Two Poems (詩兩首) by Derek Chung 鍾國強, translated by Tammy Lai-Ming Ho

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Two Poems (詩兩首)
by Derek Chung 鍾國強, translated by Tammy Lai-Ming Ho

FORGET NOT

Forgetting is near. What are we rushing to clamber over?
Blood and sweat of three million people only to demand a fictive rope?
Are there balloons up there? Only billowing clouds 
As though the screaming across the city has muted its own cries
Turning into fists lashing out helplessly

Is our energy running low? Are the long streets still beating?
The heavy thump in Pacific Place resounds in Fanling
Red and white plastic barriers blossom in Golden Bauhinia Square
Taller than the people. Tomorrow, ah, there’s still tomorrow
Tomorrow the wealthy and powerful will start feasting
Indifferent to the rancid-smelling blood that rises from their heads

Forgetting is near. What are you rushing to clamber over?
Climbing over the railings, imagining life-saving ones on the other side?
Over there, three million and one people are arriving
Will there be red and white flowers blooming?

Rootless, they don’t open by themselves—

As they say, wings think it worthwhile
Not worthwhile, says solid unyielding rock
If so, when the long journey’s done let’s
Lay some red camellias here, even
In mid-air as you fall, please
Please allow us to lightly say
A feather too can tip the scales

30 June 2019

莫忘

忘記就在後頭我們要趕著跨越什麼呢
三百萬人的汗血只為索取一根虛懸的繩子?
上面有否氣球,答以積雲臃腫
彷彿昨夜喊啞了的滿城吶喊
化作一拳一拳打在那裡也無所著力

是沒有力量了嗎長街是否仍在敲打
太古廣場那一下重音如今在粉嶺回響
都說金紫荆只盛開紅白相間的水馬
比人民還高,明天,啊,還有明天
明天那些權貴擺下的盛宴
不避葷腥如頭上升起的一抹血色

忘記就在後頭你要趕著跨越什麼呢
跨過欄杆設想那邊該有救命的欄杆?
那邊,三百萬加一人的抵著地
開的會是一圈紅白的花?

沒有根,不像是自己開的——

如是說,翅膀說是值得的
不值得,堅石如是說
那麼我們走過長途後就在這裡
放一束紅山茶吧,即使
在那尚未著地的半空,也請
也請我們輕聲說
一羽鴻毛也是重的

2019年6月30日

“Umbrellas Open On The Roads” is taken from Derek Chung’s Dusk at Quarry Bay (Chinese University Press),
translated from the Chinese by Tammy Lai-Ming Ho.

UMBRELLAS OPEN ON THE ROADS
—A poem in support of the Umbrella Movement

Umbrellas open on the roads
Waiting neither for rain nor wind
Bearing footsteps for so many days
Only asphalt can move them back

Umbrellas open on the roads
Two leaves bloom on the kerb
Cold nights, ankles retreating into tents
A bean-like light at day’s end, still yellow

Umbrellas open on the roads
An empty bus’s final stop
Give what has been forgotten
Darkness in the corner, without a sound of shouting

Umbrellas open on the roads
Not closing up like umbrellas
To forge a road on open umbrellas
Is not as easy as walking down the road

18 November 2014

開在馬路上的雨傘
——詩援雨傘運動

開在馬路上的雨傘
不等雨也不等風
承着腳步那麼多天了
只有瀝青可退

開在馬路上的雨傘
綻開了石壆邊的兩片葉
夜涼了腳踝縮回營帳
天末一燈如豆仍黃

開在馬路上的雨傘
是尾站的空巴士
給遺忘了的一些甚麼
角落的黑,沒有一聲呼喊

開在馬路上的雨傘
沒有像傘一樣合上
開在雨傘上的馬路
也沒有像路一樣好走

2014年11月18日

(Photograph © The Stand News.)

Derek Chung graduated from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Hong Kong. His numerous accolades include Hong Kong Biennial Awards for Chinese Literature, Youth Literary Awards, Awards for Creative Writing in Chinese as well as Artist of the Year (Literary Arts) of Hong Kong Arts Development Awards. He has published many poetry collections, including Delineation 《圈定》, Scenery on the Road 《路上風景》, Doors and Windows and Wind and Rain 《門窗風雨》, Urban Plankton 《城市浮游》, A Growing House 《生長的房子》, Nothing Unusual 《只道尋常》, An Umbrella Opened on the Road, and A Bright House in Residual Rain; essay collections Two Cities 《兩個城市》, Trees in Memory 《記憶有樹》, Words at First Sight; novel collection Sometimes One May Forget; as well as literary critique Floating Thoughts, Unrestrained Reading. Derek is one of the featured poets in the International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong in 2019.

Tammy Lai-Ming Ho is the founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, an editor of the academic journals Victorian Network and Hong Kong Studies, and the first English-language Editor of Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. She is an Associate Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches poetics, fiction, and modern drama. She is also the President of PEN Hong Kong, a Junior Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, an advisor to the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, and an Associate Director of One City One Book Hong Kong. Tammy’s first collection of poetry is Hula Hooping (Chameleon 2015), for which she won the Young Artist Award in Literary Arts from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Her first short story collection Her Name Upon The Strand (Delere Press), her second poetry collection Too Too Too Too (Math Paper Press) and chapbook An Extraterrestrial in Hong Kong (Musical Stone) were published in 2018. Her first academic book is Neo-Victorian Cannibalism (Palgrave, 2019). Tammy edited or co-edited a number of literary volumes having a strong focus on Hong Kong, the most recent one being Twin Cities: An Anthology of Twin Cinema from Singapore and Hong Kong (Landmark Books, 2017). She guest-edited a Hong Kong Feature for World Literature Today (Spring 2019), the Hong Kong special issue of Svenska PEN’s PEN/Opp, and an e-chapbook of Hong Kong poetry published by Cordite Publishing. Tammy is also a translator and her literary translations can be found in World Literature Today, Chinese Literature Today, Pathlight: New Chinese Writing, among other places, and International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong volumes (2015, 2017 and 2019). Her own poems have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latvian, and Vietnamese. She is currently co-editing several academic volumes in addition to 2020: A Bilingual Anthology of Hong Kong Poetry.


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