Literary Yard

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‘Seagulls from the Other Woods’ and other poems

By: Hua Ai

Seagulls from the Other Woods

In the woods,
my leaves have tapped on many people’s heads
during their yellowed seasons.
The fallen woods and the wind towards the west,
two glasses of a historic yesterday, cut through Sava River,
and they asking about how hungry I must have been to be aboard.

And the waves curled back again in their shivering feathers.
The seagull’s wings continued, beckoned the tide that swirled my abode.
I was plundered in depravity and taken towards another tree.
And after that day, the northern wind was among petals of peaceful summer night
that were never mine
or yours!

I swallowed my improvised question, again—
There was a piece of paper written about the abode of someone else,
and the beggar crumbled up.
Her hands had already been burnt by fuse of childhood.

We now heard the whistle in the wind.
The steamboat and the slashes of fish’s
ribs were against the deceits
and split the mist wide awake.
I was shrouded in a peak of special calm,
which is the water that carries us all and races forward.

Now, I was sure.
The earth would cross the line between the yellow string
and make us drink down
a full bowl of soup during twilight,
drenching a requiem of one’s fall.

Dozens of baby seagulls carefully awoke under an aged shell,
watching their mothers waddling away alone.
Their forlorn daughters were at the face of those ruthless steamboats
in torrents, running over their body when the winter still frosted,
and told me:
“In March, swallows will cut me into the shapes of their new homes.
In September, love birds will harvest skulls of mine and knit me in some new reeds.
When we all are alone under the same belt of river,
our bones will finally turn into blue,
gradually connecting the soils of countless cities
beneath a stringless bank.”


The Body of One’s Day and Night

The ice is awake!
Many little hands devote themselves my vision and are revived,
snaking alongside the brilliance in the upcoming swallows of March,
the yawns of the green, the wild blossoms of the lighter night.

My body mirrors how the earth restores – as its fingers grow into myself.
There is no more promise of color when the sun satiates
the hunger of the polar bears, lord of all prey.
In their fur, the duration of sunlight is reflected
and numerous days of the sky that grows no darker.

Immersing, the light grows into a view of assurance and promise:
the intercourse of the hill and the spring among rocks,
the frogs are on their great hunts upon the deep water,
a silent cry of the slaughtered butterflies,
the deer’s twisted neck between leopard’s teeth,
or a beggar trotting after a dirtied coin on the street of Mayfair,
and then…
No more greens, no more blossoms, no more swallows with their vivid tails.
The summer night is finally here…

Until the cleanness vanishes. Here, the cargo ignites its beacons and horns:
Have you forgotten the consoling passion and love?
Or the loss of their light under the sunlight?
My body was once as dedicated as the Milky Way that ties Jupiter and Venus!
The beacons are two gazes from afar, two mothers away, ascended by the paint oil
of the sanguine uniform of The Nutcracker and the spark of The Door to Hell in Turkmenistan.
And how sorrowful is it, to forget the saturation of the two beacons during the polar night…
For their beckoning shine is as thin as a woman’s sigh
when the tears of a newborn are against her womb.
Whilst fear of all the squirming black veils and the solitude underneath,
those wantoning, watery eyes, first pump blood within a juvenile Frankenstein.
We could not ask for anything better than the gilded daffodils
between the cracks of bricks.
Soon, the daylight will undress them all…

Now the earth is unwinding again,
not a second more or a day less, carrying my water away.
In a violet casket, an array of faces are buried by sickles of the first fall breeze
and shield my whining mouth, anticipating the youthful lips breathing
beneath the yellowed wetland for a fresh world.


Hua Ai hold a bachelor degree in English Literature from King’s College London. She is a published feminist fiction writer in Mandarin. Her English poetry has appeared once on The87 Press, Oxfam London and many times on KCL Literary Magazine. Her poems constantly engaging with the spiritual animals in her mind palace, rediscovery of cultural feminism, sisterhood and the nature. She is working as an educator and a translator in London. 

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