Learning Cantonese: RTHK’s “Goddess of News” Nabela Qoser

The disturbing rise of authoritarian culture in Hong Kong and the targeted punishment of those who dare to think independently took a new turn recently in the case of Nabela Qoser (or 利君雅 Leih6 Gwān1 [Ng]áah5 in Chinese), a TV presenter at RTHK. This report by HK01 journalist 梁昊賢 Lèuhng Houh6 Yìhn4 is very accessible, partly because he speaks fairly slowly, and partly because he avoids any flourishes in terms of vocabulary or of grammar. He provides a good basic account of what lies behind RTHK’s decision to extend her probation period.

You can view the video here. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.


因爲跟進元朗7.21事件向特首提問 | 而被網民封爲新聞女神」| 港台助理節目主任利君雅 | 有消息指 | 港台要求延長嘅試用期120日 | 並重啟調查 | 佢舊年7月到11月期間涉及嘅投訴 | 包括佢出席政府記者會嘅表現 | 利君雅要星期二之前 | 回復係咪接受延長試用期 | 利君雅回復《香港 HK01》| 話唔方便評論事件 | 只係話「多謝關心,請繼續支持港台」

● 跟進 gān1 jeun3 = to follow up | ● 封爲 fēng1 wàih4 = to confer (a title, territory, etc.) upon | ● 助理 joh6 léih5 = assistant | ● 試用期 si3 yuhng6 kèih4 = probation period | ● 重 chùhng4 kái2 = to restart; (?) to reopen

Note: Because on the meanings of 重 chùhng4 is “again”, it is used like the re– verb-prefix in English.   

Nabela Qoser, an Assistant Programme Officer at RTHK, was dubbed [封爲] “the Goddess of News” by netizens because she asked the Chief Executive [a series of] questions when following up on the Yuen Long Incident of 21 July 2019. News has it that RTHK has extended her probation period by 120 days and has re-opened an investigation into complaints [made against her] dealing with the period between July and November last year, including her performance at government press conferences she attended. Qoser must respond as to whether she accepts the extension of her probation period before next Tuesday (29 September). In response to HK01, Qoser replied that it was not convenient for her to comment on the matter, saying only that she was grateful for the concern and hoped that [people] would continue to support RTHK.

利君雅係港台電視節目 | 《視點31》嘅主持 | 舊年元朗7.21事件第二日 | 特首率領一衆官員見記者 | 利君雅多次追問 | 你不斷講:暴力會更加激發暴力 | 尋晚係咪就係 | 「官、警、黑」合演嘅「大龍鳳」| 要兌現你呢一句説話呢?

● 率領 sēut1 líhng5 = to lead; to head; to command |● 一衆官員 yāt1 jung3 gūn1 yùhn4 = (?) all the various government officials cf. 衆jung3 = “many; numerous” | ● 追問 jēui1 mahn6 = to question closely cf. 追 jēui1, which has the basic meaning of “to chase after; to pursue” | ● 激發 gīk1 faat3 = to incite | ● 合演 hahp6 yín2 = to co-star | ● 大龍鳳 daaih6 lùhng4 fuhng6 = This referred to a kind of Cantonese opera performance. Over time, the meaning of the term came to be extended to suggest to deliberately put on a spectacle for people to watch in order to deceive them in some way, or to deceitfully attempt to attract sympathy” [慢慢地大家将“大龙凤”这个词引申为:故意做场好戏给其他人看,用来骗人,或者是骗取同情的状况。(https://zhidao.baidu.com/question/203406724.html)] | ●兌現 deui3 yihn6 = to honour (a commitment, etc.); to fulfil; to make good

Nabela Qoser is [one of the] host[s] of the RTHK program This Week [in Chinese, the name of the program translates as “Viewpoint 31”]. The day after the Yuen Long Incident of 21 July 2019, the Chief Executive appeared at a press conference at the head of all the various government officials, and Qoser questioned her closely on several occasions. (Qoser speaks): “Aren’t you always saying ‘Violence will incite greater violence’? Was [what happened] last night, when officials, the police and triad members co-starred in a trumped-up performance [大龍鳳], the way you honour those words of yours?”

Rapid series of questions from Nabela Qoser:

(Subtitles in Standard Written Chinese): 昨晚睡得着嗎 ?可否回答?特首 | 你去回答問題,不好意思 | 市民等了好久,昨晚很多人無法入睡 | (Several journalists speak at once)| 說人話,麻煩你

Did you get to sleep last night? Give you make an answer, Chief Executive? Please answer my question. The people have waited for a long time, and last night many people could not get to sleep. Could you answer like a human being?

(The former Commissioner of Police 盧偉聰 Stephen Lo Wai Chung tries several times to interrupt her.)

Carrie Lam: I thought I had already answered the question

港台節目製作人員工會話 | 新制公務員有3年嘅試用期 | 每半年做一次工作表現評核 | 如果冇大問題就坐正 | 正式成爲公務員 | 但係如果利君雅唔接受延長試用期 | 或者要即時離職 | 工會質疑港台延長試用期 | 同重啟投訴調查嘅理據 | 批評有無理打壓之嫌 | 要求管理層交代 | 港台回應話 | 政府有既定嘅機制同程序 | 處理公務員嘅續聘事宜 | 唔評論個別個案

● 製作人 jai3 jok3 yàhn4 = producer | ● 評核 pìhng4 haht6 = assessment; scrutiny | + 坐正 chóh5 jeng3 = 1. to sit properly; to sit up straight 2. [] to become the head of a triad society | ● 質疑 jāt1 yìh4 = to call into question; to query | ● 理據 léih5 geui3 = an argument | ● 無理 mouh4 leih5 = unreasonable; irrational | ● 既定 gei3 dihng6 = set; fixed; established | ● 機制 gēi1 jai3 = a mechanism | ● 續聘 juhk6 ping3 = to renew sb.’s employment contract | ● 事宜 sih6 yìh4 = matters concerned; arrangements

Note: The character 嫌 yìhm4 has the basic meaning of “suspicion”, but like the English word “soupçon”, it can also mean “a hint of; a dash of”, but as far as I know it tends to refer only to undesirable things. Thus, the structure 有 (noun phrase) 之嫌 means something like “there is a hint of (sth. unfavourable)” or even perhaps “(noun phrase) smacks of (sth. unfavourable)”.   

