Showing posts from June, 2019

From I won’t let you go by Rabindranath Tagore

From I Won’t let you go
by Rabindranath Tagore *

Beside the door, wrapped in her thoughts, there sat
My daughter, four years old. On other days
She’d have had her bath before this, and her eyes,
Before she’d swallowed scarce two mouthfuls of
Her mid-day rice, been shut in sleep. Today
Her mother had not seen to her: even now
She had not bathed or eaten, but like a shadow
hugged my steps all this time, watching each move
With mute unblinking eyes. Worn out at last,
She now sat silently beside the door
With who knows what intent: and when I said
‘I’m leaving, little mother,’ with sad eyes
And pale look answered, ‘I won’t let you go.’
She sat where she was, neither clutched my hand
Nor shut the door; only declared the right
Born of her hearts’s love: ‘I won’t let you go.’
Yet the time came to an end, and she, alas,
Could not but let me.

                                 O my foolish girl,
Who are you? Where could you have drawn such strength
To say so boldly, ‘I won’t let you go’?
Whom in…

Photography: In and Through a Space

Staying the night at Wang Changling's retreat*
by Chang Jian

The clear stream is immeasurably deep;
Where you live as a hermit there is only a lonely cloud.
At the edge of the pines a sliver of moon is showing,
Its limpid light still shinning there for you.
Shadows of flowers sleep under your thatched roof;
Moss grows in veins over your peony courtyard.
I'm going to take my leave of the world, like you,
And join the phoenixes and cranes in the western hills.

*From Three Hundred Tang poems. Translated by Peter Harris. Everyman's Library Pocket Poets 

--- JAO

Opinion: Cultivating our Values in our Communities

One of the frequent complaints I receive during art workshops with second and third graders is “(S)he copied me!” To which I say, “It is his compliment to you.” Or “Ah, it looks like you have inspired her.” These words help smoothen certain feathers, but not all. Of course, they are right, the adorable little monsters: we imitate one another. But I have not always recognized how potent this behavior was until one afternoon: It was a summer day and nosing through my window I noticed two women on their way out. They were both wearing blue jeans and black tees which amused me; why must they match, I wondered? Well, a few days later I caught myself wearing…guess? A pair of blue jeans and a black tee!It felt incredibly scary when I understood why I was dressed as such. I don't often wear jeans pants, nor do I frequently wear black tees, but here I was subconsciously copying something that didn’t really appeal to me. This experience led me to understand that I have and will always imita…

Feature: An Interview with The Malahat Review

Oi You!

The Malahat Review recently published a new poem of mine, "Conversing with the Farmers." It is followed with an interview in which I share a bit on my writing process, what influences my work and the inspiration for the poem. Do find the interview on the the magazine's website. And I'm  happy to hear your thoughts should you be inclined to share them.
Thanks for your interest and time! ^_^