wrong wrong
Let me tell you in secret
If there is neither contention nor collision
The world will be a paradise

The Five-star Hotel
To see the luxury of the wealthy
Go to see a five-star hotel
To live the life of a millionaire
Go to enjoy in a five-star hotel
But the total income of a laborer in a year
Is inadequate for the stay of a single day
Don't complain about social inequality
Without which there will be no five-star hotels

The Roadside Diviner
Giving directions to those who lose orientation in life
The diviner is a life-long roadside stander
Instructing people to avoid the ominous and choose the auspicious
He fails to make a fortune himself
Nor can he shake off poverty
Not that he is so selfless
As to place the interests of other people above his own
But Heaven is blind
And helpless

Mid-Autumn Festival
Pieces of moon cake are sold everywhere
And the selling girl is on the verge of sleep
Last night the moon is concealed in dark clouds
And people do not give much heed
Tonight the moon will be waxing or waning
And people do not care
What they are after is an illuminating sunshine tomorrow
Written on the Mid-autumn Festival of 2003

Group Poems on the Family

The Steps

Going up the steps
What is in expectation
Is hope

The Sunshine
Into the eastern door and out of the western window
In daily passage
The light is temporarily consigned

The Iron Balustrade
Can prevent a wandering dog
But fails to keep off the thief
As well as the rats and insects

The Window
Lets in air and sunshine
While rejecting flies and mosquitoes

The Sparrow Before the Door
Is looking for food freely skipping and singing
Cheerful like an immortal

The Courtyard Grass
Dutiful and faithful verdure all the year round
No treachery in spite of lashes of winds and rains

Mangoes Without the Wall
On branches without the wall
Mangoes are picked
By nobody — but the squirrels

The Swallow on Lampstandard
An age-old city keeps a shelter
Cats of modern times shall be watched out
Like the covetous eyes of a corrupt official on wealth

The Cicada
Shall not be beside yourself with joys and songs
While rapacious birds are flying about
Latent is the danger
June 8, 2005 Bangkok

Part III Chinese Sonnets
——From a long poem entitled Gone with the Wind

O You
Are beautiful, gentle and graceful
Moving forward step by step
O my goodness
I simply do not believe my eyes
Refined and cultivated
Elegant and pleasant
Your fairy fair
Gladdens my eyes and freshens my mind
You comply with convention
Though with talent hidden
Each and every word by you
Carries much weight
O you I fall for you
At the first sight

The Taking-Root of Love
You say
Not your life to fool away
You vow
To create a beautiful tomorrow
Your sincerity
Makes you keep your promise
Your knowledge
Distinguishes yourself
Born into a poor family
You have experienced joys and sorrows
Full of love and passion
You are earnest in human life
My love for you
Takes deep, deep root

Round Is the Moon Tonight
Round is the moon tonight
Limpid and transparent
Like the heart which loves you
Pure and transparent
Sitting in silence before the window
It has stricken the third watch
I am writing a letter
To the pretty form beside me
You are always enthusiastic
Let us be closer against each other
Let us go ahead hand in hand
So long as love is dedicated
Happiness is right at hand

Endless Is the Night
I want to still my heart
And have it consigned temporarily
You express your feeling with your eyes
Though we are thousands of miles apart
I sit in the shade under the moon
And my heart is churning with hot waves
Counting numerous stars in the sky
I am measuring the distance between you and me
O day after day
In my life
You appear only to disappear
The birds have returned to their nests and the night is deep
When bedlamp is turned on
What I see is all your photos

At another side of the earth
You are distant from me
Beyond the bank with raging waves
I look afar from a far place
When your mail box is opened
I see your bloom of youth
When I see your image
My heart is full of hope
The midnight toll
Brings you to my side
I send my beautiful blessing
In front of your window
Parting the curtain of daybreak
You are going to pick up a groundful of love