The RTHK Program Staff Union said that new public employees had a probation period of three years and that every six months [每半年] they did a work performance assessment [工作表現評核]. If there were no major issues, then one would become properly employed [坐正] and officially become a public servant. If Qoser did not, however, accept the extension to her probation period, she might quit her job immediately. The Union queried the reasons behind [理據] why RTHK extended the probation period and re-opened the investigation into complaints [made against her], and criticized [the decision] as smacking of unreasonable suppression. They demanded that management account for their decision [交代]. RTHK said in response that the government had established mechanisms and procedures [in place] to handle matters concerned with the renewal of public servants’ employment [conditions]. [They declined] to comment on individual cases.

Reporter: 梁昊賢 Lèuhng Houh6 Yìhn4 | 昊 houh6 = summer time; the sky; the heavens
Film editing: 蕭堃桁 Sīu1 Kwān1 Hāng1 | 桁 hāng1 = purlin (an architectural term)

Even Still Lives . . .

Across glass across the rich pre-morning dusk,
quizzical and direct,
the mother stared, as did the hidden joey
through the peephole in her bulging fur-lined pouch ⸺
four wide bright kangaroo eyes
dead set against me staying even one minute longer
on my mattress on the floor
in stupid sleep. Frost
was in the air,
was all over in me,
any personal warmth quite dexterously extinguished
along goose-bumped human skin. But for all that,
mist lifted in shape-shifting sheets off the small pond
as if to say: See,
is on its way! And don’t go thinking
the feebleness of this sign
makes the outcome any less certain!
Saturn could shine for all he was worth
up towards the North, canary- or sulphur-yellow,
but these kangaroos had no time for him:
today, I was their object and nothing else on this Earth would do . . .
Dressed gingerly by now inside crumpled coldish clothes
I knelt and watched back,
humming absent-mindedly an old Swedish song
about a stable-boy called Staffan,
who was, no doubt, at another moment just like this,
watering sina fålar fem
his beautiful five young horses ⸺
probably wide-eyed to his every move,
maybe naturally starry-eyed, too,
as he made up his own tune out of hay scents
and the rank stink of piss
through the careful-tactile stages of his work ⸺
more to do with blind touch than sight ⸺
for the spark of life kindling again out of nowhere within him
in that frigid lidless twilight before dawn.

You can listen to one version of the Swedish song here.

September, a Tall Ardour

Into one warmer corner of today
the Sun sneaks, leaving that Winter-distant anchorage it has
in each and every Sun-less-other-day
to pour against Antarctica
a decisive hint or two of long-lost Spartan ardour.
Goose-pimpled at the heart of an open-wide air,
I am instantly all-porous to the unappointed warmth
of such vernal atmosphere
and out of the rigid closed fist of my full-body huddle
ever so slowly I begin to ravel outwards ―
the way these chattering roof-top swallows seem to do,
ruffling the length of the chilly metal gutter
their glinting metallic blue-sheened feathers
and the Winter-flame-red feathers of their weathered chests,
preening ― as they talk ― with pinpointing, deft beaks,
with their unclenched, bolder bird-sense of tall order.

Learning Cantonese: HK01 Interview with 林卓廷 Lam Cheuk-ting

LegCo council-member 林卓廷 Lam Cheuk-ting was arrested on the morning of 26 August in connection with the incredible violence that took place inside the Yuen Long MTR Station on 21 July 2019 (Lam himself was badly beaten around the face in this incident), as well as a protest outside Tuen Mun Police Headquarters on 6 July connected with the protest against noise pollution and various kinds of busking (especially the so-called “dancing aunties”) in Tuen Mun Park.

Before his arrest, he recorded this 15-minute interview with a pair of HK01 journalists about the forthcoming public poll that Hong Kong’s democratic camp is conducting to determine whether it stay on in opposition in LegCo, or whether it withdraw. Apart from its intrinsic interest with regard to democracy in Hong Kong, I am presenting it here because Lam speaks so comprehensibly, pronouncing his words very clearly, and very rarely running them together as his questioners do.

To watch and listen to Lam in action, please click here. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.

Unfortunately, because there are no subtitles with this video and because the audio for the two journalists is very poor, there are many gaps in the transcription. If any one can help fill them in for me on behalf of all those students of Cantonese, I would be very grateful! Please just contact me by writing a comment on this post!


Caption: 民主派延任現爭拗 / 民調門檻怎樣定?

吳倬安:大家好!歡迎大家收睇財經加零一。我係你嘅節目主持吳倬安,喺我身邊呢,就係有《香港01》政情組總采訪主任陳小瑜 /喺度嘅。小瑜呀,政府,就因爲新冠肺炎疫情啦,就押後選舉一年啦。噉 人大常委呢。爲,處理呢個選舉真空期問題啦。於是,就作出決定,就將第六届立法會啦,就延任不少於一年。噉呢個決定公佈咗之後呢,其實,喺 *hei 民主派內部呢,都有好多嘅討論啦,有人認爲要留低喺議會啦,亦都有人認爲應該要杯葛嘅。噉可以話係正反雙方呢,都拳來腳往。噉其中啦,eh 有七位立法會議員嘅民主黨啦。噉哋就表態啦,就傾向留守議會戰線啦。噉佢哋就委托咗香港民意研究所,就進行民意調查啦,就用決定佢哋嘅去留嘅。噉今日呢,我哋就請到呢民主黨立法會議員林卓廷上嚟同我哋討論呢個題目嘅。多謝你呀廷,接受我哋訪問呀。多謝!

● 真空期 jān1 hūng1 kèih4 = a vacuum; a vacuum period | ● 杯葛 būi1 got3 = to boycott | ● 拳來腳往 kyùhn4 lòih4 geuk3 wóhng5 = (?) to come out fighting |● 表態 bíu2 taai3 = to make one’s position known; to declare where one stands | ● 留守 làuh4 sáu2 = to stay behind & take care of things | ● 委托 wái2 tok3 = to entrust

Gist: The host Cheuk On Ng introduces himself and his colleague Chan Siu-yu, head of the political news team at HK01. He gives some background to the issue: that the LegCo elections have been postponed for a year because of the covid virus, that this postponement has sparked heated discussion in the democratic camp, and that because of this a number of democratic council members have proposed conducting a poll [民意調查 or 民調 for short] in order to determine whether they should stay on in the Council or leave.



