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RECORDS OF THE ANCIENT TEA-HOUSE TRAIL(茶马古道记--英文版)试读：
He Yongfei was born in March of 1982 in Heqing, Yunnan province. He is a member of the Bai ethnic minority, and is also known by his pen-names, Zen-Buddha and Stupid Little Stone. He is a member of the Chinese Association of Ethnic Minority Writers and of the Yunnan Provincial Writers Association. He was also a scholar participant of the eighth session of the ethnic minority literary writing training at the Lu Xun Literary Institute.
His work has been published in People's Literature, National Literature, The journal of Poetry, The People's Daily, Poem Selection Magazine, Beijing Literature, and The Yangtze River Poetry Journal, among other journals and magazines. In addition, his work has been selected for inclusion in several dozen prestigious anthologies.
He has separately published his own anthologies: Fourleaf Grass, and Dream has no Border. He has also published his long poem, Records of the Tea-Horse Trail, and a collection of prose work entitled Life Returns whence it Came.
In 2015, Records of the Tea-Horse Trail was chosen by the China Writers' Association as a 'core sponsored work' in the 'literature by ethnic minorities' category. It also won the national prize at the Luli awards for poetry, and the 11th Jun Ma prize for literature by ethnic minority writers from all across China.Records of the Ancient Tea-Horse TrailOriginally published in 2015茶马古道记by Yunnan People's Publishing House, YunnanFirst published in Great Britain 2019 by Aurora Publishing LLC215 University Boulevard, Nottingham, NG9 2GJChief editor: Zhang Gaoli and Liu YongchunManaging editor: Fan WeiCopy-editor: Zhang XiankuiCopyright © He YongfeiTranslation copyright © China Translation and Publishing HouseAll rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any other means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publishers.ISBN 978-1-908647-92-4PrefaceThis book is a musclePulled from Time's living bodyIt hangs the high plateau skyOn a corner-pole of historyA hoofprint up thereSoaked up all the swirling weather,All the vicissitudes of human lifeAn azalea has said all there is to sayAbout a thousand years of grief and joy,Sad farewells and joyous reunionsBend down and pick up a song of two halves half sad, half happyOne pure teardropCannot contain range upon range of tall mountainsOne silver hair cannot stem river after long river flowLooking back, winter frost carved deep riftsIn this story's skull's templesSo many voices fell inAnd never climbed back outAnyway, ears are rusted nowIn the vastness of space-timeWho was it that wove their blood waysInto a webAnd kept dredging up sleep-talk and secretsThat once slipped from their waistWipe the sunset glow onceAnd the silhouette of the last horse-caravanAscends heaven's blue domePart OneThousand-year HoofprintsMountains-and-Rivers CodeIn the high mountains, spirits liveOn short slopes, ghosts hideIn long rivers, dragons swimIn little streams, snakes crawlOn sheer cliffs, skulls of old sunsHangIn scree rocks, insects sleepThrough winterLeopards hurtle over snowfieldsTigers lay entrenched in forestsHow is it that TibetansFix their souls?What do Naxi people giveIn return for love?With what do Bai peoplePurify bones?When do cloudsForm battle ranksWhen do the seasonsTurn awayThese are secrets of the high plateauKept in safes among mountains and riversOnce the code's set, the dark nightSends forth stars to cover up the skyThey step up, taking turns to tryCracking the code,But none succeedAnd retreat defeated beyond sunriseAll that torturous searching, but no one realised;The code is horse-teams that move over the landWhen they're keyed into mountains and rivers,The secrets of the high plateauAre no longer secretThousand-year HoofprintsAn eye on history, a flagstone, that never submitted to thunderYet was prized open by the tenderness of a horse's hoofThe days, some fat, some thin; sweet and salty storiesAll stored in a flagstoneAfter this, the ancient trail threading through mountainsNo longer is pale and empty.The plateau's ear, how many honeyed words has it heardFrom the wind's tongue? Even the wind doesn't knowHow many harsh words roared? The flagstone never cared,Never showed weaknessBut it couldn't hold up against tenacious horse-hoofs.The horse-teams' long songs and short sighsDrove away that ancient trail's thousand-year loneliness, silence.No dynasty, no matter how magnificentCan escape that eye's sweep, that ear's hearingUndergrowth is just a façadeBrush it aside, lightly, and you'll seeInside, the sun is pregnant with lightThe moon is tuning its zither strings,No end-noteThe Strange Tale of a Horse-DriverHistory sinks deep, trod underfoot,It stretches longTiger cries flow through blood-waysA figure, strong and stooped like an eagle,Splits open dangerous peaksSplits open flood-watersLifts the horse-team from the river valleyUp to cloud layersWhich startles the sun spirit soIt