《蛙文》/ Frogscript 5 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok

Japanese Frog for Frogscript_Thumbnail_2 FEB 2018

Please scroll down for the English translation!

《蛙文:蝙蝠》

郭少鳳著

蝠到、福到!中國人鐘意蝙蝠,借個諧音,「褔」同「蝠」發音一模一樣,蝙蝠一到,亦代表幸福到來,蝙蝠飛入屋,係好兆頭,預示家有喜事。老一輩嘅人都鐘意用蝙蝠做裝飾,細心啲觀察,喺啲懷舊嘅碗碟、金器上都唔難揾到蝙蝠嘅圖案。甚至有人會將五隻蝙蝠嘅圖案貼係門上,象徵五福臨門,好好意頭呢!講開又講呀,可能部份香港人仲記得,世界聞名嘅蝙蝠俠其實曾經喺香港住過一段時間。

同中國文化相反,西方人偏偏將蝙蝠化成神秘、恐怖嘅象徵,可能同有部份蝙蝠會舔血、蝙蝠夜晚先會出現有關啩,所以好多電影、卡通,都有意冇意咁將蝙蝠描述到比較神秘同邪惡。無論係邊種文化,蝙蝠俾到我嘅感覺係神秘同好難遇見嘅。

我喺25歲前都未見過蝙蝠,直到喺英國生活嗰段時間,我先第一次同蝙蝠打過招呼。嗰次係喺黃昏時,同友人一齊去Chatham小鎮嘅小山丘散散步。行行吓,友人指著一隻飛緊嘅動物,佢話係蝙蝠。眼前見到嘅係一隻棕黑色嘅動物拍翼飛緊,佢唔話我知係蝙蝠,我只會覺得係一隻雀仔,所以我要問過究竟,點可以知佢係蝙蝠而唔係雀仔呢?友人叫我細心留意吓佢嘅飛行形態。

眼前呢隻蝙蝠嘅飛行形態真係好似同平時見到嘅雀鳥有差別:平時嘅雀鳥因為身體係流線型,可以減少飛行阻力,係空中滑翔時間較多,飛行姿勢較為優美;但眼前呢隻蝙蝠飛嘅時候經常轉彎。原來蝙蝠雖然都係拍翼而飛,但來回拍翼嘅目的係獲得升力。蝙蝠嘅身手十分靈活,雖然佢哋不擅滑翔,但可以猛衝同埋急轉彎。 Continue reading “《蛙文》/ Frogscript 5 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok”

Carol Bakery, Sha Kok Estate (嘉樂金沙餅店,沙角邨)

Sha Kok Estate 2

I stop there often for dau saa gok
flat “cow horns” of pastry
filled with a mixture of red bean paste
and melon seeds thin as the gaps between teeth ―
on my slow walk down from that steep-escalatored
hangar of a railway building,
the MTR station at Sha Tin Wai,
following straight main roads
right to the wide Shing Mun River
Channel. Like giant totem poles,
the estate towers here
are all named after birds ― bean goose,
herring gull, skylark, sand martin, osprey ― but
where are they now? Typical
ravenous sparrows seem to rule what’s left
of the roost, and nature all round
has been deftly remodelled to suit
exclusively human needs (or, at least,
someone’s very human misunderstanding
of what it is we think we want). Some days,
my hair still tinged with the bakery’s sweet smell,
I catch a whiff of the stink of river water
on the wind, its slight salt tang
poignant in the air against
those puzzling twin hungers: the concrete’s ―

and my own.

 

Hilda Carline: Self-Portrait (1923)

Hilda Carline image

After a solo smoke, your instincts feel
a cigarette lighter and match for anyone —
even perhaps yourself.
Before the mathematical anthem of your image in the mirror
you pose yourself smouldering
as primary theme and conundrum.
What is a portrait?
It is a feeling through fire
beyond all skin’s extinguishable borders
into the BIGGER PICTURE.
It is the fit of a formal physical likeness
with hard-won, ungainly insight,
like the dot of a glint you dab
painstakingly into the white of one fixed eye with your brush.
This candid-exorbitant star
blazing against all female modelled shadow
is fiercer than “colour” —
than “décor” — than “form” —
than “painting” —
and is so much more fierce
than that little blunt shock-noun the trite mouths blurt:

“art” —

 

Waking the Lion (Tuen Tsz Wai 屯子圍)

