Sunday Contest (Sha Tin 沙田)

Pai Tau Sha Tin_JUN 2018

Above the satellite city
crawling with vertical architecture, mountain monkeys
defy the knock-out blow.
The emerald valley,
lush
with Summer’s profligate monsoon storms
hypnotically tracks
second by second the awesome inaudible sound of this world’s growth
through the flawless organic drone
of chanting monks.
Blue dragonflies
over rusted drainpipes
and crystalloid streams of rock-filtered rain
perfect their glint
against a hundred hundred hundred million years
while, in a thin courtyard,
a wife and husband in training —
the two of them sporting
boxing gloves polished to a winner’s champion sheen —
trade amorous, well-aimed punches
through the air.

Plaything or Playnothing?

Beach_Tung Ping Chau_2016

The burnished shell they sell
by the sea — Beginning
that makes no bones
of itself — what on Earth
can it mean to the likes of me? Breather;
heartbeater; pulser; digester
of questions that blister
and cold-stone truths; shower;
teller; clumsy incenser of all things
half-way sweet or sincere; PRESENTer;
PASTer; fabulous FUTUREr;
fly on the wall in this singular
plural world: I weigh your rest
on the flat of my hand. You weigh me back
with the glint of its gloss;
with the hush of its cone;
with the spiral-finesse of its empty — beautifuller — form.

Now what will I make with the rest of my life of my own anxious skeleton?

 

Blind Choir (Nam Shan Estate 南山邨)

Nam Shan Tsuen

Between the concrete wall of a block of flats
and — flightless — concrete stairs
this was no place on Earth we’d ever expect
a Christmas choir. I was caught
as I think I always am
when the once-in-a-lifetime moment comes
in two minds twice unequal to the task.
By the way they looked crookedly through their song
I could tell they all sang blindly by ear
and I realized then how my thin sightseeing power
was stone-deaf to the sonic invisible.
The harmony of so many separate shared voices
none of which carried the main body of music
across the arid hubbub of human noise
braked my heart:
this was the concert of the fragment,
soaringly restored to charismatic wholeness,
rock-solidarity made possible by breath.

 

《蛙文》/ Frogscript 8 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok

Japanese Frog for Frogscript_Thumbnail_2 FEB 2018

Please scroll down for the English translation!

《蛙文:翠鳥》

郭少鳳著

唔知大家見過翠鳥未呢?當我未認識翠鳥時,我冇諗過翠鳥原來咁獨特嘅。因著兩種語言嘅關係,我好似識左佢兩次咁!

事緣係咁嘅:喺英國生活嗰幾年,可能英國小城鎮嘅生活比較悠閒和簡樸,多咗啲時間同空間走入大自然散步。英國東南部有一條小村落,叫 Chilham,鄰近有一個湖泊,當日就係喺旁邊嘅英國樹林郊遊散步。沿路上有一條又長又直嘅河流,因為曾經見過一條銀色嘅魚跳出水面,在零散嘅光線折射下,零舍美麗,所以我仲記得我哋係好專注咁望著水面,期望再一次遇上佢。

突然喺水面見到一隻細細嘅雀仔,眼神相當凌厲,喺好貼近水面嘅水平上,向著我哋方向飛過嚟,速度係預料之外嘅快,真係好型!因為係第一次見雀仔咁様飛,身邊嘅英國朋友介紹,呢隻雀仔係Kingfisher,心諗怪唔之得佢咁有型啦,原來係King,朋友解釋佢當時應該正在捕魚。

過咗幾年之後,當時已經返到香港生活,參加了一個觀鳥工作坊,喺係香港嘅一片濕地:南生圍舉行。導師講解完就派咗份濕地雀鳥嘅圖鑒俾我哋,又安排自由時間俾我哋觀鳥。

先睇睇圖鑒:當然有香港嘅濕地明星:黑面琵鷺,當日人人都想見到佢;然後有林村河常見嘅小白鷺;跟住最吸引我嘅目光嘅就係毛色以藍色和橙黃色為主嘅翠鳥,佢不單止顔色艷麗,身型比一般雀鳥奇特,雖然雀仔細細,但襯著一個尖尖長長嘅鳥嘴,又叫鳥喙,頭部同身體就由一條短到幾乎見唔到嘅頸支撐著,雙腳亦係非常短小;當然幾頁紙嘅圖鑒仲有好多其他嘅濕地雀鳥。