● 寸土必爭 chuyhn tóu bīt jāng = fight for every inch of land | ● 焦土政策 jīu1 tóu2 jing3 chaak3 = scorched earth policy

Gist: Lam thanks his hosts. Chan Siu-yu asks Lam whether he thinks all the democratic councillors should stay on in LegCo, or whether they should all boycott [杯葛] it.

林卓廷:首先呢,小瑜兄,我哋民主黨呢,係覺得我哋必須要堅守現代嘅議會戰嘅。因爲我哋預計呢,嚟緊一年呢,喺立法會裏邊係會有好多嘅重大嘅議案,係涉及市民重大嘅利益,包括係 um 東大嶼嘅過萬億嘅填海計劃啦,仲有係大灣區,講緊係有15萬潛在嘅係居住内地嘅香港人【2:00】嘅投票安排。呢個絕對會呢,係嚴重影響到立法會同埋區議會最終嘅選舉結果,民主派可能因爲呢20萬票呢,會變成大敗嘅。令一點就係,而家香港社會好關注嘅健康碼嘅問題,日後政府會唔會借推呢個健康碼去搜集市民嘅私隱資料去追蹤我哋嘅行蹤。呢問題呢,都係我哋需要喺堅守住議會嘅戰線係抵抗呢個惡法。我其實亦都明白到,有好多市民,尤其我哋民主派陣營嘅支持者,對於 ah 中央政府係拒絕按《基本法》四年嘅任期係我哋喺九月係進行立法會選舉剝奪咗我哋市民嘅投票權係非常非常之憤怒。我哋民主黨亦都係【3:00】ah ah 激烈,激烈咁去反對有關嘅決定,不過,啫,人大已經做咗呢個決定,而佢延任一年嘅安排呢,係令到我哋民主陣營裏邊呢,而家出現極致大嘅爭拗。噉我哋為咗我哋嘅團結唔好再受損落去,所以我哋就決定,用呢個民調嘅方式,希望可以用一個市民有參與情況底下,去解決現在已經係咁嚴重嘅爭議。我哋唔想我哋成個民主陣營係因爲呢件事情呢,個分裂係惡化落去。我哋强調,現在我哋成個嘅陣營呢,必須槍口對外,團結一致,去對抗現在香港面對緊嘅種種嘅惡法,以至北京政府,林鄭政府對香港人嘅打壓呢。

● 堅守 gīn1 sáu2 = to stick to; to hold fast to; to stand fast | ● 戰線 jin3 sin3 = battle line; battlefront; front | ● 嚟緊一年 lèih4 gán2 yāt1 nìhn4 = the coming year| ● 議案 yíh5 ngon3 = a proposal; a motion | ● 日後 yaht6 hauh6 = in the future; in (the) days to come | ● 私隱資料 sī1 yán2 jī1 líu2 = personal/private material | ● 追蹤 jēui1 jūng1 = to follow the trail of; to track; to trace | ● 行蹤 hàhng4 jūng1 = whereabouts; track | ● 抵抗 dái2 kong3 = to resist; to stand up to | ● 陣營 jahn6 yìhng4 = a group of people who pursue a common interest; a camp | ● 剝奪 mōk1 dyuht6 = to deprive; to expropriate | ● 投票權 tàuh4 piu3 kyùhn4 = the right to vote | ● 憤怒 fáhn5 nouh6 = indignation; anger; wrath | ● 激烈 gīk1 liht6 = intense; sharp; fierce | ● 極致 gihk6 ji3 = (?) extremely | ● 團結 tyùhn4 git3  = to unite; to rally | ● 受損 sauh6 syún2 = to be damaged | ● 爭議 jāang1  yíh5 = a dispute; a controversy | ● 惡化 [ng]ok3 faa3 = to worsen; to deteriorate | 槍口對外 chēung1 háau2 deui3 ngoih6 = (?) to point our guns outwards (rather than at ourselves) | ● 以至 yíh5 ji3 = down to; up to; and even | ● 打壓 dáa2 [ng]aat3 = to combat & suppress

Gist: Lam opens by saying he thinks they should stay, because a number of crucial issues are coming up for discussion in the coming year, including the trillion dollar plus land reclamation project proposed for eastern Lantau Island, a plan to find a way to enable the 150,000 Hong Kong people living in the Greater Bay Area [大灣區] to vote in Hong Kong elections, and the issue of the health code [健康碼] together with the collection of personal details. These are good reasons to stay, together with the fact that many in the democratic camp were angered by the decision, taken by the Central Government of the PRC, to postpone the elections in the first place. Lam goes to acknowledge that many in the democratic camp oppose staying on in LegCo, and that serious divisions have emerged that threaten to seriously undermine the unity of the democrats. A way then had to be sought to re-unify the group.

陳小瑜:嗱,阿廷呀,嗱,你呢,就解釋咗點解要 ah 用民調呀,【4:00】但係你開頭嘅時候呢,亦都講得振振有詞。你留喺議會嘅時候 / / 好重要嘅事情嚟㗎。噉兩件事好似有矛盾呢,既然留 / / 咁重要,點解你唔 / / 勸服你嘅其他民友一齊留喺議會呢? 反而 / / 民調呢,/ / 民調萬一叫你走,你離開議會同開頭講嘅,唔係互相矛盾呀?

● 振振有詞 jan3 jan3 yáuh5 chìh4 = speak  plausibly and at length | ● 服 hyun3 fuhk6 = to persuade | ● 民友 màhn4 yáuh5 = (?) a person sympathetic to the democratic cause

Gist: Chan Siu-yu asks Lam about the apparent contradiction in his opening statement: the coming year is indeed a very important one, so why conduct a poll that may lead to the group resigning en masse from LegCo rather than try and persuade everyone involved of the vital need to say on?