Tuen Tsz Wai, Tuen Mun

When banal Winter headaches overpower all chance of sleep,
I walk my retiring but forever curious day-ghost
back along the petrol-fumed blare of 屯門公路 Tuen Mun Road,
consoled by the narrow nature-strip-haven of wild weed-life
which extends tenuously the whole way to the 藍地交匯處 Lam Tei Interchange.
There, echoey stairwells and lifts backhandedly bless
a remnant spot-grove of trees that correct with their flowers’
rock-drilling fragrance the concrete cold science of yellowing blueprints.
From there I go on past descending twin staves
of the light-rail line that promise in vistas such mild infinity
and that come, now and then, back to life — steel-hissing —
as a barrelling hybrid half-tram half-train rockets briskly out
to 元朗 Yuen Long. Then, without fuss, without weak second thinking,
I leave to its own devices the bolted-down track
and turn off to the left at a leisurely angle
where a metre-wide slip of fresh water still rivers
an ample flood-channel’s rock solid dictation
just enough for a miracle fish or two to swim by in
and where even, white egrets stake out meagre prey
through famished bird-hours of patience. And alongside this,
rubble and car-parking lots. Opportunistic new flats
stacked up inside bamboo scaffolding. Uninhabited containers
mid-dreaming vertigo’s maritime upsurge and swell
the full length of rust-scabbed and corrugated panelling.
The screech and snap of power-tools. High-pitched
jet-engine whine researching for the skies
over 青山 Tsing Shan Mountain. Dull unmusical traffic
prowling 五柳路 Ng Lau Road, which means,
ironically meaningless now — for the trees were battered
to wood chip long ago — “five willows”. But then
again for the first time I hear direct out of ringing, thin air
across the felled courtyard of the bare 前陶氏宗祠 Tou clan temple
the commanding stern rap of an expert drum
beating grand, final rhythms from deep — deeper — blood
and it is here, in the playground of the otherwise deserted Tuen Tsz Wai school,
that I see with disbelief, roused from workaday physical torpor,
the electrically steady line of wide-awakened lion dancers
dressed in bright yellow silk pants and embroidered cloth shoes,
astonishing the bruised wasteland, as the tall men among them
weightlift effortlessly their slighter, more agile companions
vertical against gravity’s press and hold them up trophy-wise
over their heads — one second, two seconds, three seconds, more? —
before, synchronized, pouncing them deftly back down
to Earth on nonchalant, grounded soles, pawing and ready
instantly to take the next step, through the late noon atmosphere
we all breathe in and the quasi-Summerish Autumn sun’s heat
that makes each and every one of us sweat from outright planetary joy.

Teaching English

Casually chatting after a lesson
on time, I ask Mr. Quyên
how long he’s been in Australia.
He stares through his glasses
up at the low ceiling
as his wife bashes squid on the kitchen floor
with the flat of a huge knife.
When he’s ready with his answer
he looks straight at me smiling and says:
“Half-past five years.”

《蛙文》/ Frogscript 4 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok

Japanese Frog for Frogscript_Thumbnail_2 FEB 2018

Please scroll down for the English translation!

《蛙文:馬騮》

郭少鳳著

記得第一次見到馬騮係好細個嘅時候,當時得7、8歲左右,阿姨、姨丈同媽咪帶住我哋幾個細路仔一齊去野餐。沿住山中樹林行呀、行呀,喺溪邊啲水氹仔裏面,我哋發現有好多小生物,見到蝌蚪丶魚仔同蝦毛,於是我哋呢班細路仔除低鞋襪丶摺高褲腳,開始喺呢啲水氹仔度一邊玩水,一邊捉佢哋。

突然間,有一大群馬騮出現,啲馬騮喺我哋身邊經過。由於太大群,起碼有幾十隻,感覺好似俾佢哋包圍住。最記得有一隻好大隻,深棕啡色嘅,面部同屁股都有一大片深紅色嘅皮膚,我同佢咁啱四目交投,可能佢塊面紅噹噹,覺得佢個樣好似惡惡哋,當時身邊冇大人,週圍又有咁多馬騮,即刻唔敢出聲,企定定咁目送佢哋離開。佢哋走嗮之後,第一時間跑返去同三個大人報告,佢哋笑住講:呢度係馬騮山,梗係多馬騮啦﹗

香港呢個馬騮山,其實叫金山郊野公園,真係住咗好多馬騮,但唔講都唔知,佢哋嘅祖先原來唔係香港嘅原居民,係從外地移民過嚟。好早以前,馬騮係隨著香港興建水塘而嚟,當時山邊生長著好多有毒嘅植物馬錢,成株都有毒,但最毒嘅就係佢嘅果實。有趣嘅係呢種果實唔單止對馬騮冇毒,更加係馬騮喜愛嘅食物,於是當時嘅政府引入咗兩種馬騮,恆河猴同埋長尾獮猴,期望可以控制馬錢嘅繁殖,盡量防止佢哋嘅果實跌入水塘、污染水源。所以我哋而家見到嘅馬騮都係呢批移民嘅後代。

馬騮同我哋人類一樣都係靈長類動物,可能因為呢個緣故,佢哋都係群居、階級觀念好重嘅動物。佢哋嘅領袖有保護老弱婦孺嘅責任,而家諗返起,當日同我四目交投嗰隻大馬騮好有可能係其中一隻大佬,負責𥄫住我呢個人類,唔俾我騷擾佢哋。
Continue reading “《蛙文》/ Frogscript 4 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok”

Erik Satie (1866-1925)

Erik Satie_MAR 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

— Plus je connais les hommes, plus j’admire les chiens.

The slow progress of aimless cloud
Satie hears in his fingertips
as chords, levitating along bar lines
with shy discipline — melodies
crooked as a dog’s hind legs.
He borrows the rain pianos make
for his own nervous weather:
soft sound waves towards rare feelings
newsreels try to neglect in us
and to a doggedness that undoes
all show of self-esteem. Tender,
quizzical, his repertoire
of entirely minor force kennels art
unnoticed. Slantness
and sweetness join hands in that voice
blue as the mild forget-me-nots we so often
forget we forget we forget
till revived within Satie’s poise.