The Urbanized Villages in the South Jiangsu Province
--Xu Ming-de, translated from the Chinese by Ziqing Zhang
nor any smoke rising from kitchen chimneys around
the tree branches in the morning or evening;
nor the crowing of cocks or the barking of dogs,
nor the croaking of frogs or the shrilly chirping of cicadas.
The soft sand paths with exuberant grass
are replaced by the dead-faced asphalt roads
and the ringing of cattle bells by the honking
of cars, buses or trucks, and wheat fields cut into
small yards of flowers in the comfortable home communities.
This is the modern life we enjoy in the urbanized countryside.