in front of the ma ju temple

honoring the ancestors ©papa osmubal

honoring the ancestors ©papa osmubal

in front of the ma ju temple

leung ping kwan

                  translated by brian holton 

the temple is closed
even Ma Ju has time to rest
we’ll just have to sit by the sea
and run our own maritime matters

drinking, we face the rolling grey waves
on the bottle gold characters celebrate Macau’s return to China
today’s weather is unsettled: cloudy or clear
when dusk comes it’s a little stifling
the beer is cold enough
but can’t slake our thirst

why are the distant hills split in half?
those plants drifting on the water
can they be leaves in self-banishment?
when, through layered clouds,
will break bright starlight?

June 1999


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