Monthly Archives: September 2019

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 489 WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 489 WITH NOTES

AWEFUL ATTRACTION

(敬畏的景點)

clouds flow enchant hills

云流蛊惑山

drift away hills are scenic

漂蕩山脉景色丽

clouds mystify hills

云迷惑丘陵

high and low mountains

高低的山群

rely on sandy beach clouds

依靠沙滩似云霧

flash back home on hill

回忆山上家

love my treasured hills

爱我珍贵山

colourful clouds move with love

彩云移動有情愛

watch steps as I climb

登山盯脚步

wild mountain monkeys

野生的猴群

deers, flowers and green grasses

鹿群、花和綠草坪

eyes for diverse eyes

相異的眼光

Note:

This is translating my English translation back into Chinese. Of course, it is no longer the same, irrespective on how good you are in both languages. All translations are interpretation of translator understanding of the text. I am always cautious whenever I read religious or classical texts. I prefer to read in the original language written, but often my command of both old Chinese or old English might not be at par. Hence some cross checking if I wish to go into the details, if time permits. I hope readers would simply enjoy the fun of it. “Aweful” in English means bad, or great, depending on context. The reader has the freedom to choose his own meaning.

Literally, this is an ancient poem about the beauty of clouds and hills as seen in contrast in many Chinese brush painting. It can be interpreted to describe the subtleties of power relations between nations or about dyad relate. China is symbolized as hills, and US (or other nation) as clouds. They meet and interact by unseen forces, such as the wind or sunlight. The wind blows the clouds to the hills, partially or fully engulf the peaks and slopes, and really enchanting, if both match well in the painting. Should the clouds drift away by unseen forces, the hills are gorgeous, and the clouds have their own charm. It is the contrast of shades and shapes that shows in perspective drawing. Co-operation, mutuality or co-dependency could be great or harmful, depending on each perspective. If one claims supremacy, and the other reluctant to be subdued, it is best they part, rather than causing the haze and become hazardous. We need to be careful with our steps, for no one can stay supreme all the time, if talks on freedom are meaningless to the other. We all have eyes, but we may not see eye to eye, or like the others’ eyes.  We learn to accept and respect the diversity in each, for the world is neither yours, nor mine, but shared. President Trump, with a merchant’s mind, is too vain to appreciate the sceneries. The same sentiment prevails in the mind of many bigots. The monkeys are wild; they are not deers to be endeared; they destroy the grasses and flowers, both feed and beauty to nature. Nevertheless we have to be very cautious in our steps. They have all the awesome power, not to create a better world for all, but for others to feel the awe of destruction, in its own image.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 490: WASTED WEARINESS

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 490: WASTED WEARINESS

chirp in cheerful tune

voices in sunbaked fresh air

hum in morning walk

horizon open

flame of fire embers alive

another season

birds stop their singing

sky is engulfed by dark clouds

rain to clear the smog

nature heals itself

song and sun return their shine

wasted weariness

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 489: AWEFUL ATTRACTION

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 489: AWEFUL ATTRACTION

clouds flow enchant hills

drift away hills are scenic

clouds mystify hills

high and low mountains

rely on sandy beach clouds

flash back home on hill

love my treasured hills

colourful clouds move with love

watch steps as I climb

wild mountain monkeys

deers, flowers and green grasses

eyes for diverse eyes

Note:

This is my translation of a Yuan Dynasty poem by Zhang Yang Hao.  It was written in small seal (ancient) script. This piece of Chinese calligraphy is often seen in the background of conferences, between China and foreign representatives, including US. The poetry behind politics, or the art, has escaped my attention when listening to u tube broadcast, until it is pointed out by Taiwan news commentator. I take the liberty to translate that poetry into haiku/senryu. The first two stanza was translated with ease, as the six lines match the haiku format. The Yuan poet has only four lines in the last two stanza, and it is not displayed in the background of Chinese calligraphy.

In order to fit it in the format, I changed the order and rendered the four lines into six, to fit the 5/7/5 syllables of haiku/senryu.  My apology if it is mistranslated, as I learned Chinese only up to primary level, but my interest goes beyond that in my reading.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 488 WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 488 WITH NOTES

POWERLESS PONDER

(无权的沉思)

ill will suck by wind

惡义被风吸

aflame game by slash and burn

火焰游戏燃刀耕

blame all for the haze

归咎于阴霾

Burned slope

masks for face and crime

面罩与犯罪

hide shame, survive next season

隐羞耻,残存下季

primitive power

原始的暴力

Protesters in Hong Kong on July 14. As the authorities seek to identify the leaders of the demonstrations that have roiled the city, many protesters wear masks to thwart police cameras.

acrid corporate

辛辣的企业

hold plantations and health care

持有植園和保健

smoky dividends

冒烟的红利

Notes:

Slashing is the cutting down of forest, plantation trees and woody plants to clear the land; the downgraded vegetation is left to dry, rot and burn before the rainy season. It is a traditional, widespread but cheap way of shifting cultivation for small agricultural holders in south-east Asian region, mainly in Indonesia. With the advent of large plantation, timber owners and land developers (the international corporates), the scale becomes massive. Slash and burn is the cheapest cost effective way of clearing and deforestation, but it is irresponsible and morally wrong way to manage because such evil acts cause health hazards and impact badly on the environment and climatic change. The poor plantation management and fire control are mainly for cost saving. The intention is bad. The heat and smoke produced aggravated the drought in dry seasons (June to September); and smog is trapped in the region, due to the wind in Monsoon climatic circulation. Multi nationals owned the big corporation, and the game of blame pointed to all nations in the region, and strangely unpunished and the crime repeated over the years.

These corporations also owned hospitals and health care centers, with interest in facial masks. The residents in the affected regions are advised to wear protective masks, adding cost (including medical bills) to loss of work. We hide our face, but not the crime against public interest. The shame is hidden and, strangely forgotten, until the next season. Unless well organize, otherwise the protests are powerless for governments and putrid corporates to change. And if one owned shares in these corporations, no matter how small, one is not free from blame in getting dividends from the profits earned. The responsibility of poetry is to bring awareness to readers, and encourage them to ponder, even though the poets alone are powerless.

POEM TRANSLATION HAIKU ECHOES 487 WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION HAIKU ECHOES 487 WITH NOTES

PLAY PLEASURE

(耍樂)

cripple by clutches

离合器致残

coddling cronies from coffer

溺爱亲信的金庫

muscles weak to walk

肌肉無力走

Burned slope

fortune is fickle

财运无常变

thank fate the luck last so long

感恩幸運持續久

shot at short sadness

短暂的悲伤

wind blow off candle

風吹滅蜡燭

energizes and feed fire

激励和饲養炉火

world not wind-free zone

世界无风区

Blow cartoons, Blow cartoon, funny, Blow picture, Blow pictures, Blow image, Blow images, Blow illustration, Blow illustrations

FOREPLAY

(前戏)

It’s so real,

這是那麼的真,

touching and holding you

觸摸並擁抱您,

with my warm bare hands.

以咱温暖的赤手。

The joy of feeling

喜悦的感覺,

smothering and tossing

窒息和折腾,

you over with wet kisses,

湿漉漉的亲吻您,

wordless tongue, lost in time,

無言舌頭,迷失時光中,

lost myself in you,

失去自己在您,

alone and in solitude,

獨自一人孤獨中,

in our own private world,

在咱們私有的世界,

no sharing with another,

没有分享與他人,

no wired connectivity,

没有线的連接,

slow or fast,

緩慢或快速,

foreplay and climax.

前戲和高潮。

I am dying,

我在死亡中

in the pleasure and process

在喜悅和過程

of reading leisure.

休闲的阅读。

Note:

The wind has blown away the heavy haze; sun has penetrated the smog. The Monsoon has sailed with the westerly flow, leaving traces of pungent odour in the air. The last few days offer excellent time for many to stay indoors and catch up with their reading. Holding a physical book is a healthy break from wired connectivity. The experience is par excellence, with reading pleasure and leisure in contemplation.  Such joy is not easily shared by those who read forwarded mails and news feed only; reading wide across genre is a balanced habit to cultivate, better in two or more languages. In Malaysian schools, two or three languages are taught, but mainly for examination purposes. We are examination orientated, mainly for the A scores, without real interest or scholarship in each. Political, racial and religious consideration aggravated our educational system. Our leaders provide clutches or assistance, not to enable independent thinking. Thereby they are not free from mental clutches; over protective policies cripple them even more, to the extent of robbing national coffers. They are not trained to walk; the muscular dystrophy weakened that ability to stand alone without help.

The vicissitudes of living change in a fast modern world. Greed and desire have no limit; there is no gratitude for the patronage and tolerance of others. The entitlement is supreme right, even if the world falls apart. There are no lessons to learn from the financial crisis. The steels are tempered in the firing process, but dead woods are burnt.  Similarly the world is never a wind free zone; the sails for the Monsoon seasons have to be in the right direction. A candle light will be blown off by a puff of wind, as in a birthday cake, and the days of celebrations are gone. We need all to work together, hard effort to energize and feed the fire of industry.

The discriminated policies work differently: it crippled those on crutches and helped some to run better without help. Determination and strive are liked sparks; the latent light in darkness. It rekindle and ablaze a prairie fire. One must keep that poetry in the heart, and recites them aloud for self-healing.

