I Stroke You With All My Years

Bei Ling

going down, all the way, like a dream
night, the earth is an unwound spring
mud-rock falls down the hillock
refugees hurry the wind
oh, unforgiving climate
you fill me up with your weariness
as frailty fills up a rich man's coat

an age is dying out
the wing of its heavy dream sags
its failing tendency, like the sinking sun
echoes in the ruins

how heroic! Old World
I stroke you with all my years
stroke, and demand splendid poems

--translated from the Chinese by Jin Zhong and William Slaughter


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