From My Commonplace Book - 49

In the Field

by J. E. Wei

The bungalow is empty now. The clock swings in silence. (I see Grandpa taking me to the urine bucket on a mossy floor, where bamboo curtains moldered.) The bigger room of the first uncle is filled with webs; over there, the second uncles smells dusty; the third room (used to be a pig sty) was built for the third uncle, now a monk in the mountains.

Outside the door, dogs hear the squeak. You ride me on the bike, like those mornings when we had shadowsdont be sad the rice paddies are full of weeds. In the field, fireflies shine with your favorite stars; they are friends saying good-bye. They call out your name: Peace Pine. Peace Pine. It isnt far and let me walk with youcross the bridge of orchids, So Long, my pine, So Long, my pine.

J. E. Wei teaches at St. John's University in Taiwan. At one time (while he pursued his Ph.D.?) he taught at the State University of New York at Binghamton. "In the Field, " which first appeared in Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetices, was chosen for inclusion in Best American Poetry 2010.


That's charming Merry - notions of going back (never I'm told but carry the happy personal memories on Peace Pine etc. being like old friends). Reminds me of the final chapters of Gunter Grass ? - Siddharta.

How's your moss garden growing now ?
Good Morning/Afternoon, Enid.

I thought I read somewhere that J. E. Wei said that "Peace Pine" was his grandfather's name, as it was translated to English from Chinese. But that explanation doesn't appear in Sentence, and I can't find it online. Possibly the explanation is in the anthology Best American Poetry 2010; I don't own a copy but may have borrowed it from the library. Or did I dream J. E. Wei said that?
I'd say dream on as does J E Wei - happy thoughts of his grandfather then. And laying (for oneself) a past we can only recall in the present accept (whatever) then move on as he recognises. No baggage then.

We've 5 hours difference here so a very good morning to you Merry and your joyous smile on PR. And lots more poetry for us to enjoy please.
Hello again, Enid.

The moss garden is growing very well, thank you. I brought it in from the back step, and it is now on the sill of the bathroom window with my collection of bathtub toys (small yellow ducky, James Brown celebriduck, pair of identical squeaky clean nuns, trout, and, the latest addition, handsome Viking ducky). I read that moss prefers a gentle mist of water several times a week rather than a soaking, so I now have a small spray bottle just for the moss.

I had picked up a nice collection of lichen-covered sticks that had fallen near the backdoor and had them propped up against the steps and rail. I contemplated putting them in a terrarium to watch, but while I was lost in contemplation, the landlord, in a fall clean-up frenzy, made off with the sticks.

Oh, yes, you asked for a cup of tea. Would you like a cup of Raspberry Zinger?
Merry, I so enjoyed all your bathroom ornaments and must admit to never having met a James Brown "celebriduck". Having well travelled New Hampshire I can honestly say it was never pointed out to me, but sounds delightful. All I view here are two shells and ten toes. I hope the Landlord (we have here - much chopping down tried - now sees reason - green is better) has done with too much tidying. Here's to a cup of Raspberry Zinger, winter moss garden and easier days.

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