When We Die, Where Does Our Language Go?

Old House, Tung Ping Chau

It stopped you first in full flight mid-sentence
the common bronzewing dead on an overgrown path.
It looked like it might have fallen out of life
and out of sky in the same breath, dropped
in a goshawk’s botched shock-attack
through some whirrakee wattles. Dew ―
not blood ― beaded beautiful feathers
and its pale-pink claws stayed curled slightly out of habit
round upside-down air as the dog snuffled past
nose-noticing nothing.
I admit there are times when I wish for myself a death like this,
and not only in moments of sadness
beyond despair. As for your sentence:
now there’s something that can never ever be finished in this world ―
I feel my ears tingle even now
with echoes of its inspoken promise.

《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

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