Unless otherwise stated , the pictures and cartoons are all copied and pasted from the web. Thanks to the owners. They are inserted to assist in understanding; there are no commercial gain for me.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 488: POWERLESS PONDER

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 488: POWERLESS PONDER

ill will suck by wind

aflame game by slash and burn

blame all for the haze

Burned slope

masks for face and crime

hide shame, survive next season

primitive power

Unhappy Men, Women and Children Wearing Protective Masks Walking in City, People Suffering from Air Pollution, Industrial Smog Vector Illustration in Flat Style Stock Vector - 124222305

acrid corporate

hold plantations and health care

smoky dividends

foggy dark night on cemetery. orthodox Halloween concept background Stock Photo - 87601108

Note:

For the last few weeks, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia are engulfed in heavy haze, due to the perennial slash and burn of agricultural farms and forest trees.  The blame game has been played, ad infinitum for years, without shame, killing or causing health hazards to citizens in the region. The culprits are free from non-governmental actions on all sides. As ordinary citizen, I am powerless, but it has to be protested in my haiku/senryu, whether read or unread.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 486, WITH NOTES

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 486, WITH NOTES

TRYING TIME

(艰难时刻)

live at own time zone

生活自时区

consensus to connect time

以达成时间共识

fast or slow mind meet

快慢心靈遇

clash by perspective

冲突的视角

gap between actual and real

实际真实間差距

moment is mirage

片刻是幻影

time travel trying

时游行艰难

experiences change content

经历改变了内容

changing the unchanged

变未更改的

perpetual future

永恒的未来

dreams, hope and the undying

夢想、希望和不朽

blessed illusion

祝福的幻景

Note : 

time clock ticks

時鍾的滴答聲

the moment moves

那是時刻的移動

if still, thinking is dead

思想還在是死的

flow passes irrespective

不論沿著的流動

misses memory muses

沉思懷念的回憶

the future has yet to reach

未来尚未到達

neither here nor now

既非此地也非此時

flaw align to my destiny

缺陷符合我的命運

Note:

For legal, commercial and social convenience, we divide each time zone by 15 degree longitude from the Greenwich Meriden, London as a reference point in 1981. So the world will have 24 time zone. For administrative and day light saving purposes, both Malaysia (East and West), and Singapore change their time zone. China has one time zone, BST (instead of six) for practical and political reasons, though local residents in the west (Urumqi) have their own time reckoning. With rapid rails in China, there is less fuss in keeping up with a standard time. The main point is consensus, as there are no real geographical reasons in time zoning. Similarly, we have overlapping past, present and future time; besides psychological and chorological time orientation in more positive, negative or balanced ways. As a retiree, I cannot explain my need to wear a watch, except when I walk into a non WiFi zone and need to keep some appointments to connect time with others. Human minds have enough flexibility and adaptability to meet, whether the time is fast or slow. These days, the clocks no longer tick-tock, but time moves the same.

I think it is more important to have a right time perspective and the ability to switch that perspective effectively. We look back to learn, not holding on to the nostalgia of past mistakes and regrets. Good leaders need future time perspective in making judgement, decision and action for progress and empowerment. In a way we are all time travelers, and in our journey, we learn to close the gap between the actual and the real, in forward thinking ways. Racialism and apartheid are ousted by history and will not benefit humanity or even their own race. Experiences have taught humanity to act wisely, and we need to change the unchanged in the written codes. There is perpetual talk about the here and now; carpe diem, has become a cliché for wrong action, for the past cannot be contained in the future.  Such dreams and hope are not reachable; at best a blessed illusion. Our destiny is aligned to such flaw in thinking and education.

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 487: PLAY PLEASURE

MALAYSIAN HAIKU/SENRYU ECHOES 487: PLAY PLEASURE

cripple by clutches

coddling cronies from coffer

muscles weak to walk

fortune is fickle

thank fate the luck last so long

shot at short sadness

wind blow off candle

energises and feed fire

world not wind-free zone

sparks to rekindle

embers ablaze a prairie

the light is within

Note:

Reading may be anti social compared with gossiping. The solitude may be an advantage, for more time to reflect quietly. This is my second poetry on this topic. I shall include my free verses, FOREPLAY, here, published in my second book, CLOUDSCAPE AND ECHOES, not available to many, as publishers saw no market value in it.

FOREPLAY

It’s so real,

touching and holding you

with my warm bare hands.

The joy of feeling,

 smothering and tossing

you over with wet kisses,

wordless tongue, lost in time,

lost myself in you,

alone and in solitude,

in our own private world,

no sharing with another,

no wired connectivity,

slow or fast,

foreplay and climax.