林卓廷:林卓廷:喺上個星期一呢,我哋民主黨同埋多個民主派嘅朋友呢,都係公開交代咗我哋初步嘅睇法,我哋話我哋傾向係留守呢個議會嘅戰線。噉但係之後呢,我哋留意到,係喺社會上有好激烈嘅討論,尤其喺我哋自己民主陣營裏邊嘅支持者呢,已經嗰個討論係去到傷害到我哋過去一年得嚟不易嘅團結。噉所以我哋認爲呢,必須要係儘快有一個大家都可以接受嘅方法去解決呢個爭議嘅。我哋亦都【5:00】係好開心 / / 聽,市民嘅睇法究竟呢個爭議用咩辦法解決呢,我哋聽到最 / / ,就係有一個民調或者係公投嘅方式去處理呢個爭議。噉所以我哋最終考慮到時間呀、人手呀、具體操作上嘅困難等等嘅情況呢,我哋就決定用呢個民調嘅方式,希望係喺我哋成個民主陣營裏邊呢,參考最大嘅共識,係解決現在嘅爭議,重新團結返起嚟呢。

● 激烈 gihk6 liht6 = intense; sharp; fierce | ● 公投 gūng1 tàuh4 = (?) a public vote (on an issue) | ● 具體操作 geuih6 tái2 chou3 jok3 = concrete operations

Gist: Lam recalls that last Monday (24 August), various democrats expressed their view about staying during a press conference. However, the disagreements this gave rise to concerned the democratic camp about damage to group unity. In the effort to deal with this problem, Lam notes that most people argued for a poll or a public vote [公投] on the question. After considering various aspects, including time, manpower and difficulties involved in the concrete operation of any solution, it was decided that a poll be conducted to resolve the disputes and reunify the democrats.

陳小瑜:嗯,,好呀。聽你 / / 講,就嚟緊嘅民調就非常重要呀。可以話,啫,影響你哋去留嘅關鍵呀。噉但係知道呢,民調點樣設計呢,就得出點樣嘅結果呢。你可唔可以同大家解釋吓,個民調大概點樣嘅方向呢?

● 去留 heui3 làuh4 = to go or to stay

Gist: Chan Siu-yu points out that the way any poll is designed can have an effect on its outcome. Therefore, he asks Lam to provide some details about how the design of the poll was negotiated.

林卓廷:Um 首先 ah 小瑜兄,你講得好嘅。如果我哋 ah 就【6:00】嗰個民調嘅設計嗰度呢,係有一個 ah 導向性呢,係絕對會影響到個民調嘅結果嘅。而我哋民主黨呢,喺成個民調嚟講呢,係有一個利益角色喺入便嘅。雖然我哋係好小心,好謹慎係避免我哋有任何嘅角色、利益衝突喺當中,因此呢,我哋喺上嘅星期四記者會上邊呢,我哋當時呢,係 ah 公開講,我哋會專業、獨立、具公信力嘅民調機構去幫我哋去設計呢啲問卷,同埋定相關嘅門檻,究竟喺點樣嘅情況底下如何調查,得出乜結果,我哋亦都會服膺於呢個民調嘅結論去決定去或者留嘅。噉 ah 我哋即日呢,亦都有負責任聯絡咗 ah 香港民意研究計劃嘅【7:00】鐘庭耀博士去初步 ah 同佢傾吓傾我哋嘅諗法。噉 ah 都唔係我哋預計之内呢,阿鐘博士喺上個星期五呢,已經係自己提出咗佢有兩個門檻嘅建議,就擺咗出嚟俾公衆去知道呀。噉我哋係完全尊重阿鐘博士佢哋嘅專業同埋獨立。所以呢,就我哋咁耐以嚟 / / 鐘博士嘅溝通呢,都係希望可以澄清入便嘅細節問題。嗰個原則方向呢,我哋係會完全服膺於阿鐘博士佢嘅專業同埋獨立嘅角色。我哋唔完全能夠,亦都唔會去干預佢嗰個問卷調查嘅設計,嗰啲調查嘅方法同埋佢作所有嘅結論呢。

● 導向性 douh6 heung3 sing3 = ? cf. 導向 guidance | ● 謹慎 gán2 sàhn4 = prudent; careful | ● 記者會 gei3 jé2 wúi6*2 = press conference | ● 公信力 gūng1 seun3 lihk6 = the ability to win public trust ● 問 mahn6 gyún2 = a questionnaire | ● 門檻 muhn4 laahm6 = threshold| ● 服膺於 fuhk6 yīng1 yū1 = 1. to bear in mind 2. to feel deeply convinced 3. (?) subordinate to | ● 即日 jīk1 yaht6 = this or that very day | ● 鐘庭耀博士 = | ● 澄清 chìhng4 chīng1 = to clear up; to clarify | ● 干預 gōn1 yuh6 = to interfere; to intervene; to meddle

Gist: Lam acknowledges that any kind of “guidance” [導向性] in the creation of the poll would have an influence on the result, and that the democratic camp has a strong interest in the outcome. For this reason, as was announced at the press conference last Thursday, they decided to approach a professional, independent polling organization to draw up the questionnaire on their behalf and to determine the relevant thresholds. They would make the decision about whether to stay on in LegCo or leave as per the results of the poll. On that same day, they contacted Dr Robert Chung Ting Yiu of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute and had some preliminary discussion about the poll. Without there having been any discussion of the issue, Dr Chung came up with his own suggestions regarding the two thresholds and set out his ideas for everyone to be aware of. The democratic camp respects the professionalism and independence of Dr Chung’s organization and so will abide by everything it decides to do. Lam reiterates that could not and would not interfere in the design of the questionnaire, the way in which the polling is carried out, and (?) all the conclusions they reach.

Caption: 民主派延任現爭拗 / 民調門檻怎樣定?


● 基準 gēi1 jéun2 = benchmark; standard; reference

Gist: Chan’s final question deals with the issue of the two thresholds, one for ordinary citizens and one for supporters of the democratic camp. If 50% of citizens vote in favour of staying on, and two-thirds of supporters do the same, then the democracy camp will decide in favour of remaining in LegCo. But if this result is not obtained in the poll, then the democratic councillors will have to make up their own minds. Chan asks Lam to comment on this possibility.

林卓廷:嗱啊,我諗嗰個具體嘅計算方法呢,我哋交俾鐘博士去同大家介紹好啲,因爲始終我哋係有一個角色利益衝突喺度。我哋相信係聽從佢呢嘅專業民調嘅方式嘅啫。噉 ah 佢無論係定二分一嘅門檻或者三分二嘅門檻,我,我哋民主黨最終一定會尊從嘅。噉至於 ah 嗰個背後嘅設計嘅 ah 邏輯呀,佢嗰個考慮因素呀,【9:00】我諗,一定係要交返俾鐘博士去回應大家,因爲我哋唔係參與喺嗰個問卷設計同埋成個民調計劃 / / 制定方面呢。

● 計算 gai3 syun3 = 1. to count; to compute; to calculate 2. consideration; planning | ● 考慮因素 háau2 leuih6 yān1 sou3 = (?) factors that one takes into consideration

Gist: In response, Lam says that with regard to the way in which the specific calculations were worked out, it would be better to hear from Robert Chung himself. This is because of the issue of a conflict of interests for the democratic camp. He reiterates that the democrats would comply with the manner in which a professional poll was carried out. But as to the logic that lies behind the design [of the poll] [嗰個背後嘅設計嘅邏輯] or the factors that were taken into consideration [考慮因素], it would be better to hand this over to Dr Chung, for the reason that the democratic camp had nothing to do with the design or planning of the poll.

