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  • A Potted Plant, and: May, and; The Pacific Ocean
  • Ling Yu (bio)
    Translated by Michelle Yeh (bio)

a potted plant

Those things that have nothing to do with the heart—are no better than a potted plant

Those that have something to do with the heart—are no better than a tree

Tree is Godmotherhometownan abbreviation of these words

I pass by a tree in a villageI ask it—"Do you have God?"

It says: "What is God?""A widower who loses things endlessly""Like me""Like me, howling in a low, dry voice"

It smiles, a bitter smilethen we turn silent [End Page 70]


Green lions are climbing mountainsnumerous green lions are climbing mountainsnewly bornwith bushy manes

They are determined to sit quietly in the mountainspractice meditation and maybe become vegetarians too

Wildness untamedthey want to race with springtimeto see who can run faster from one peak to another

"Wait for me! I am wearing pinkand it's slowing me down"

the pacific ocean

we are in the process of losing. in the ocean. carrying all the thingswe have lost. flowing to the east. to the other shoreof glamor

feelings. beliefs. memories. drifting farther and farther away—

that's when our tears will pour like rain. insignificantthey will flow into the mighty ocean. then we'll turn around. somedaywe will turn around. to welcome what flows from another place—

feelings. beliefs. memories. and we will feel anexcitement. our blood will surge anew. and we'll be astonished by the secretly replaced moment. how. that forgotten by time

by thenI will have a sonyou will be. on my breastsucking [End Page 71]

Ling Yu

Ling Yu 零雨 was born in Taiwan and has published four books of poetry. She received her master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She resides in Taipei and Yilan and teaches at National Yilan Institute of Technology.

Michelle Yeh

Michelle Yeh is Distinguished Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Davis. She is the co-editor and co-translator of No Trace of the Gardener: Poems of Yang Mu (1998) and Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu (2018). Her other publications include Modern Chinese Poetry: Theory and Practice Since 1917 (1991); Anthology of Modern Chinese Poetry (1994); and Frontier Taiwan: An Anthology of Modern Chinese Poetry (2014).



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