Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Poems by the Chinese Concrete Plant Worker Shu Ting (Female)

This entry contains nutrition for the soul; it contains several poems by Shu Ting, a female concrete plant worker. 

Maple Leaf
Here is a heart-shaped leaf
Picked up by a gentle hand...

On a very special hillside
At the edge of a special wood.

But still the leaf reminds me
Of a twilit avenue,
A mind crowded with thoughts
Released on a gentle breath
That scattered from my shoulders
The rays of the setting sun.

Again, on a special evening
That touch alights on me
Having grown heavy with meaning.
This time I can't deny it,
Deny that intimacy.

Now, when the wind rises
I am prompted to turn my head
And listen to you, leaf,
As you quiver on your twig.

My dream is the dream of a pond
Not just to mirror the sky
But to let the willows and ferns
Suck me dry.
I'll climb from the roots to the veins,
And when leaves wither and fade
I will refuse to mourn
Because I was dying to live.

My joy is the joy of sunlight.
In a moment of creation
I will leave shining words
In the pupils of children's eyes
Igniting golden flames.
Whenever seedlings sprout
I shall sing a song of green.
I'm so simple I'm profound!

My grief is the grief of birds.
The Spring will understand:
Flying from hardship and failure
To a future of warmth and light.
There my blood-stained pinions
Will scratch hieroglyphics
On every human heart
For every year to come.

Because all that I am
Has been a gift from earth.

Fairy Tales
You believed in your own story,
then climbed inside it--
a turquoise flower.
You gazed past ailing trees,
past crumbling walls and rusty railings.
Your least gesture beckoned a constellation
of wild vetch, grasshoppers, and stars
to sweep you into immaculate distances.

The heart may be tiny
but the world's enormous.

And the people in turn believe--
in pine trees after rain,
ten thousand tiny suns, a mulberry branch
bent over water like a fishing-rod,
a cloud tangled in the tail of a kite.
Shaking off dust, in silver voices
ten thousand memories sing from your dream.

The world may be tiny
but the heart's enormous.

About the Book
I copied Ting's work from The Vintage Book of Contemporary World Poetry, edited by J.D. McClatchy. 

About the Picture
This picture was taken of flowers in a garden bed in Chicago.

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