陳小瑜:明白阿廷。不過,我想你回應 / / 比較尖銳嘅問題,就係 / / 我覺得 / / 呢個咁樣調查呢個呢,設計係比較複雜哇。其實,/ / 透露,因爲最後兩邊 / / 結果唔同,噉啊交返你自己決定去留 / / 你點會 / / 避免質疑呢?

Gist: TBA

林卓廷:嗱,um 小瑜兄,我哋上星期四呢,係開記者會嘅時候,已經係公開承諾我哋會完全尊重鐘庭耀博士佢嘅獨立嘅判斷同埋佢喺民調上邊嘅專業。當時,我哋未知阿鐘博士係會接受唔接受我哋嘅邀請做呢個工作呢。 噉啊我哋未 . . . ah 最終有任何決定,問佢做嘅時間禮拜五,【10:00】就自己已經提咗呢個門檻出嚟。我哋完全參與過佢建議二分一同埋三分二呢兩個分別嘅門檻,我哋完全冇參與過嘅。噉所以,啫,如果有人質疑話,喂,幫我度身定咗一個高嘅(陳小瑜:係呀)門檻出嚟呢,呢個唔係事實呢。不過,不過,我,我一定要澄清,有啲傳媒嘅報道呢,用一個「雙門檻」嘅 eh 表示方式。嗱,呢個我覺得會容易引起誤會呀。呢個並唔係雙門檻,係兩個獨立嘅門檻。而其中一個門檻係 ah 得到嘅票數,啊,啫唔係叫票數呀, 係民意嘅回應呢,係多過佢門檻嘅要求嘅話,咁我哋就要根據呢個民意嘅決定呢,係離開立法會呢。

● 判斷 pun3 dyun3 = to judge; to decide; to determine | ● 質疑 jāt1 yìh4 = to call into question; to query | ● 度身 dohk6 sān1 = (?) to make to measure | ● 雙門檻 sēung1 mùhn4 laahm6 = (?) “double/paired thresholds” | ● 表示方式 bíu2 sih6 fōng1 sīk1 = a means of expression | ● 票數 piu3 sou3 = the number of votes | ● 容易引起誤會 yùhng4 yih6 yáhn5 héi2 ngh6 wuih6 = easily lead to misunderstandings

Gist: Lam begins by saying at the press conference last Thursday, that they would respect Robert Chung’s handling of the poll, although at the time they did not know whether he would accept the assignment. He then states that members of the democratic camp did not take part in the discussion about thresholds: they did not go to Chung with a request for the poll to be “made to measure” in order to get the result they wanted. Any doubts on this score have no basis in reality. Lam then states that the term 雙門檻 or “double/paired thresholds” used by some sections of the media is misleading because, in his view, the thresholds are independent of one another. Finally, he reiterates that the democratic camp will abide by the result of the poll with regard to their staying on or leaving LegCo.

吳倬安:嗯,係呀。阿廷,其實,關於民調,多另外一個問題想請教吓你呀,因爲,其實,喺 *hei香港人民意研究所呢,【11:00】今個月,其實,都係17號至到20號都做過呢個關於 ah lau gam 與否嘅民調呢。噉當中去用電話隨機訪問咗一千零二十個人呢。噉當中,其實,支持留低同埋支持離開議會嘅比例呢,都相當接近,以其中 / / 喺 *hei,啫,/ / 結果就話,/ / 民主派嘅支持呢,/ / 反對留任 / / 支持留任 / / 而喺 *hei / / 非民主派支持者嗰度呢,ah 結果亦都係有啲唔同呢,咁就有五成人支持留低呢,而有 / / percent / / 支持 ah民主派離開。其實,點樣睇今次呢一個結果呢?係咪反映,就係民主派要作出一個去留嘅決定係非常之困難呢?同埋點睇,其實,一啲非民主派支持者會有五十五嘅人會支持你留任,係咪建制派嘅支持者都想你哋 / / 留低議會係 / / 【12:00】點樣睇呢個講法呢,其實,阿廷?

● 請教 = chíng2/chéng2 gaau3 = to ask for advice; to consult | ● 隨機 chèuih4 gēi1 = random; randomly; at random | ● 比例 béi2 laih6 = proportion

Gist: The host Cheuk On Ng asks about another poll that was conducted by phone between 17-20 August. According to this, numbers were virtually evenly divided on the question of whether to stay or leave. He asks Lam for a comment on this result and the idea that it reflects how difficult it will be to make a final decision. He also makes a comment regarding supporters of the pro-establishment camp [建制派]. (Parts of this are still very unclear to me.)

林卓廷:啊,首先我係冇辦法去了解啲建制派支持者佢哋嘅趨向嘅背後原因嘅。我咁耐以嚟都唔能夠代表佢哋呢。噉所以呢,我唔方便去評論佢哋嘅睇法背後嘅理由。第二呢,就係 um 喺嗰個民調結果公佈之前幾日呢,其實,香港人民意研究所計劃令一位嘅負責人呢,鐘劍華博士呢,亦都係過去講過嘅。星期五嗰個民調呢,係一個參考性嘅民調。噉啊呢個民調個民意,首先第一樣嘢一定要尊重呢,但係佢亦都係呼籲我哋一定要做一個全港性抽樣嘅係有決定性嘅民調。噉我哋係 ah 喺星期四就決定咗 ah 聽從 【13:00】呢位 ah 民調嘅專家鐘劍華博士嘅建議,所以亦都宣佈我哋會進行一個 ah 全港性係決定性嘅民調。而最重要嘅,我哋今次做呢個決定呢,係對香港嘅未來極致關鍵,影響到全香港七百萬市民未來嘅生活,自由同埋人權等等嘅狀況。所以我哋認爲呢,一個咁重大決定呢,市民大衆係必須有一個充分,深入同埋廣嘅討論先至可以俾一個係最負責任嘅民意嘅結果俾我哋,做呢一個決定。噉所以我哋呢,唔係純粹做一個民調嘅。我哋希望喺個民調,呃,開始之前呢,我哋係會有充足嘅社會討論,包括係社會上應該係有去留嘅,呃,好重要嘅辯論 ,等雙方都 【14:00】鋪陳,大家去或者留嘅理據。大家亦都要清晰知道,如果我哋撤出議會戰線,究竟嚟緊香港未來一年, 以至未來十年,究竟我哋香港人係咪已經準備好面對極致黑暗嘅歲月,大家係咪準備好嗮面對所有中共,以至林鄭政權對我哋嘅非常嚴厲嘅打壓呢?

