Befall

降臨

 

Under the Sassafras tree shade, I stand

我站在黃樟樹底下

Its handy leaves wave to me in the breeze

樹葉在微風中向我揮著手

Reddish bark with furrowed trunk

紅色的樹皮與充滿皺褶的樹幹

I touch its rough tough bark

我伸手摸它粗糙的樹皮

As I watch an ant crawl in a crevice

同時看著一隻螞蟻爬向皺摺裡

I see this scene and I ponder

我看得想得入神

When yellow leaf falls upon my head

當黃色的樹葉掉在我的頭上

I reach and touch its smooth thin plane

我伸手摸它平滑又薄的表面

Before returning it to its journey

在它回到它的旅途之前

Then another leaf makes a drop

另一片樹葉又落下

Missing me this time by just a hair

只差一點就掉在我身上

What chances we take- one and all!

我們抓住的機會 – 不論是一次或全部!

Before the next leaf makes its fall

能在下一片樹葉落下前

 

Paul M. Beck

September 2015

Chinese Translation by Tiffany Liao,  July 2016




This one little bird sends songs up high

Listen

To each passing note as it wanders by

 

Sweet soothing sound that breaks winter’s fast

Listen

To the quiet one who sings at last

 

To those who pass and do not hear

Listen

You miss the best of springtime cheer

 

Bright red bird you treat us so well

Listen

Your voice strikes like a dinner bell



“Birdie, Birdie,” you seem to say to me

Listen

My ears follow your pitch from tree to tree

 

So when you stop singing and fly away

Listen

I am left in the  silence of dismay

 

Paul Beck, April 2015

THE LONELY BENCH

The path was well worn with passing feet
From people who found time to explore
I followed it far and what a treat
My travel proved a most happy chore

Looking down at the valley below
Green and devoid of the people kind
Far from anyone that I might know
I found a well-worn trail to unwind

A Black-capped Chickadee heard my steps
Flew in tree with a “Chick-a Dee Dee”
Soulful song within my mind I kept
As I watched it move closer to me

From twigged perch it made a short flight
To a bench wedded with unkempt ground
Showing off feathers of black and white
It perched a moment and looked around

Then scurried off in flittering flight
Leaving rooted bench alone once more
To wait for another to alight
And sit down upon its well-worn core

How lonely this bench appeared to be
By itself in this faraway place
Arms held forward, it beckoned to me…
“Come join me and rest upon my space”

This invitation made a good fit
I leaned over and dropped my backside
Pleased to find this quiet place to sit
A most peaceful place to think and bide

Out of the woods flopped right beside me
Brave friend Chickadee with more to say
Until something made her lift and flee
For some unknown reason, far away

At this moment, bench and I were one
As we looked out at the meadow field
Shared in kind the same rays of the sun
And felt the breezes that wind did yield

No conversation came between us
We just knew each other’s needs
And without causing a rumpus
I left lonely bench to mind the weeds

FALLEN LEAVES

The fallen leaf is but reborn
A gayer freer thing.
Without stem anchor it courts the wind
And flies with it
No longer coy and Branch-bound.

Its green dress gone it wears a rainbow,
A wingless bird of paradise.
In its new life it speaks
With gustful rustle.

At last it joins the restless myriads
On the ground.
They chorus an invitation
To heavy feet and troubled mind
Come walk ankle-deep and forget the years.
Come walk in leaves and find youth's dream.

Leaf romp

跳躍的樹葉

 

The wind tosses the branches

風使樹枝搖擺

Leaves cut loose spiraling down

樹葉因此螺旋落下

Red, yellow orange and brown

紅, 黃, 橘, 和褐色

 

To the ground of grass and mud

落在長滿草和淤泥的地上

Splattered about in rainbow collage

彩虹般散落成一幅畫

Into their final resting lodge

成為它們最終棲息的小屋

 

Where they stay for time intact

時間在它們休息時靜止了

A carpet of wonder and glory

像是一張精彩光輝的地毯

Piled marvel of nature’s story

堆起自然界的故事與奇蹟

 

On their layered remains, I shuffle

我在它們遺留的身影上來回

Leaving crunching sounds, a wake

腳步發出的清脆聲響

With every rustled step I take

每一步都像是對它們的弔念

 

If only you could hear me pass!

若你能夠聽到我經過的聲音有多好!

What fun to romp this leafy sea

在這落葉形成的海洋中跳耀

Why not come along with me?

何不和我一起來?

 

Paul Beck, November 2015

Chinese Translation: Tiffany Liao

 

HOUSEKEEPING

From the top of a crab apple tree

A House Wren chattered incessantly

He had spotted me passing close by

To this territory that he plied

Up and down the branches he scurried

All the while singing his song of worry

I watched his performance much amused

Enjoying the antics of this muse

Until I spotted the source of his woe

For he thought me a dangerous foe

Across the field in a blue bird house,

Emerged the brown feathers of his spouse

She quickly flew to join her dear peer

Warbling her own warning to my ear

How cheerfully they did make their case

I was torn to stay or give them space

Wishing to be a passing neighbor

I moved away from their house labor

GRAND OAK


An acorn fell on woodland floor
A miracle from autumn’s store

On a warm spring day, the shell broke
Where inside a sprout awoke

It lifted up its fragile body
Chose the sun as its new hobby

Searching roots crawled to fertile ground
Taping water from soil found

Limbs arched like suspension bridges
Developed bark wrapped trunk with ridges

In passing time it climbed quite high
Until it ruled the forest sky

Grandest prize of wood oaks found
A sturdy home to thrive moist sound

To it the animals soon sought
A fortress place to build their cots

Like birds who formed a comfy nest
And Squirrels who found their food and rest

Ants climbed high to reach its leaves
The spiders built a web to please

Everything here seemed just so swell
But danger in the woodland dwelled

A thunderstorm brewed from the west
Lightening split apart oak tree crest

Weakening its strength by many degrees
As it succumbed to a disease

Years later, another storm passed
In what would prove to be its last

With snapping crash the oak did break
Giving the earth a barking quake

 

Leader of the oaks crushed to rot
In this the bottom woodland plot

Sorrowed ending for our grand friend
But its spirit would never end

Just a stump of a greater plan
Left there for us to understand

West wind had tossed its acorns far
And our grand oak passed on its star