new zealand electronic poetry centre


Yang Lian

online works


The sky shifts

you know thereís nothing there    not even the sky
when a snow-white skeleton is dissolved by a sheet of blue
the graveís deck always watches till itís dizzy
every daybreak rapidly withers
window    like a rostrum lit by dazzling beams
your little bed in the sound of the stormís lecture
still retreats into last night    that direction where there was no you
there are no birds    flocks of cement clouds boom in the trees
the more you madly lift your head the more gushing blood fills your mouth

whatís shifted is this map    leaving the place of your bitter tears
down at heel shoes presumptuously wipe their feet on your eyes
whatís shifted is a blue panther    in the wailing of cows and sheep
the old man butchered a thousand times cries for his mother
you must sit down into this tunnel-like place
when listening with respect to death makes you shift    be shifted

be by a starís direction left facing the opposite direction
be whatís lost in your sleep too    edited into words
every day moonlight turns yellow for flesh made to flee
like phlegm on the sheets

corruption shifts into the white book jacket unconcerned by sex
makes the sky inside you browse you through
father standing fills your vision
a loneliness handed down from generation to generation
herds of horses rashly intermingle    run wild at you
an owlish smile on the face of the snow-blind
thatís the past    in the ruined porch of the shifting sky
your are past and see nothing    void and bright
forcing a single tree to tower above a pitch black foreground


© Yang Lian

Last updated 13 October, 2001