● 趨向 chēui1 heung3 = 1. to tend to; to incline to 2. a trend; a direction | ● 評論 pìhng4 leuhn6 = to comment on; to discuss; a comment | ● 理由 léih5 yàuh4 = a reason; a ground; an argument | ● 鐘劍華博士 Jūng1 Gim3 Wàah4 bok3 sih6 = Dr Chung Kim-wah (of PORI) | ● 參考性 chāam1 háau2 sing3 = of a referential nature cf. 參考 = 1. to consult; to refer to 2. a reference | ● 呼籲 fū1 yuh6 = to appeal to; to call on | ● 全港性 chyùhn4 góng2 sing3 = Hong Kong-wide (lit. “complete Kong nature” | ● 抽樣 chāu1 yéung6*2 = a sample; sampling | ● 聽從 tīng1 chùhng4 = to obey; to comply with | ● 廣泛 g[w]óng2 faahn6 = extensive; wide-ranging | ● 純粹 sèuhn4 seui3 = pure; purely | ● 辯論 bihn6 leuhn6 = to argue; to debate | ● 鋪陳 pōu1 chàhn4 = to narrate in great detail; to describe at length; to elaborate | ● 理據 léih5 geui3 = an argument | ● 撤出 chit3 chēut1 = (?) to withdraw | ● 歲月 seui3 yuht6 = years | ● 嚴厲 yìhm4 laih6 = stern; severe

Gist: First of all, Lam declines to comment on the motivations of pro-establishment supporters. He goes on to say that the telephone poll referred to by the host was done for reference purposes: it was a 一個參考性嘅民調 = “a poll of a referential nature” done by a member of the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. It seems that as a result of this first poll, it became clear that it would be necessary to conduct a Hong Kong-wide poll [全港性]. Finally, Lam reiterates how important this decision will be in terms of issues such as the freedoms and rights of the people of Hong Kong and wonders whether individuals are prepared to face the dark days of repression ahead if the decision is made to quit LegCo.

I Is the River (Meantiming)

You feel it, of course ⸺ the tension
implicit in attention. What it registers
nowhere fingers begin to get a grip on even for an inch.

And if you were the river
streaming forever with no fixed point through the course
of a liquid lifetime
what would you struggle to try and say to yourself
just so the predicament
was that little bit easier to bear? ⸺

Make no object of the current
and by all means let the torrent of “each moment” flood-light you

Photograph: Evette Kwok (2020)

Learning Cantonese: RTHK Interview with Dr Wong Chung-kwong

黃重光 Dr Wong Chung-kwong has over 30 years’ experience working as a psychiatrist and was for a long time Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 2005, he founded the non-profit voluntary organization “Whole Person Education Foundation” to promote the “ICAN Whole Person Education” training to adults and students in Hong Kong, an initiative aimed at enhancing mental health. More recently, he has expanded ICAN education to include Macau and Shenzhen, as well as 連山壯族瑤族自治縣 Lianshan Zhuang and Yao Autonomous County in northern Guangdong province. Needless to say, he is an eloquent and insightful speaker on mental-health issues.

There is too much text here to translate in its entirety, but if you don’t read Cantonese, here is one of the most interesting parts of the interview:


黃重光:係呀,真係㗎,嗄。因爲最終呢,就係全人嘅健康,嗄,啫係,身心分唔開啦,係咪?當然亦都包括人際關係,啫係,呢個家庭呀、朋友、工作。 噉我哋呢三方面呢,都一定要喺同時都好呢 ,咁佢先一齊好呀(車淑梅:哦)。噉但係反過嚟講呢,就反而咁喎,譬如有啲人呢,可能係身體有疾病,甚至乎可能係有啲殘疾 ,但係只要個心理素質高呢,我哋見到係咩呢? 佢一樣人生好精彩,好快樂(laughter),係咪呀?但反過嚟講,如果心理上係,呃,質素比較低或者有困擾呀,有情緒低落呢,咁佢就多數呢,都會影響身體健康嘅(車淑梅:嗯)。啫呢個方向呢,就差唔多呢,係冇彎轉嘅。

Candy Chea Shuk-mui: Now what is extremely important for a person is this, the body and the desire for good health. Nevertheless, I am forever hearing you say “if the psychology is in good health, then you can be sure that the physiology will also be in good health”. However, the reverse does not necessarily hold true, does it?

Dr Wong Chung Kwong: Yes, that’s correct. The reason is that, when all is said and done [最終], it is the health of the person as a whole, body and mind being inseparable, right?  Of course, this also includes personal relations, family, friends, work. Now these three aspects [i.e. family, friends, work] all have to be good at the same time for everything to be right with a person [佢]. On the other hand, however, there are people who suffer from an illness, perhaps even a physical disability, but as long as they are at a high level, psychologically-speaking, what is it we see? That individual’s life is likewise outstanding, and the person is happy, right? But when things are the other way round and, in psychological terms the quality is on the low side or there is confusion or the person’s mood is down, then for that person, generally speaking, there is an influence on physical health (Candy Chea Shuk-mui: Mm). With regard to this orientation, by and large, there is no change [for the better].


As usual, there is plenty of wonderful material in this except for anyone learning Cantonese.  Perhaps the most interesting thing is 淰瞓得滯, which comes towards the end. This combines 淰瞓 nahm6 fan3 = “sound asleep” with the expression 得滯 dāk1 jaih6, tacked on afterwards to add the sense of = “too (much)”. There are also a couple of uses of the verbal particle 嚫 chān1, which is added to verbs to express the idea of “adversity”, usually involving some notion of physical or psychological pain:

我太太隻腳整嚫之後 = after my wife hurt her leg (整嚫)
好在冇跌嚫 = fortunately, [I] didn’t fall and hurt myself (跌嚫)

Look out too for some of the colloquial numbers ⸺ 卌呀 = forty; 十幾廿 = ten or so ⸺ as well as two useful four-character expression, 分秒必爭 = “every second counts” and 執筆忘字, “to suddenly forget how to write a word”, an experience most learners of Cantonese are all too familiar with!