Happiness Is Right at Hand
Morning sun is cozy and warm
Which banishes murkiness of last night
Morning air is fresh
Which brings in a fresh day
You are always so enthusiastic
So earnest
Let us be close and hand in hand
To create a new life
Broad is the road
Colorful is human life
Let us advance in steady steps
Let us go forward hand in hand
So long as love is dedicated
Happiness is right at hand

Yearning in the Air
A glass of red wine
Is brimming with fragrance
How I miss you
And I extend my hand to hold you but where are you
I call your name gently and tenderly
But you are not by my side
I descry your form
Thousands of miles away
The distance between us
Is narrowed by our hearts
Your heart and my heart
Are near and close
What the air stewardess gives me
Is the last piece of paper

Loving You for Aye
You have a voice bewitching and sweet
You possess a character unrestrained and extrovert
You enjoy a life extraordinary and magnificent
Your heart is expansive like the expansive sea
The light of life is glittering and dazzling
You are in high spirit
Wearing a constant smile on your face
Which is engraved in my heart
You are the hotspring of human life
We are going to be lifelong partners
My thankfulness to favors of Heaven
And I will love you for aye for aye
Winter of 2006

Part IV Minipoems

Are used by lovers for courtship
By friends to show friendship
And by corrupt officials for self-defense

The End of the Bank
The end of the sea is the bank
And the end of the bank
Is the joys and sorrows of human life

Slick and sly
But in a chafing dish
The fate of eels is the same with that of ginger and shallot

Insect Chirping in a Rainy Night
Some are singing loudly
Some are chirping feebly
But they all hush and hide at the sunrise

The lying corpses are insensitive
To your cursing and swearing at gravestones
So why not sing your favorite ditties

Are suffering and shedding tears
You sacrifice yourselves
To enlighten other people

The Anchor
Is indiscriminate in anchoring ships
In spite of different tonnages
20 tons or 200,000 tons

The Kite
Head uplifted and tail wagging
The kite is arrogant and domineering
But its fate is in the hand of the kite-flyer

The Season of Bumper Fruitage
Greenery as the background
Various colors of red, yellow, green and white
Performance in the nude

The Dream
I live by self-confidence instead of the dream
I tread on the earth
In no need of any dream

The Power
When into power to call black white who dares to deny it
But once out of power
Everybody says black is black white is white

The Crab
With a protective shell you run amuck but do not tyrannize
Those who run amuck and tyrannize are
Nobody but human beings

Corrupt Officials
Their anti-corrupt speech draws stormy applauses
Peacocks in the day
And fleas in the night

Gold fills the pockets of the poor
The sun steams locusts into fertilizer
To fertilize all crops

The Ship
Braves waves and billows
To charge ahead
Laden with hopes

The Sand Beach (1)
Encloses the sea in silence
Braving the lashes and impingement of waves
It remains calm and unmoved

Human Life
Whether or not a good poem
It is written by yourself

Shall be lived meaningful and plain
Not lived long and in vain

Fame and Gain
When fame and gain is valued weighty like a mountain
The valuer is as light as a feather

Discarded to the roadside
It will not be sweet-smelling after one hundred years

The Seed
Is buried deep into the earth
And is going to see the light of day

The Rain
Is sought after by the soil of drouth
While loathed by ladies of fashion

The Lock
A locked door guards against theft
And a locked brain creates a puppet

The Mountain
Is a pile of dirt when overlooked
To rival in height please come hither

Responsible and self-disciplined
They never go beyond their boundary

The Sand Beach (2)
In spite of the powerful power of ocean waves
I still remain my very self

The Chanticleer
Crows heavenward while wearing a red crest
But will be killed as sacrificial offering when time matures

Give me a red spot
And you, a wound

Cannot be measured
But can be anatomized

From the mouth of a gentleman is gold
From the mouth of a mean person is trash

The Drum
Is deafening when being played
And is a stool after the curtain falls

Take French leave
And leave ageing behind

The Moon
Has recourse to the sun in darkness
And is shy to see sunshine in broad daylight

