In a Flash of Lightning by Zhao Si – translated by Bruce Meyer with Xuan Yuan & Tim Lilburn

All day, I’ve dipped into the fantastic moment,
sunshine dismissed, all things clean and crystal,
leaves like green feathers, sunlight, clouds of white roses
blooming one after another.
I’ve walked on the street as if walking on the bow of the world’s ship,
the tranquility spreading in the parting of the rippling wind,
reflected in the azure infinity lake of my heart.
Yet an unknown sound arises, terse,
out of a giant mirrored face – its withy outline opens,
purity settles in its shiny and silvery depth.
Myriads of changes evaded, reserved and restrained,
fold in on themselves
before suddenly vanishing.
In the silence of waiting, a pearl-coloured silence,
love brands itself into the world, extends its tentacles, and I hear
a crisp, tinny hatching sound –
the vital force of life walking away from its dusty dwelling,
step by step toward reality. Have you parched land,
lodged in the same dream with me, heard it too?
In a flash of lightning, I awaken first,
shedding my spring nectar with raindrops for you.

Zhao Si (1972). Poet, essayist, translator and editor in China.Sheis the author of White Crows (poems, China Peace Publishing House, 2005) and Gold-in-sand Picker, (essays, CPPH, 2005). She has translated poetry by Tomaž Šalamun and has been invited to international poetry festivals in Europe.  She currently serves as the translation editor for the Poetry Magazine, which is the poetry journal of the Chinese Writers’ Association. She is also the associate editor of the journal Contemporary International Poetry. She lives in Beijing.

Bruce Meyer (1957) is author or editor of sixty-three books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, literary journalism, memoir, portrait photographs, textbooks, and reference books. He is twice winner of the Gwendolyn MacEwen Prize for Poetry, the E.J. Pratt Gold Medal and Prize for Poetry. His most recent books are A Feast of Brief Hopes (short stories) and The First Taste: New and Selected Poems. He was the inaugural Poet Laureate of the City of Barrie, and lives in Barrie where he teaches at Georgian College and is a Fellow of Victoria College in the University of Toronto where he teaches Creative Writing and Comparative Literature.