Friday, October 1, 2021





Bird’s Footprints In Sand


For William Zhou From Jennifer Fossenbell America

Remembering October 17, 2016


to say nothing of the tracks

made by rocks, or small ravines made

by the arrival of delicate green plants

whose leaves we knew

we must leave alone, though

we so wanted to pluck them

out and cradle their impossibility

in our palms


like the invisible bird

we cupped in our imaginings

together with only a few words

of language—

we knew it was small, light

we knew it probably had many names

but among us we didn’t know

one of them


to say nothing of the tracks

made by the Gobi wind

that must blow constant enough

to turn a blue flag to tatters


I ran to it, watched it flutter

ran back, took the foreign sunshine

into my language and felt its heat

in my mouth, left my own footprints

in the sand—

bigger and wider, more alien


we picked stones from the desert

and showed them to each other

admiring colors of blood, flesh, water,

shapes like daggers, organs, sweets

we took home pressed into our hands

making there tiny tracks



Footprints Of A Bird In Sand

              For Jennifer Fossenbell  From William  ZhouChina


With the golden trees following us

We got off the bus and ran into the Gobi

Singing and dancing and shouting

In the desert in the sun in the wind

Searching for strange stones with joy.

Suddenly, an American poet Jennifer Fossenbell found

A line of footprints of a bird imprinted in the sand.

They are smiling, small and fine

Just like flowers opening in the wind.

She took some photos of these footprints.

Watching and studying them,

We discussed the interesting things:

When did the bird walk through?

Is it a boy or a girl?  

Was the bird happy or lonely?

What was it looking for then?

We wanted to know very much

If it knows we are studying it.

We also left footprints in time and space,

But I don't know who will come to study.

Feb 9th, 2018




WILLIAM ZHOU: Published Chinese, English and translated works in literary journals at home and abroad. He has won three National Poetry awards and three international poetry awards. Published four poetry collections. He was invited to attend the World Congress of Poets eight times. Some poems have been translated and published in eight foreign languages. He is now a life member of the World Poet Congress, a member of the Chinese Poetry Society.




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