Tuesday Mar 28

WongPuiYing Pui Ying Wong was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of a full length book of poetry, Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010), two chapbooks: Mementos (Finishing Line Press, 2007) and Sonnet for a New Country (Pudding House Press, 2008), and her poems have appeared in Crannog (Ireland), Gargoyle, Prairie Schooner, The Southampton Review, Ucity Review, and Valparaiso Poetry Review among others.  Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best of the Web and she was a finalist for the 2011 Sundress Best of the Net editions. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband, the poet Tim Suermondt.

Nan Lian Garden
Diamond Hill         

Year’s end. Musicians perform in the open
and the flutist’s notes exile us momentarily
to the land of the dispossessed.
Still green leaves stir in the breeze,
an elder fusses with his high tech camera.
Foreign maids on holiday pose, spreading
their arms like swans. The Gazebo
of Perfection reflects on the pond,
goldenrod in the shadow’s folds.
Lotus bursts out too, can a little mud diminish it?
On the height sits Shan Mon, the mountain gate,
where the air is chilly but peace awaits,
if only our hearts were purer.
But longing, nemeses of peace, keeps
us at the threshold.
Longing, can we starve it like a beast
till it is no more? The trouble is,
there is no duress in Buddhist poetry,
only sounds of the four winds, snowbirds,
silence of the unclasped hands.
I join the visitors, and start snapping pictures.

The Elephant in the Room

You can sit in the gray all day
and not notice—
he’s claimed a permanent spot.