Are tiny
Yet eternal

The Road
Easy difficult
All depends on the wayfarer

The Wood
Is firewood in the hands of a farmer
And becomes curio in the hands of an artist

Paper Flowers
Are bright and beautiful
But are done once soaked in water

The Pen
In lashing against vices and evils
Is mightier than a bullet

The Lock
Can only lock up bigotry
But fails to lock up the soul

Ah Q
The heredity of your gene
Is best liked by imbecile officials

The Despicable
Is to lick up vices and evils with the tongue

The Fog
Can cover up all things temporarily

The Mirror
Sacrifices itself for the sake of the lookers

Is the result from losing light

Is a note taken by people in power

Is moved by other people

The Shadow
Is nowhere to be seen when light is turned off

Is merely a transitory spectacle

Part V Prose-Poetry

The Coffee Cools Off
In Kunming four years ago, you are my tour guide in those suave days.
In steady steps, you take me to the romantic garden-restaurant, a Xanadu,
A seat beside the window, a bundle of flowers on the table, and an unburned candle of last night.
The sunshine is brilliant outside of the window, a clear sky, how transparent is the world.
Winning is your voice, and you are enthusiastic.
Two cups of coffee, are brimming with fragrance, which convey friendship in the world.
My photo taken by you at the Stone Forest, has left a record in the history of my life;
You take me to walk in the heart of the cave, isolated from the world, with difficulty I walk, and you hold my hand, for fear that I might tumble;
The crane is moving slowly, in the air; I feel fidgety, and you grasp my hand, lest I fall down.
All this happened four years ago in Kunming, which is a chance meeting at the southern verge of our motherland.
Time lapses; though a moment, the file of sentiment still exists in this human world.
Mountains remain, the globe still turns, but the form of yore has disappeared, along with birds in the sky;
I return to my home, but never can I forget the friendship;
The form of yore haunts my memory, heart to heart;
The coffee cools off, and what about people!
The autumn of 2006

I Stroll Along the Bumpy Road of Human Life
——To greet the new year of 2007

76 now, in the days of brilliant sunshine, I stroll along the bumpy road of human life.
The green grass is like a carpet, covering the earth.
Verdant tree leaves are dancing in the breeze, like myriads of people waving hands in the line.
The sky is calm and cloudless, only the birds are flying freely.
I am pondering over life with sobriety and self-possession.
Recalling the journey of 76 years, to retrieve the days which are lengthening and transitory
Which are surging with waves and calm and quiet. I recall, I recall the past and the past events;
I love my ideal deeply, for which I work night and day;
My bumper harvest comes from my diligence.
I also recall the days when I get the cheese, my feet is pricked to bleed;
When I am pushed down, I rise to my feet; I refrain from tears in spite of pangs, to follow the natural course.
I do not mind the limitedness of human life, and tolerance reigns everywhere along human road.
I do not overlook brambles and traps ahead;
I do not mind the chackling complaints;
I do not look at the mask of wanton changes of expression, and I swim against the countercurrent.
I am careless of fame and gain, even the president of a nation cannot escape death, and a mountain of gold cannot be buried with the dead.
The ocean is large, but larger is my heart.
With fair and square, I embrace the whole world.
December 30, 2006

Part VI Traveling & Recalling

The Versailles Palace
Suddenly I see Louis XVI
Who is loitering in the palace of the 17th century
Walking along the well-preserved
Stone pavement in front of the door
He has walked through his brilliant years
Leaving the magnificent house of superlative craftsmanship
In the world

The high-rising Eiffel Tower
Triumphant songs are still being sung
The king as the son of Heaven
Is still riding a horse before the Versailles Palace
Is the rare flower of human history

Has ever been proud and pretentious
With unbounded honor and glory
The empire whose sun never sets
Has now lost its luster of yore
The afterglow of the setting sun
Still forms a mighty magnetic field
It is charming
And perplexing