sweats, coldTowering trees cheer, clapYou can stick a high mountain through a needle's eye,You can truss up a savage beastWith just a white hairBury a poison weed's wicked thoughtsWhere Wisdom's eyes touchPour a bandit's crimesInto the barrel of a gunYell onceAnd unload on the horizonBlack clouds broke into fragmentsUnder a horse's hoofThey went to war with arms baredAnd crushed the dark night outside dawn's walled cityNever againWhat they saw of the worldIs more than stars in the skyFootprints thread themselves togetherThere's enough to wrap round the EarthAll the way roundFace-to-face with an antIt shrinks, turns into a smaller antFace-to-face with a snow-peakIt grows, turns into a bigger snow-peakWhen it spreads its palmsYou know how many colours spring hasHow many flavours to be tasted in summerHow many sounds to hear in autumnHow many ways winter posturesIn the place where seasons switch placesThey have rivers for zither strings thereAnd pluck the mountains greenPluck the sky blue,Pluck girls' hearts redThinking always of each other, no longer can we escapeEach other's dreamsSometimes, the moon is round, sometimes less, but alwaysOf a likeness with hoof-prints, sometimes shallow in the earth,Sometimes deepHoof-prints cement over love fromAnother time, fate that's hard to get unstuckTea-leaf NirvanaGrowing in the bone pilesOf the Farmer God,Distending through Lu Yu's Classic of Tea,Releasing a thousand years of toxic knotsRighteousness, Benevolence! Returned from their graves!Their every blood-vessel coursing into a new, powerful nation!On one side is sky,Another side, earthBetween the two, ten thousand life-forms walkingAn ancient tea tree's deep-seated longingsFold, at first touch of a girl's soft hands,Capitulate sweetlyTo a tea-mountain maidenYield essence, by way of sun, and moonPress it, into her hands,To keep it, for her, in her two spring poolsAll fire can take is a thing's colourThe fragrance remains, lodged in the soulHe of the swollen ego, alone, meets ruin in battleRub the leaves smooth, dry them on racks,Press them flat, pack them in sacksSuch torturePain is the ego, trying to buy itself backIn the world of loveWe have LifeWhy? To uplift our deathsIn the same way, we have deathWhy? To uplift our livesWhen life grows wings,Mountains won't stop itWater won't block itWherever its song driftsThat's where song makes its returnSetting out from where time stopsWarmth of a horse's backContending with wind, contending with rainTalking with blue sky, beside forestsAll of dark night's plots undone in a bonfire,Language differs,From one peopleTo the next,But it's the same spring that dawnsOn all our smiling faces.The steep mountain, head-spinning roadBelow, all the hopes of humankind,Above, summons to palaces in heavenFrom stove to cold storage,From valley trough to mountain peak,What withers and dies? Fear, second guessesWhat flourishes? Yang, bedded under softnessSo many stories sprout from the earthIn horse hoof-printsStories bloom on fingertipsOf the high plateauIn their thousandsAlpine wild-flowers cut figuresAs thin as a smile out of contextBear witness to an era rich as a voiceIn songShiver, sway, tumble downThey're all tests, thought up by godsFate needs us, our support,We hold it uprightWe have answers in our palmsShift the mountainsFrom over our heads to under our feetWatch dawn break free from its shellFury roaring in high floodSnow mountains mutter cursesWild beast savageryGrinding iron bones hard and whiteAll boundaries broken nowAll the world's hate and misunderstandingsStruck from the booksTossed in a clean kettle along with the butter,Mix, and make strange karma, a queer connection,Two fragrances seep all the way through themselvesTwo hearts, no more distance, pillowed between lipsOld man hunger and old man thirst, grow old in the distanceMyriad Buddhas with flowers between fingers,LaughHorses CallingHorse found the purest, most holy white cloudIn all the snowfieldsHe's chewing on it nowSound of hooves, tooJust a matter-of-fact natural processWind knotting his mane with whispersSecretsMasochistic sun chasing its tailFutile, never catching itSee, the horse-whip's overkill nowOnce eternity's whipped good and swollen with welts,That's when the hand that wields the whipEnters its twilight yearsThe direction a river runsTakes up duty of guarding all lifeTo travel from way-up-there high altitude down to the low --That's another kind of climbingHorse burdened with decrees of gods, intentions all spelled-outAnd the sincerely-worded wishes of snow mountainsPacked in saddlebags and put on his backWhen he drinks, he drinks folksongs of the Yarlung-Tsangpo RiverDrinks its unaccompanied rhymes,Takes them into his big belly,Space enough to eat the skyAnd hold it down there.That old road the horse walksIs scattered with heroes' bloodAnd beautiful people's tearsBird cries map the forest's silence,So we know how long it stretchesTiger snarls sound out mountain peaksSo we know how high their pride risesThen horses