I am dying,

in the pleasure and process

of reading leisure.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 485

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 485

STEADFAST DECLINE

(毫不动摇衰落)

cry Malaysians cry

馬国民痛哭

nation torn apart by race

國家被種族撕裂

divide rhetoric

修辞的划分

leadership crisis

领导的危机

contenders compete in change

競争者在改革中

of compromises

抗衡中妥協

desperate message

絕望的消息

self-destruct in blood spilled path

自毁在血溢的路

down to the fourth world

至第四世界

Note:

This run of haiku was inspired by Prof. Tajuddin Mohd. Rasdi writing in the local press. The word Setia, a Malay word of Indonesian origin means loyalty, trust and honesty. The poet lives at Setia Impian; meaning dream of loyalty or trust. We sang song of patriotism and loyalty: “Putting my whole hearted loyalty in service to all” (Dicurahkan bakti penuh setia, setia berhidmat untuk semua). That was a dream pledge of loyalty and trust to citizens and nation.  That pledge is meaningless if one man dominates the political landscape for decades; undermines the country’s democratic structure (of succession) and balance of power, and manipulate ethnic sentiment for political purposes. He is at best a man with a personal mission to bring progress to the middle and upper class of his people, but bog down as a politician, instead of a respected statesman. He is not a serious thinker and his insistence to re-dynamise Islamic thought to good governance fail miserably, ending with sacking and imprisonment of his deputies, and sacking of his chosen successors.  Recently the tribal drum is sounded by calling for racial boycott in trading among the races, worsening inter-ethnic relations.  We feel the pain and cry out aloud. This nation is not heading towards progression and economic and political recovery. These people do not compete in innovative challenges to meet a changing world, but compete in retrogressive compromises, with the prospect of re-creating a self-destruct bloody path for personal power and gain, reminiscent of May 13th t . Strangely to free his people, the proposed education system curriculum will imprison them even more, unable to compete internally and externally with others. The public apology for past errors and divisiveness are insincere; hidden grudges return gradually with vengeance, not with birth of reform. The economic malaise is hard to solve; reform is aborted, and kleptocracy is unrooted. He fails to live up to his own lofty rhetoric and the gulf between his brand of nationalism and reality widens.  The hope is liked haze hanging in the air, unmoved by the rain and shine. A sense of hopelessness and despair prevails in the country. Vision 2020 of a modern nation has wakened up in a nightmare, and leading from second, to the worst third or bankrupt fourth world.

This is not a book for Americans to read, but also for Hong Kong and Malaysian youngsters to read. Excessive Coddling and mis-education will result in a generation of youngsters who cant think for themselves. Reading from a physical book may be anti social, but it has its vantage point over conversation and reading forwarded mails.

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 483

POEM TRANSLATION ECHOES 483

RUE FOR LIVING

(生活的遗憾)

dazzle by rainbow

彩虹使目眩

mirror image on still pool

映像静止在池塘

light shines through green trees

光照透綠樹

no love in spectrum

無愛在光谱

fat baits revert and shift stance

饵回复移立场

not a sealed promise

不密封承諾

betrayed covenant

背叛的盟約

powerful but not divine

有力量而不神聖

trust tricksters token

信任骗标志

rue for repentence

悔改的頌揚

shed off skin but still serpent

皮脱落仍是条蛇

not all bows are same

非一彩虹

Note:

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” It is generally true that we love beautiful things, as long as we do not prolong the hold, for they are not our personal possession .We are often dazzled by the shine and colour of rainbows, but often not as an entity. We crave for the lure, not really the beauty and calm of the open sky. The water droplets in the air break the buried white light into seven colours. It forms a mirror image overhanging the still pond. We are impressed with the attractive spectrum, but it is just a rainbow if devoid of love and care. Thereby, the sign is not a divine promise, but a natural phenomenon. The light reflects and refracts, like mirror images. Comparatively the greed in human hearts reverts and shifts their stance, like fishes feed on bait. Leaders betray their promises, when personal interest prevails over original aspiration. These leaders could be as powerful as a PM or President; they play godly role, forgetting they are not divine. It is merely a means to their ends of power control. Even repentance to do well or not to repeat past mistakes and errors are tricky means to achieve control. Such leaders fail to abide by their promises, therefore, they are not worthy of trust and respect. And only the silly ones fall for such rainbows, In other words, there is no love and care for the well-being of the people and nation, but interest for themselves and cronies. The serpents may shed off their skin many times, but they are still serpents by nature. Similarly, not all coloured rainbows are the same; they are refraction and reflection of Trade War spectrum. There is no love, but supreme control, not only china, but all over. There is no revolution for the better, but the chaos and social disorder crumble each nation who refuses to comply. He was not sent by the divine to do well, for the Covenant was faked. Do not be angry and feel desperate. We learn from experiences. We need all seven colours and love to form a beautiful rainbow.