John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

  • Music:

Poet's Corner: Ramallah

Ramallah

in Ramallah
the ancients play chess in the starry sky
the endgame flickers
a bird locked in a clock
jumps out to tell the time

in Ramallah
the sun climbs over the wall like an old man
and goes through the market
throwing mirror light on
a rusted copper plate

in Ramallah
gods drink water from earthen jars
a bow asks a string for directions
a boy sets out to inherit the ocean
from the edge of the sky
in Ramallah
seeds sown along the high noon
death blossoms outside my window
resisting, the tree takes on a hurricane's
violent original shape

by Bei Dao (Zhao Zhenkai) (born 1949)
Translated by Eliot Weinberger (born 1949) and Iona Man-Cheong (born 1950)

Tags: poet's corner
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