whinny, and we knowOf joy and sorrow through history,Its height and lengthWho has the power to commandThe crowding mountains here?Only a being who, taking out needlesCan stitch steep-sided canyons shutWho then, has power to speakWith a sky full of starsAnd re-arrange their spread?Only a being who can roll back the black cloudsOnly a horse that's gone up and down snow mountainsCan make it soOn battlefieldsLight on a knife-blade can cut hatred in halfBitter memories can slide down a sword's shadowAnd get left in the sandRun, horse, fly on your four hooves,Make loyalty ring clear under your horse hoovesReally gallop,Pound through the space betweenInvasion and insurrection,Pillage and guard-dutyThe loud cry and the grief-struck wailThere's no way to label right or wrongWhen it's out in front of you, in your eyes'Home' and 'Nation'Two words no-one can pull apartWhite bone flute musicMakes the moon roundBlows lightThrough mountains and riversSpring radiance settling everywhereEmperors and common folk, all alikeBuried in pages of history books, gone yellowThere's nothingSharper than the sharp edge of timeNo obstacle possibleTo its blade's sweepAs it cleaves generations of built-upGratitude and rancour cleanFrom our backboneAnd then cleaves againSwiping power from hands that hold it out flatAnd againCutting down shame and that conviction of injusticeFrom the walls where people hung them in their heartsDusk comes in silence under our watching eyes,Stretches its long neck and swallowsThe final dew-globuled blade of green grassThen throws back its head and hollers to the skyStartling a murder of crowsAnd flees this three-fold realmWitness to a Snow MountainKawagebo Peak, high aboveClumps of chimney smoke in the dust-world belowHigh up where horses dare not announce themselvesloud hooves ringing outBut make themselves small on a pathThat they inch along, quiet and slowThe Snow Mountain Spirit makes food of its beautyFor the feeding of all living thingsDeath is here, for those who think much of themselvesAnd new life, for the humble,Pitch-black hell-realms built out of footprintsIn dirt,Reverence and fear to fill your guts,Snow lotus pokes out of fissures in bonesAnd explodes, their ravishing blossomsIn the eyes of the wicked,A snow mountain appearsAs a sword sharp enoughTo make mud of steel.In the eyes of the pure,A snow mountain appearsAs immaculate white jadeSeeing clear through itselfHorse-teams carry Spring from the river valleyUp, into the belly of the high plateauAnd they carry the entire laughter of a peopleInto the deep-grief eyes of another place's peopleBy decree of the snow mountain,Black night and mad wind yield,To the side of the roadA horse-driver looks up, gazes thereA tear falls clean from his eyeAnd undoes the hard scabOf old enmitiesSnow-light tumbles into earsAnd sprouts there, making nature's own soundsSnow-light tumbles, into eyesAnd sprouts seven-colour rainbowsSnow-light tumbles, into nosesAnd sprouts a hundred sweet smellsSnow-light tumbles into mountain creeksAnd makes hard rocks soft, turns them to fishes,Snow-light tumbles into basketsOn horses' backsAnd wraps runaway souls in a kerchiefBlue like the skyTo an Old Relay PostIn the musculoskeletal high plateauYou are a joint,A node in timeMountains whirl around you,Waters whirl around you,Horse-caravans, whirl around you,Wind whirls around you,Mist whirls around you,Fate whirls around youStill now, some hoof-printsLeft behindSome deep, some shallowDepressions where Spring sighs sank,And stayedAnd Winter lamentsAnd murmurs in the sleep of horse-menAt the relay post,Horse-caravans carried fresh colours awayWith the morning lightAnd brought back aching muscles andDescent of duskThey travelled many roads,Some forked, others straightAnd gathered many strange voices,Many strange storiesBy the fire-side, under the moonShifting their shouldersThe horse-men unload heavy burdensFrom their hearts,Raise glasses and drink downThe same old yearnings for homeThe relay post's still there,But the horse-caravans went off in the distanceAnd never came backThe old building got refurbishedAnd now they want to sellThe old feeling of the placePock-marked as it isAnd etched all over with wrinklesHorse cries sound in the skies of historyWaking old nightmares in the gapsBetween flagstonesBugs hiding someplace beyond the dark nightStop singingAnd start feeding on dim spiritsThat filled the lonely streetNature's ChildrenWind blows wrinkles into the high plateau's foreheadBut wind can't wrinkle their deep-held convictionsAnd the light in their eyes,Bright like clear spring waterSuppose the tea-horse's trail's a stringAs in, a string-instrumentThen, horses and mules are notes in its musicHands down, Between all earth and heavenThey're the most distinguished musical mastersFor them, mountain flowers open earlyFor them, creeks kick up a commotionSpring grows dense in their footstepsTheir heads rise higher than all the great mountainsHolding a leaf in their lips,They blow out all