Hamburg of West Germany
——A Giant Is Standing in the Centre of the City

With fog and clouds over his head
A giant is standing on the street heavy with traffic
With a hammer in his hand
He is striking all the year round
And never stops for a single moment
To forge out the prosperous world

German Pork
Full of admiration
I step into the restaurant
Which is crowded with crowds
Efforts are made
To find a vacant seat
A pot of German beer is served first
Looking about and around
The neighbors are all eating from their hands
Which makes the watcher dribble
Good Heavens a big plate of dish
Is an artwork of perfection
Which shall be collected instead of being eaten up
But the temptation is hard to resist
Sweetness filters through the teeth upon a single biting
Leaving a lingering memory

Milan of Italy
With a camera in my hands
I am hunting for eyes-feasting vistas
Roofs which are like bamboo shoots
Walls with walking relief
All exhibit the uncommon artistic talent of the artist
Open cafés beside the street
Testify romantic and leisurely life here
I want to get myself merged
Into this world of quietude and harmony
Come on let me take a photo of you
This is the Domino Cathedral
Which was built through 500 years of efforts
A middle-aged man with blond hair
Has also left me his friendship

Travel to Holland
The windmill is turning around
Measuring the breath of the earth
Mystery of the ancient castle
Takes people into the tunnel of time
The 10,000-ton freighter is moving overhead
Which embodies the new age of vigorous development
A country decorated with flowers is
Beautiful elegant fragrant amiable
And she is unrivaled*
* Many songs in praise of Amsterdam contain such words as “Amsterdam, you are unrivaled”.

Statue of Liberty in New York
You are raising high the torch
But the fire has died out
The water beneath your feet is rolling and billowing
But it can never wash off the gap between the rich and the poor
The lawn under your feet is verdurous
What is planted here is graded happiness

New York
The skyscrapers in Manhattan
Cannot conceal Harlem*
Doodling in the metro
Blasphemes social prosperity and modern civilization
Strolling in the streets
I feel happy and easy, while shaking with fear
The magnetic field of social affluence magnetizes me
But from the schoolbags of pupils
Bullets may be discharged unawares
* A section of the city of New York in northern Manhattan, and it is one of the largest Black communities in the United States.

Walking along the street
What I see on the lintel of restaurants
Are Chinese characters云吞 (WON TON) and水饺 (jiaozi, or Chinese-style dumpling)
Entering home
What I hear on TV is Cantonese
The trees are equally green
The water is equally clean
And people are equally kind and friendly
Perhaps this is
Idealistically for human beings
The World of Great Harmony

Here the interspace of the two sides of streets
Is gorgeous with clusters of flowers
Here passengers in the vehicles
Are reading books and newspapers
The streets are clear and clean
The passers-by are in a hurry and haste
Who are gentle refined
This is the wellspring of national dignity economic boom
As well as strength and vitality

A prosperous city
Is built on the vastness of desert
Which is the crystallization of labor and intelligence
Instead of a favor from God

On Mt. Doi Dong*
Strolling on the top of Mt. Doi Dong
I part the thin fog and clouds with my two hands
A piece of azure sky has covered the great earth
Flowers upon flowers sprinkled by fairies
Are floating and dancing in the air
The sea of trees is undulating with verdure beneath the mountain
Brooklets and rivulets are babbling and meandering
A rainbow bridge reaching Heaven
Goes upward along the mountain
To transport people to another world
Taking a deep breath of the nectar-like air
While gently moving feet
Treading on the carpet woven with something like feathers
In the garden full of blooming flowers
With a variety of colors
Which is spreading intoxicating fragrance
Oh it is no mortal world
But the Xanadu
Of which people are dreaming day and night
* Mt. Doi Dong lies to the north of Thailand, on the top of which situated is the Empress Palace.

