Zhang Ergun — spending this life, in dreams I build ships — translated by Al Lim

these years, I have only one dream

in this dream, I do only one thing

build ships, build ships, build ships

in order to take this dream, to make it perfect

again and again, I, sweat dripping heavily

swing an axe, saw, plane, chisel

— these sharp objects

Now, I wake up. face full of tears

in my dream, I will always owe

a piece, to the vast and soft sea

Zhang Ergun (Zhang Changchun) was born in Shanxi in 1982 and finished middle school there. He has worked as part of Geological Team 217 as part of the Shanxi Geological Exploration Bureau for the past 15 years. He started writing poems in 2010 and has published a number of them. In 2014, he published a collection called “Wilderness” (旷野; kuang ye) and was selected as Poet of the Year by Poetry Weekly (诗歌周刊; shi ge zhou kan) and “New Poet of the Year” by Poetry magazine (诗刊; shi kan) in 2019.