Lian Zi Liu

Two poems

The Explanation of A Lunar Eclipse

For Wang Zhen Yi*

Our speaking is deliverance of a scholar.
Then, less not, a woman.
Angle of Pythagoras sharp,
how equinoxes move.
Legacy on a string,
refrain of home,
son in mirror.
Silver setting moon


moon. Setting silver
mirror in sun.
Home of refrain —
string on a legacy,
move equinoxes, howl!
Harp, Pythagoras of angels.
Woman. A no less than
Scholar. Our deliverance Is speaking our

*Wang Zhen Yi, an 18th century Chinese mathematician,
astronomer, and poet. She died at age 29, left no children.
She championed openly for gender equality in her lifetime.



Unreliable Bystanders

— A Villanelle
Echoed were the reveries, escaping through the gate.
Unreliable bystanders whispered premonition —
We pedaled on these memories, about to be erased.

In ‘89, I was two.  Bicycles rushed past the place
where the first day of the hunger strike asked for absolution.
Echoed were the reveries, escaping through the red gate.

In ‘99, we might have believed the daily spinning takes
of propaganda so set against the so called evildoers’ indoctrination.
We peddled on these memories, made to be erased.

In ‘09, we’ve since learned not to meddle in each other’s race.
Playing tourists in the nest built on the hubris of the revolution,
echoed were the reveries, escaped through the gate.

Could we ask for our tongues back or is it too late,
though could we comment above the firewall without repercussion —
Bellowing are the memories, afraid to be erased.

They scooped the body up like a puddle of jam, in my mother’s face,
and stuffed it in their backpack, was a quiet dissolution.
Echoing are the reveries, escaping through the gate,
We pedal on these memories, made to be erased.

In memory of those who stood and lost 6/4/1989


Previously published in The Remembered Arts Journal.



Lian Zi LiuLian Zi Liu was born in Beijing, and grew up in a family of musicians.  She moved to California at the age of nine, and now lives in Pacifica CA with her husband and daughter. A designer by trade and an artist by heart, she turned to writing after the birth and open heart surgery of her daughter.  She’s been attending poetry workshops at the Writing Salon in San Francisco CA.



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