Recollections of Phuket Island in Thailand
With thick layers of white clouds over your head
You are loitering bare-footed on the snow-white sand beach
One footprint after another with each step forward
What are you looking for?
You swim to and fro in the swimming pool
Then lie under the palm tree
While singing in a low voice
What song are you singing?
The sidewalk is thronged by people
Treading on the soft sunshine
Your steps are fast and slow
Where is your destination?
O my darling
The world is so small and beautiful
Please leave behind your footprints
As well as your love

Thoughts on a Tour to Kunming
Large golden tablets are hung on the lintel of fast-food restaurants
The interior is brilliant like a palace
At mahogany chairs under dim light
Crowds of young people are sitting and idling
With an eyeful of foul atmosphere
Instead of dining in broad daylight
They are gathering to play cards
O my young men
Is it that your time is utterly worthless
Is it that your life is merely flowing water and floating clouds
Is it that your future is vague and vain
Is it that you have no position in the world
Is it that you are superfluous on this globe
Where does your future lie
What hope do you bring to the country
October 23, 2001 Kunming,China

 I Shall Not Live in Vain
 (Thailand) Chan Sirisuwat

  When a new book is published, I feel that I have made a further step forward in my life. The past days are transitory, but I feel that a record shall be left.
  I spent my childhood in a wealthy family in the countryside, and I am the third generation of an overseas Chinese family. Grannie Houliang*, my grandmother, is a kind and charitable woman who "takes delight in the pleasure of others and suffers the sufferings of others". Besides her concern and solicitude for each member of the family, she is always ready to help the poor in the neighborhood without any intention of being requited, for which she is held in esteem as the "Living Buddha". She is the householder of the family. I still remember her words to me on a scorching day when I was in my pants and nestling in her lap: "If you don't study hard," she points her left hand to a buffalo lying in the shade before the gate while fanning with her right hand, "you're going to till the land like the buffalo all your life." Grannie is the person whom I adore most, and her words turn into the prime mover in my study where I can dispense with three meals a day but not with reading for a single night.
  In my childhood, when the Japs have occupied Hainan Island, my parents walked 30 kilometers on foot to the seaside of Copper Drum Ridge while carrying us three brothers in bamboo baskets, before fleeing to Kwangchowan (renamed as Tsankiang or Zhanjiang after liberation of the Mainland of China) which was a former French Concession after crossing Qiongzhou Strait by taking a boat in a moonless night, all the way wary to keep away from Japanese warships. We settled in the countryside, where we rented a cowshed built with grasses and bamboo branches for shelter. After spending a period of hard life there, we removed to the suburbs of Chikan and lived a life of dire poverty. Birds of a feather flock together. We have a neighbor who is an emaciated scholar who failed to achieve his ambition: a pair of thick glasses on his nose, hands and face wrinkled like dried carrot, with gray hairs and a goat-like beard, wearing a worn and gray-colored gown whose rear is mended with a patch, all of which defy people’s guessing from which dynasty he comes from. Like me, he gets light in the night by an oil lamp and in the day, he moves his low stool under the eaves to read, as if he is fishing. Living a single, lonely life, he is delighted at my coming and visiting, which is a relief from his boredom. His home is a small library. Lacking interest in those thread bound books, I am keen on those traditional chivalrous novels, and I become a bookworm. Each day between the time when the school is over and the sun is set, I would unfailingly repair to his home to borrow books. In the night I would read with much relish under the streetlamp, while Mother is keeping a candle at home; when it struck the third watch, Mother would come out to fetch me home for sleep.