lonelinessAll troubles of the heart and mindDark cloud falls in the canyonThen rain flushes cloud outThe birds stop singingFeeling ashamedAnd turn their backs on river-flow and timeAnd drive the horse-caravans up into cloudsUp high where the spirits areThen crunch bitter tears in their beaks,Swallow, or spit out of the mortal worldThen stand around like eagles at cliff-edgesRain falls hard, they snap raindrops' bonesMake a crossing out of lightning, a high bridgeTo pass over Death's bridged-finger plotsEven if in the end they fallSomewhere in the mountains and fieldsThey push down the dark nightUnder the weight of falling bodiesSo that those who come down the path afterMay walk more freelyAn Ode to the Absolute Grit of Horse-CaravansHigh plateau, like a stovetopWhere lightning, rain and wind meltAnd become each otherAnd smelt life until its colour turnsTo pale green of ancient copper,Like the dead sun's roaming soulUnblinking horse-teams walk steadyIn strong horse bodies on bones they made brightAnd hard, with the touch of sharp rocks from the heights,River waves full of wrath,Illness, catastrophe, heart-pangs of the displacedFor hearth and home, far awayHorses that move like snakesFinding the way through thorns and fogHorses like eagles, cutting to the quickTraversing cliffs and black cloudsHorses with unbelievable intuition,Foresight of the spiritsSteering clear of the pitiless sunAnd places where mortals should not treadThey coil rivers round their flanksdrive mountains under their hoovesMeeting with evil, they fight with every breathMeeting with grace, they open their heartsResolute, they can bend tigers to their willAnd the dark night.Tender, their softness melts young women's heartsTheir blood is half ice, half seething flameUnflinching horse-teams, their hooves poundThe drum-skin of their eraIn their hoofprints, villages and even whole townsTake root and growThe noble spirit and dazzling culture of many peoplesTake root and growSlight refrain of whinnies – a horse,In the ears of history, and a snatch of a horse-man'sHummed tune as he drives the horsesFeed these sounds to the plateauAnd just watch - poverty's reins releaseFrom River Valley to the Top of a Snow MountainFire on the high plateau!Fire tumbling down the river valleyAnd turns into summerOn a snow mountain peakThe sky shivers, and the lines of its shiveringConverge and become winterAn ancient road ties two seasons togetherOr, you could say --Two seasons tie the ancient road togetherThey square up to fight,Divided by the sky's gulfNobody losesNobody winsTree soldiers charge up the mountainNumbers thinning on the high slopesThen, it's too high, they're all laying on the groundA huge boulder charges down the mountainLosing mass the lower it fallsFinally, it falls in the river and sinks to the bottomScreams and terrible howls flattenSwathes of flowers and grassesFish in the river want to climb the mountainTo escape summer's heatMud on the mountain top wants to make itTo the river valley, to soak in warm wavesAnd open long-frozen pressure pointsFish and mud pity each other, envy each otherAnd both so helpless,They'll never get free of destiny's open palmWhere they sitClinging to the same ancient road,They weep through the nightHorse-teams pick a way through the battlefieldWalking between spirits and earthly lifeThey bring spring colours to winterCool breezes to summerWarmth of the hearth-fire to the spiritsBuddha Sutras to the ten thousand living thingsThey walk between white and black,Between good and evil,Between life and deathThe horse-teams walk away from river valleysTowards snow mountain peaks,From one implacable foeTo another implacable foeAs they climb higher, they dig outClothes they took off beforeAnd put them back onBut it's hard to re-clothe yourself withYouthStrengthAcute vision to move through objectsThat fate peeled from your body long agoWith a backward grab5000 metres Above Sea-level and CountingTigers and leopards pauseIn a low-down place,In the world of menGrasses and trees pauseBeyond the zone of no-life-permittedThe sunlight coolsThe wind's like a razor bladeIt shaves away skin's sole layerOf bodily warmthIt shaves away the pride that grows in bonesBut the rocks are differentRocks rise in rebellionScale the plateau's highest placesAnd throw an invitation to war downTo the high, distant sky and the mad snowWild, unkempt, and sorrowfulRock, colour never fading, armour for heroesA bird is aloft at 5000 metresIts flying wings still lowerThan a horse's hoof-printHorse-caravans found passage throughThe seasons' joys and fits of rageFound passage throughBlacks and whites of fateThey were ready to dieFighting precipitous cliffs andDark churning watersTreading the lonely immensity of5000 metres high, still not done walking,Higher, stillReaching the top, the narrow passBreath drawn out raggedThen next moment cut shortcut short and draw breath out againuntil they defeat altitude sicknessand the mad cackling black cloudsOther things live at 5000 metres