好啦,開始搵雀仔,參加呢一類嘅工作坊,最希望係可以見多啲唔同嘅物種,當大家在辯認呢隻係小白鷺定大白鷺時,我見到一隻似曾相識嘅雀仔,佢嘅飛行姿勢同喺英國見到嘅十分相似,係藍色同橙黃色,於是同同行嘅友人講,我好似見到翠鳥。朋友有點懷疑,真的嗎?我呢個觀鳥初哥當然唔肯定,只覺得佢嘅飛行姿勢太似英國見到嘅 Kingfisher,但顏色就似圖鑒中嘅翠鳥。

過咗一陣,聽到其他參加者話見到翠鳥,導師就開始講解翠鳥:翠鳥俗稱魚狗,原來同捕魚有著深厚嘅關係,佢哋嘅主要食糧係魚仔。魚狗好多時會企定定,喺清澈嘅淺水區上,先睇準目標,然後會以飛快嘅突襲方式出擊,捕足獵物,真真正正係捕魚高手。聽完導師解釋,我終於知道原來 Kingfisher,就係翠鳥。

最近一次見到翠鳥就喺係林村嘅一條小村莊寨乪,我相信好多香港人都唔識個「乪」字點讀同點解。如果我唔係日日搭巴士經過呢個村莊嘅巴士站,聽過巴士嘅廣播,都冇可能識得讀呢個「乪」字。後來從澳洲文學家朋友(佢亦係中文專家),得知「乪」嘅「乙」代表彎彎嘅河流,而「田」就係土地、田地,所以「乪」字就代表彎曲嘅河流包圍田地,真係好有意思!同魚狗和Kingfisher 嘅命名一樣咁有趣!

當日更有幸係同呢位澳洲文學家、英國朋友一齊前往寨乪去走走看看!入到村莊,得到村民嘅指示,好快就揾到林村河,「乪」字果然名不虛傳,寨乪果然係被河流包圍著嘅一片土地。我哋三個靜靜地喺河邊欣賞美景,突然發現有一隻翠鳥喺眼前,佢企定定嘅,我估佢應該喺度尋找獵物,鮮豔嘅藍色和橙黃色嘅身軀,真係一見難忘!

Common Kingfisher_HKBWS_JUN 2018

Common Kingfisher, Sha Tau Kok. Photo by HKBWS

Continue reading “《蛙文》/ Frogscript 8 • 郭少鳳 Evette Kwok”

Stella, Streetwise

Beach_Tung Ping Chau_2016

She took a full step, then a full stop.
Her attention? It had suddenly taken root — no,
not in retail but some tiny aspect in the footpath.
There they were, in a meandering crack
outside the Urban Grind café,
three miniature stars
forming the glittering crossbar
of Orion’s belt. Inwardly,
she joked to herself: Seeing stars again,
are we? For someone deep in the pockets
of Western sadness, the half-smile
in the tight corners of her face
was worth a whole kilometre of Brisbane frangipanis.
Rising, setting, orbit: her moods too
were celestial bodies: to spend a day
on some of them lasted enormous Earth years —
dust thick on the floors of craters.
How I wonder what you are! she sang to herself
inside a buoyant thought balloon, this
umbilical lullaby bedding her deeper in detail,
star-craving mad:
Down below the world so low,
like three diamonds in a row . . . No,
not diamonds, the sparkle of plate-glass windows,
impassive as an armed guard;
more like beacons pointing, absurdly, to some human interest
in a place where naturally (cigarette butts, saliva,
chewing gum, blood-stains) it was last
and least expected. She laughed out loud
at her down-mood then, told it to get lost for a while
and fast: Go pick on someone, your own sighs!
And the bougainvillea regalia twined in industrial fencing
over the road behind the bus-stop
just had to laugh through its pink flowers with her. Yes!
Good on you!