The New Year…and Crows!

Two poems by Yan Jun (born 1973)

January 2


I thought I wanted to say something

I looked at the snow   then went back to the desk


Or perhaps I counted money    or perhaps I did laundry

Crows flew in the suburbs     flew by the front door


I waited quietly

like a hotpot in winter


There won’t be any more discounted plane tickets

I waited to sacrifice myself    and then it was the new year




January 13


The new year’s bus

shines in the sunlight   the dust shines too


the crows have no eyes

iron’s leaves    the hearts inside of stones


last year   the year before   pale blue shoulders

slide toward the next wave





© Yan Jun

Translations: © 2010, 2011,

Ao Wang  and  Eleanor Goodman

Special Thanks to PIW




Editor’s note:

Yan Jun’s “new year” in these two poems

appears to be of the Western – not the

Lunar/Chinese – Calendar.  But we have

posted them this Chinese New Year’s Day

(January 23rd) so as to contrast them

with Mao Zedong’s poem “New Year’s Day”.