In December, Pancouver introduced readers to Cathy Xinman, a B.C. resident who writes poems in English and Chinese. Below, you can read one of her English-language poems, “Let My Hand Touch the Knife on the Stone”. It appears in her English-language collection, Where You Love Yourself.
Let My Hand Touch the Knife on the Stone
I must declare that I haven’t known the darkness yet,
although it is in the most sinister night.
I still believe in love.
Even if the stars stupidly fall into a dark trap,
I still love the shining life.
I look up the shelter where love sojourns prudently,
that is the most noble solitude.
Oh, the autumn, that has left so much—
the tangled branches and raveled decaying leaves.
I believe that all the leaves will fall,
but not all of them have really lived.
I love floating in elegance.
Even if the wall is foolish
to lean on the wind in rain and at night,
I still love the shuddering banner.
Let my hand touch the knife on the stone.
Let the blood flow as smooth as life goes
as the roaring vulture fights in the sky
and climbs up the galaxy at midnight.
Life, that must go through dark ditches and deep valleys
to enter darkness and pain so that we may climb together.
Let the most beautiful scenery be born in the most perilous spot.
Come on, if you do love me,
you ought to love my life,
to love my silent lips, that cry only for faith,
to love my sad eyes, that suffer only for strength,
to love the language that I speak in vain.
to love the volcano of my hope, that will erupt at any time.
I must declare frankly that I haven’t known life yet,
but I do believe that life is bestowed by love.