"Being a non-native speaker of English, a Chinese born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the United States, and a resident of Wales from January 2008 to May 2015, I somehow find my adventure in English poetry a most fascinating experience. I suppose the rich legacy of Chinese poetry which I have inherited, and the Welsh bardic tradition that I was exposed to have certainly played a part in forging my creative urges. Now looking back, it all started as an escapade."
Sau Y. Chan
陳守仁（Sau Y. Chan）
Sau Y. Chan was born, raised and educated in Hong Kong. He later went to school in USA, worked in Hong Kong and lived in Talgarth from 2008 to 2015. He is now a writer based in Hong Kong. This, his first poem collection, is dedicated to Antonia Spowers, Jenni Rule, Roy Powell and Peter Brooke.
Not only that none of the poems in the present collection has been published, I am also a “poet” who has never published any poem, though a number of my pieces were recited or sung in the meetings of Swans of Usk, the poetry group based in Brecon of mid-Wales, to which I belonged.
I wish to thank the late Hilary Scott-Archer and my good friend Peter Brooke for helping me through the revision of this collection; without them, it would not have come into existence. I am also indebted to my other friends Jenni Rule, Roy Powell, Antonia Spowers, Patricia Evans, Mike Scott-Archer, and Chris Meredith who have read or heard some of the drafts and have given me inspiring suggestions and encouragement, and to Amy who was always the first person to read the early drafts and to realise my poetic writings were worthwhile. Now looking back, it all started as an escapade.
Other than being my good friends, Jenni, Roy and Peter have been my poetry tutors, Antonia was our former neighbour and one of our first friends in Talgarth who always took care of us, cooked us good meals, allowing us to share her bathroom whenever we had a boiler problem, reading my manuscripts, and introducing her friends to us. And Mike and Hilary were generous hosts of our poetry group meetings.
Being a non-native speaker of English, a Chinese born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in the United States, and a resident of Wales from January 2008 to May 2015, I somehow find my adventure in English poetry a most fascinating experience. I suppose the rich legacy of Chinese poetry which I have inherited, and the Welsh bardic tradition that I was exposed to have certainly played a part in forging my creative urges. Now looking back, it all started as an escapade.
I would also thank my friend Chor Koon-fai for the translation of 5 of my English pieces into Chinese. Above all, I must offer my heartfelt gratitude to Peter Jay who has edited and commented on 5 of the most favourite pieces of my own. Also, my thanks to Suk Lee who introduced Mr Jay to me.
The present collection contains 60 poems written from 2011 to 2019, 15 in Chinese and 45 in English. Also there are my English translation of 7 classical and contemporary Chinese poems, and Mr Chor’s Chinese translation of 5 of my English pieces.
May I thank all those friends and people who have posed, though inadvertently, for my portrayal.
2. Carol of Blaenavon
3. Janet Dancing in Silence
4. On Her Return
6. Dear Ma and Ba
7. Summer Daydream
8. Crying Reaper
11. Bright Stars of Talgarth
12. High Street in a Welsh Village
13. The Smallest Room
16. Echo my Words
17. In that Remote and Distant Place
18. See You Next Life
19. Lullaby for Jenni's Birthday
21. Sound Sounds Slow
22. The Scent of Shadow
23. A Journey of Breathing
24. Roy the Painter-cum-Dancer
25. Bell Rings in Rains
27. Tea Dance at Upper Chapel
28. Beth in a Nutshell
29. In Retrospect
30. Get Ready for a Pull
32. That Chinese Girl of Narberth
33. On Joan's Birthday
34. Ken Bowen the Firewood Man
37. Lonely Traveller
38. Nine Pounds Forty
39. Lorac's Rough Game
40. Captain Morgan
42. Remarkable Episodes
44. Cindy Wearing Tattoos
47. Emma of Honey
48. Reading History
52. Things I Can't Do
54. Tears and Petals Rustle
55. Love Transcends Words
56. Dear V
61. Marymount Girl
62. Maybe I'm Still May
64. Ever and Ever
65. Not Because We Couldn't
67. Wooing Song
11th December 2012,
Revised 12th August and 4th July 2016
Here lie women with their little secrets,
Men and their daring tales.
Under the sculpture, plinths and masonry,
Are yesterday’s winners and heroes.
The headstones are icy cold,
Whether they are dry or bedewed.
Some proudly stand straight,
A few solemnly tilt.
While your eyes turn away,
One shifts its angle in stealth.
Some playfully blur their inscriptions
With a thin cobwebby curtain
Raised by impish Angels
Who can’t restrain their giggles.
While you rub your eyes,
Quietly they scatter and gambol.
Buried too are the fantasies of boys and girls,
And infants’ mumbles and gabbles.
Glistening in the air are the shards
Of their parents’ broken hearts.
The everlasting mist is the vapour
Of all their tears and expectations.
Look! Husbands have become canopies,
Wives are their leaves.
Daughters wear petals of all colours,
Sons make the weeds and grass.
In fact they haven’t died,
This is the place of new lives!