  In my youth I left my hometown to seek fortune, pocketing three Hongkong dollars. Taking a train from Luohu, I came to Hongkong and was accommodated in the house of my cousin and, three days later, her husband took me to a shoes factory of his friend to work as a buyer. In the 10 years that followed, I have taken up a variety of professions; in spite of labors and lapse of time, I still remain penniless until the prime of my life. Disillusioned, I went under the invitation of a friend to Thailand which was then still quite an underdeveloped country where social stability lacked. I worked as manager of a plank factory invested by him in the suburbs of Bangkok. After four years of hardships and efforts, I have accumulated 160,000 Baht, and I resigned the post to establish my own company. Owing to smallness of my capital, I adopted the business strategy of "avoiding business where it is hot and doing business where it is cold", and I started by dealing in waster. My first business is water snakes caught by farmers in rivers or ravines, who feed the meat of snakes to ducks, and I purchase the abandoned snakeskin. Later I purchase the hemp abandoned by factories of sacks and the ox horns abandoned by slaughterhouses, which are exported to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Australia after processing. Basing on exportation of the three commodities of snakeskin, hemp and ox horns, I begin to accumulate capital and my business expands quickly. Within mere 10 years, my company of 2 persons is expanded into 8 solely- and jointly- invested companies. Meanwhile, a factory is established to produce the series of Potpourri which, after 20 years, is exported to more than 40 countries, and I was reputed as King of Potpourri in Thailand.
  When Motherland is subjected under reform and opening up to the outside world, I returned to my underdeveloped hometown to build roads, bridges, water towers, while introducing electric power, and the visage of the countryside is thoroughly changed. Besides, I do not forget to make contribution to the education there. Through three years' efforts, I built on my own expense a statue of Buddha atop the Copper Drum Ridge of Wenchang City, Hainan Province, open to all visitors free of charge, which is conducive to the tourism of Hainan Island. I was awarded the prize of "Exemplary Overseas Chinese" in 1998 by the People's Government of Hainan Province and, in 2006, the prize of "Overseas Chinese Who Loves Hainan".
  At the age of 65, I feel no worries about bread and life, and I began to speculate on human life itself: in our short-lived decades, what can we do for the society? What contribution can we make? What shall we leave for our descendants? Human beings are different from animals and, instead of living a meaningless life in accordance with natural rules: birth — growth — aging — death, we shall try to make contributions to our society. Another idea dawns upon me: it is a most worthless life in which money is the only pursuit. And in 1996, I handed all my companies over to the care of my wife, so as to steep myself in literary creation.
  My literary creation is motivated by a social responsibility. I believe that the development, prosperity, progress and upgrowth of our society cannot dispense with social elites, who have made prominent contributions to human society. At the same time, there are social gloominess, corruption and crimes which, if they swell and prevail, will harm or even destroy the world on which we pin our hopes. I believe that the duty of a writer is to carry forward justice, to disseminate truth, to faithfully record history, and to steer people onto the right road, that the duty of a writer is to expose darkness and corruption, to castigate evils, so as to purify the society from a new angle and to promote the advancement of human civilization.
  I believe that my life experience is a marvelous novel: I have a harmonious family, a grandmother who is a universally acknowledged "Lliving Buddha", and parents who have sterling morality and integrity. The joys of my young childhood are temporary and transient; in my youth I fled to the French Concession to escape from the Japanese aggression, where I lived in a thatched cowshed. When it rains, I have to put on a bamboo hat in the room; I sleep on the pile of grasses, and from day to day I eat plain vegetables plucked by Mother from beside ditches and rivers, plus red rice. It is a life hard to bear for anybody. I have lived under different regimes: successively under the government of Kuomintang, the former French Concession, and the Communist Party of China. Later I spent more than 10 years in Hong Kong which was then a British colony, living a capitalistic life, before I migrated to Thailand, a country of Buddhism with different social systems and different ethnics. After I established myself in my career, I traveled around the world to see different countries, different ethnics, different environments, different systems, and different cultures, all of which combined to leave a deep impression on me about the great gap between social civilization and backwardness, and between the rich and the poor. In my career, with the insignificant amount of 160,000 Baht, I managed to reach the pinnacle of my career in 20 years. I believe that my experiences, if written down, would make a good textbook that is instructive and edifying, particularly for the youths of today. On November 2, 2004, I was invited to deliver a speech at the College of Foreign Languages of Peking University entitled "Braving the World with Three Hong Kong Dollars — My Life and Career", and I was greeted with warm applauses from the students.