You can listen to the full interview with Dr Wong here. If you’d like to read the transcript of the first ten minutes or so, please keep scrolling down. And remember, if you want the standard jyutping romanization or to check any of the Chinese in the text, please consult the Sheik Cantonese on-line dictionary.


Part 1A【2:28】


● 修補 = sāu1 bóu2 = to mend
● 親子專家 chān1 jí2 jyūn1 gāa1 = an expert in parent-child (relations)






● 不嬲 bāt1 nāu1 = have long since; have always been
● 時間都係用到盡 = (my) time is used to the full | cf. 搏到盡 bok3 dou3 jeuhn6 = go all out; go flat out; spare no effort; forge ahead

車淑梅:噉,其實呢,啫係,講返啊,你呀,不嬲以嚟俾我感覺到呢, 一個好健康嘅人嚟㗎。曾經有一度呢,都比較上肥嘟少少,但係而家呢,嘩,多年嚟呢,都 keep 得咁好喎!原來你有啲好特別嘅 keep fit 方法㗎。可唔可以同我哋講呀?

● 肥嘟 fèih4 dyūt1 = (?) chubby; cf. 肥嘟嘟 = a fat person

黃重光:哦,我每個禮拜呢,有一次至兩次呢(車淑梅:啊),就喺個跑步機嗰度呢,就急行斜路,呃手脚並用(車淑梅:係係係 | Laughter)。噉同埋呢, 我就會著住一件 40 磅加重嘅衫,呢就,增加運動量呀。

● 跑步機 páau2 bouh6 gēi1 = treadmill; jogging machine
● 斜路 che3 lóu6*2 = slope
● 手腳並用 sáu2 geuk3 bihng6 yuhng6 = making use of both arms & legs
● 加重 gāa1 chúhng5/juhng6 = to make heavier
● 運動量 wahng6 duhng6 leuhng6 = workout (lit. “exercise quantity”)



● 輸出 syū1 chēut1 = to export; to output; (?) to give out



車淑梅:啊點解,點解唔出去直程行山呢,或者, 啫係呃,跑步呢,呵?

● 直程 jihk6 chìhng4 = 1. directly; straightaway 2. surely; sure enough; to be sure; definitely; undoubtedly; absolutely cf. SWC 簡直
● 呵 hó2 = [final particle] huh – often used as a question tag to verify sth. while expecting confirmation


● 身軀 sān1 kēui1 = torso; trunk
● 杆 gōn1 = pole; staff; post; shaft | cf. 欄杆 làahn4 gōn1 = railing; bannister

車淑梅:噉你呢件衫呢?40磅嘅(黃重光:係呀 | Laughter)鉛衫啊,係點呀,特製㗎?

● 鉛 yùhn4 = lead (a kind of metal)
● 特製 dahk6 jai3 = to be specially made

黃重光:佢唔係(車淑梅:哦,有得賣嘅),有得賣嘅。噉佢呢就,其實呢,可以有唔同嘅大細嘅袋呀(車淑梅:係),最緊要前後左右平衡。啊,啫係,噉你,噉呀加到最重就係 *jai 40磅呀,都十幾廿年㗎啦(車淑梅:係咪呀)。係,係。


黃重光:噉其實,之前呢,我就喜歡跳舞嘅,,咁但係,啫係,我太太隻腳整之後呢,咁就跳唔到舞,(車淑梅: 哦哦哦 ),咁我就諗呢,因爲跳舞都係好嘅運動嚟㗎,好大運動量。噉啊要諗第二啲方法囉。【5:00】噉啊諗到呢個方法。噉就(車淑梅:係)哈,就十幾廿年喇。噉但係仲有個好處喎,因爲呢,呢個係急行呢,就唔會個人好似跳吓跳吓咁樣㗎,因爲你跑步就跳吓跳吓㗎嘛。噉所以嗰兩三個鐘頭裏邊呢,其實,我就可以聽一啲,啫係,錄音嘅書呀(車淑梅:哦),嗄,或者睇一啲嘅,啫係(車淑梅:嘩)一啲紀呃錄片呀。噉,啫係都係一個自己個人進修嘅,嘅機會呀(laughter)。

● 整嚫 jíng2 chān1 = to hurt (a leg)
● 第二啲方法 daih6 yih6 dī1 fōng1 faat3 = other ways (lit. “second some ways”)
● 錄音嘅書 luhk6 yām1 ge3 syū1 = an audio book
● 進修 jeun3 sāu1 =engage in advanced studies; pursue further studies; take a refresher course

車淑梅:分秒必爭嘅,黃重光醫生!好嘢,好嘢!噉唔怪得咁健康  . . .

● 分秒必爭 fān1 míuh5 bīt1 jāng1 = every second counts


車淑梅:係咪呀,噉你係唔係,啫係,咁樣就 keep ,keep到自己嘅,啫,啫係呃磅數咁呀?

● 磅數 bohng6 sou3 = (?) the amount one weighs

黃重光:啫係應該咁講,比我最初嗰陣時呢,係輕咗十幾廿磅㗎 (車淑梅:嘩),所以反而覺得而家呢,我相信我嘅身心,啫係身體狀況呢,可能係比十幾廿年前呢,係應該仲更加好嘅!

車淑梅:睇嚟係啦, 識咗你咁耐咁耐啦,嗄!見到黃重光醫生呢,真係忙到不得可了㗎。嗱,一個人呢,就非常之重要嘅呢,就係呢一個嘅,呃啫係身體啦、要健康啦,【6:00】。不過呢,我成日都聽到你講呢,你就話:「心理健康,生理就一定會健康」。倒過嚟呢,就未必係一定係㗎喎,咁樣,係咪呀?

