How trustworthy this ancient flame,these potatoes with fresh mud, these cabbages,the steam from the hot bread,the frost on the radishes.
Now, I'm no longer a strangerto myself,nor is life elsewhere.
I'm tasting what the Buddhist Scripture says: joy.
The sunflower on my apron twists my body like love.How are you, my old sun?
As good as you were in the Agrarian Age?These wisps of smoke came from whose eyes?
I don't like the brisk new age, sun.And this room keeping pace with the world. . .
A gusting echo in the morning dew and my sweat—I lovemy old kitchen that smelled like a farmwith an empty bottle at dusk—I love
the me that sat still on a small stool. [End Page 83]
Na Ye 娜夜 is an ethnic Manchu poet. Her family was from Niaoning province, northeast China, but she grew up in western China. After graduating from Nanjing University, she became a journalist in Lanzhou city, Gansu province.
Ming Di 明迪 is a Chinese poet based in the U.S. She attended Boston College and Boston University, where she taught Chinese. She has published six books of poetry in Chinese along with a collaborative translation, River Merchant's Wife (2012). She co-translated The Book of Cranes by Zang Di (2015) with Neil Aitken, and Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia (2015) with Jennifer Stern, which was a finalist for the 2016 Best Translation Book Award. She edited and co-translated New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry (2013) and New Poetry from China 1917–2017 (2019). In 2013 and 2014, she received Henry Luce Foundation fellowships. A co-founder of Poetry East West journal, she serves as the China editor for Poetry International Rotterdam. She has also translates from English into Chinese, most recently Observations by Marianne Moore (2018).