When the wheat is pregnant by April wind,
The cloudlets are carp-scales on a topaz beach.
In the awns of morning rays the wheat comes into ears
And every spike is emitting the warmth of last night.
On the riverbank, reed roots rise to knees,
Some reedhead-like duck tails grow on the water,
And a few white geese are flapping wings as if to parade.
Tender leaves on the elm are still edible,
Along your garden, day-lilies are green like young cattails,
But the fennels are holding high their oilpaper umbrellas.
In a morning like this, I follow a cow like walking a pet in the early evening,
For two weeks, I have passed your threshing ground once and again.
With a throw of water, you pop into my sight, a basin in hand,
Like a pip-up by the gate, your apologetic greeting plump like your breasts,
And a smoke of white dust rises in the orange sunlight.
Oh, Lass, I do like a bowl of porridge from your caldron,
And it would be a regale to have an egg for fried elm leaves.
But the clapping of aspens cannot drown the sirens of outbound buses,
And I see distinctly I am standing in another foggy morning
Under this elm, with a wheeled portmanteau like a cow ruminating,
While your farewells are as bright as this morning’s hello.
Where I will be again, there are crowded breasts, bold but cold,
And I am not to look at faces, and no morning air
Will be so statically vibrant and saturated with cool warmth.
The scarlet clouds at nightfall will be appetizing like a sweet-and-sour fried fish,
And a dog meets another dog by the street, sniffing each other’s tail.
April 18, 2006