  My first work is created under the inspiration of a hometown proverb of "the wealth of a family does not last to the third generation". In 1999, the family of a rich man who is my countryman and a thorough miser split and became impoverished only two years after the decease of his father. The rich man knows nothing but making money from day to day; he cares nothing about the education of his six children, none of whom has finished high school, and none of them lived up to the age of 60. The social cruelty compels me to write My Road, aiming to educate the following generations with my own experiences. Since my work is written in Chinese about which my children know nothing, I get it translated into Thai. Proposition is made for me to publish it for more readers' enjoyment, but I deem time is still not ripe. In 2001 I returned to my country and, at a banquet, I came across Ms Liu Jian, a writer and journalist who, after reading My Road, recommends in earnest that I expand its content and rename it as Braving the World with Three Hong Kong Dollars. Ms Liu invited Mr. Wang Guangying, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of National People's Congress of China, to write the name of the book and Mr. Lin Mingjiang, vice chairman of China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese, to write a preface before being listed into the book series entitled "Overseas Chinese Elites", and it was published in September, 2001 by Overseas Chinese Publishing House in Beijing.
  My very first poem, Human Life, which expresses my philosophy, was published on the magazine of Within and Without the Country which is sponsored by China Association of Overseas Chinese in 2001. The Witch Doctor, my maiden novel which aims at exposing social tricks and fraud, was published on newspapers of Thailand: Chinese Daily and Hainan Overseas Chinese in 2001. In the following years, I published many short poems and novels which express my philosophy on human life and criticism on social defects on newspapers and magazines of China and Thailand. Selected Short Poems of/ Chan Sirisuwat is listed into "Collection of Modern Chinese and Overseas Poetic Masterpieces", and was published in February, 2002 by Hong Kong Silver River Publishing House. At the same time, with the aim of "introducing Hainan** to the world and bringing the world to Hainan", I sponsored a magazine entitled Hainan People.
  My Chinese-English version of Braving the World with Three Hong Kong Dollars was published in 2003 and A Psalm of Human Life, The Silent Chaophraya River, and Time of Love, all in Chinese-English form, were published successively. The Homestead in the Dreamland is a collection of writings and paintings in Chinese-English form in collaboration with my two children in their teens. Hope, a collection of essays, was published in 2006. Totally, I have published 9 works in eight years. All my pieces are the projection of human life on my mind. By dint of decades of experiences and stories, I can express my philosophy on human life, my view of the world, and my view of value. My literary creations have been translated into many foreign languages including English, Thai, French, Greek, Portuguese, Romanian,German and Russian, etc.
  The publication of books is not merely a joy in my life; what is more important is that I have a new goal to strive after in my future life. In 2005, I was awarded the prize of "World Poet" by the 19th World Congress of Poets, and in April, 2007, I was conferred with the honorary doctoral degree of literature by the International Poetry Translation and Research Center.
  This Selected Poems of Chan Sirisuwat contains poems I selected from my published works or newly composed works, which are a summing-up of my life and a reflection on my mind. The cover design of the book is by Mr. Diablo, and the illustration is by my two children in their teens. Particularly, under careful planning by Dr. Zhang Zhi and Miss Wang Simei, and through beautiful translation into English by Dr. Zhang Zhizhong, my works have been introduced to the world. Hereby I would like to express my heartfelt thankfulness to all of them!
  In addition to individual efforts, the fruits and achievements of one’s labor cannot dispense with the help and assistance of his friends. One cannot brave the world single-handedly. This is also a wisdom I gained through my human experiences.

   * Grannie is an endearing appellation for a woman who is advanced in age in Hainan Province of P. R. China, and Houliang is the name of the village where I was born.
  ** Hainan is the place where I was born and brought up.