● 不得可了 bāt1 dāk1 hó2 líuh5 = cf. 不得了 = “extremely” or “exceedingly”
● 倒過嚟 dóu2 gwo3 làih4/lèih4 = (?) the reverse; the other way round

黃重光:係呀,真係㗎,嗄。因爲最終呢,就係全人嘅健康,嗄,啫係,身心分唔開啦,係咪?當然亦都包括人際關係,啫係,呢個家庭呀、朋友、工作。 噉我哋呢三方面呢,都一定要喺同時都好呢 ,咁佢先一齊好呀(車淑梅:哦)。噉但係反過嚟講呢,就反而咁喎,譬如有啲人呢,可能係身體有疾病,甚至乎可能係有啲殘疾 ,但係只要個心理素質高呢,我哋見到係咩呢? 佢一樣人生好精彩,好快樂(laughter),係咪呀?但反過嚟講,如果心理上係,呃,質素比較低或者有困擾呀,有情緒低落呢,咁佢就多數呢,都會影響身體健康嘅(車淑梅:嗯)。啫呢個方向呢,就差唔多呢,係冇彎轉嘅。

● 殘疾 chàan4 jaht6 = disabled; handicapped; disability
● 困擾 kwan3 yíu2 = to trouble; to perplex; to puzzle

[Brief interruption]

車淑梅: 做咗幾多年呢個精神科醫生?【7:00】

黃重光: 卌,卌呀幾年喇。

● 卌呀 sei3 aah6 = forty


黃重光: 唔攰,唔攰,我呢,做人最緊要呢係呃享受工作(車淑梅:係),係咪呀?我哋因爲工作呢,其實係人生嘅部分吖嘛,係咪。工作就係我哋每日廿四小時嘅佔咗好重嘅分量。好多人佔,呃,三分一或者甚至乎更多呀,今天,係咪呀。如果我哋工作嘅時候呢,我唔快樂呢,其實,個道理好簡單,就係我人生係唔會快樂㗎(laughter | 車淑梅:啊,哈哈哈)。

● 分量 = fahn6/fān1 leuhng6 = 1. fahn6 leuhng6 weight; measure 2. fān1 leuhng6 component; component product


● 主題 jyú2 tàih4 = theme, subject matter; title
● 揀啱 gáan2 ngāam1 = to choose correctly; to make the correct choice | 啱 ngāam1 as a result particle here

黃重光:哦,其實呢,我喺呃應該講我中學未畢業之前呢,我就已經係對醫學呢,就好有興趣。噉我已經係對呢一個精神科特別有興趣(車淑梅:哦),啫,對人嘅心理上嘅現象呢,我特別好有興趣。【8:00】噉所以我可以話呢,當時我比較例外嘅呢,就係 呃, 喺醫學院裏邊呢,我已經好似有咗個決心呀,打咗決心我要做精神科。點解我話例外呢? 因爲嗰個年代呢,精神科唔係一個,係 . . . 呃被 . . . 啫,選擇位置高嘅,嘅科目 . . .

● 現象 yihn6 jeuhng6 = phenomenon
● 例外 laih6 ngoih6 = an exception
● 打決心 dáa2 kyut3 sām1 = to make a decision; to decide



● 專 jyūn1 = (?) especially



● 童年 tùhng4 nìhn4 = childhood
● 隔床 gaak3 chòhng4 = (?) an elevated bed; a bunk bed
● 試過 si3 gwo3 = have experienced before; have experience
● 淰瞓 nahm6 fan3 = sound asleep cf. 睡得深;熟睡 ◊ 佢真淰瞓。
● 得滯 dāk1 jaih6 = (placed after an adjective) indicates excess, “too much” | This explanation is based on 《香港粵語大詞典》:用於形容詞之後表示「過份」,「太過」之意(95)


黃重光:噉呢個一個呢,但仲有一個原因呢,就係 *jai 因爲呃我係讀寫障礙嘅情況呀【9:00】(車淑梅:哦)。啫,中文嘅讀寫障礙,嗄。啫係,所以呢啲字呢,好容易會撈亂呀或者執筆忘字,嗄。但係拼音我冇問題嘅,嗄(車淑梅:嗯)。哦但係呢個時候呢,喺個小學階段呢就產生比較多問題喇。噉就,啫係,成績就唔會好啦(車淑梅:係呀)。噉啊差都咩程度呢,我哋嗰個年代就係,呃小學6年班要考升中試嘅,嗄(車淑梅:係呀)。啫係,考到升中試呢,我仲記得當嗰時喺某一張嘅 . . . 呃 . . .  日 . . .  啫係,一張嘅報紙就放榜(車淑梅:《華僑》,係咪 | laughter)。唔係,《星島》(車淑梅:係咪《星島》,係呀, 係呀)。噉就 . . . 噉呢,如果榜上有名呢,就,啫係有中學分啦,係咪?噉我嗰個年代呢,就係我嗰間學校水平比較低呢(車淑梅:嗯),就唔係所有小學 6年班學生呢,都有機會考升中試(車淑梅:係)。噉我學校就同我講你,考都冇位,所以我都(laughs). . . 啫,唔俾我哋考呀,嗰陣時(車淑梅:哎吔!)係呀,啫係你都差到咁。噉但係我爸爸呢,就通過一個補習社呢,啫係,外補習,噉佢有啲位。噉我就有得考囉,係咪。【10:00】噉但係放榜嘅時候,就榜上無名啦。噉我都今天仲係一個迷,因爲冇返去攞成績啊。但係,其實呢,仲有另一個唔開心呢,呢個亦都可能構成我點解揀精神科。就係 *jai 因為我爸爸呢,係一個呃,啫係,好嚴格呀。佢好錫我,但係呢,又好嚴厲呀,嗄(車淑梅:係)。噉啊親自幫我跟啲功課呀(車淑梅:哦,嘩)。噉晚晚呢,係好似軍訓咁樣呀。噉如果我唔識咁呀,又打又鬧呢,乜都出齊㗎啦,陣時。

● 撈亂 lōu1 lyuhn6 = to shuffle; (?) to put in the wrong order; to put the wrong way round
● 執筆忘字 jāp1 bāt1 mòhng4 jih6 = to suddenly forget how to write a word
● 放榜 fong3 bóng2 = to publish a list of successful candidates
● 軍訓 gwān1 fan3 = military training

Big, Odd, Warm August Wind

In this strange August wind, no one is left alone.
It celebrates with its hissing all the world there is still left to go.
Clouds are resculpted in its image:
not the aëry fancy of poets
but muscular knots of force,
like fists. At ground level
its whistling search parties comb through every single leaf of grass
and tussock,
to prove the essence of its substance
right to the limits of finesse.
If I followed the wind out into open fields
and challenged it by standing
tall into space, it would
punch me
at the knees, circle in voiced
and unvoiced kingdoms, assemble
sky-high columns of pressure
on vulnerable points, whip the light from my eyes
into huge, eerie billboards, give me
just one other good reason to live on.

Photograph: Evette Kwok (August 2020)