Tang Yi was born in Shanghai in 1983 and graduated from Xiamen University with a BA of Chinese Language and Literature. She is currently completing her MA in Creative Writing at the School of Culture and Communication, Department of English, University of Melbourne. She writes poetry bilingually and her poems have been published in Australia, Hong Kong and Mainland China.





Before my departure,
so much has not been said:
look after the lake for me,
which we discovered five years ago.
Watch the frolicking ducks −
be sure not to disturb them.

The trees’ old skins will soon begin to flake,
wait for their buds to emerge.
Throw a pebble into the water,
hear a cloud pass you by.

In the dawn the lake will absorb all the light
(You have noticed that too).
One day if I come back,
show me all your sketches of silent mornings.



Flowers in their spring profusion
will weigh the branches down.

Herb pickers will return to their huts
with the crisp voices of children spread around.

Blue haze will rise from the chimneys
conveying the fragrance of rice to the afterglow.

How I wish to enter this picture alone
letting my wine cup float freely along the stream.



When I went down the little stone bridge,
I could easily touch the surface of the water.
My toes were submerged in the pond;
I collected the duckweeds for my fishes.

The little stone bridge was so intricately carved
for the days to hide in.
In the night it was decorated by
the red lanterns, like a shy bride.

There was tinkling music
from passing cyclists.
The bridge was captivated −
something unspoken was connected.