1 Before me awaits a heap of shapeless days, unseparated atoms capable of endless possibilities, I must seek the best of goodness and live with it. Behind me a distance bridge of leftover days, Separated peaches ripen prematurely without rains, I once traveled in wild dreams and lived with it. When the world turned completely upside down I thought I’d sail to the other side of the ocean Aboard a leaf-raft from the nearest lotus pond; I’d live among wild cherry trees, miles from home, I’d wear a cowboy cap, and a oversized gown dyed chestnut’s yellowish brown colors, Lost, like my ghost-hunting ancestors, heading to the sea of the unknown till I drown. The other shore, The winter be short and swift, summer long and endearing, The autumn amber-hued, dreamy and feminine, The squirrels in their silver fur will fall among falling leaves, like coconut fruits from tropical homeland, always landing precisely in my joyful embraces. 2 The autumn dews will lie upon the grass Like crystal-peals embroidered with white and gold. The misted early mornings will be cold; The sun, which burns like a invincible torch, Melts freshly at night, and make me blush when I put on my translucent chiffon evening dress, my smile and kisses are without worldly shame, and I worship my girlishness as a hero returning, indulging every step in celestial charm and sensuality. Roses abundantly wild, and frogs can live in clover; A barrel of salted herrings lasts a year; The spring arrives before the winter’s over. By February the landscape changes to a vigorous scene, with gentle winds and saplings in their delicate green, mushy and lively, flaming-bright and mirror-clear. 3 When May bestows the colors of a rainbow Above the hills, when every open creek delivers with silver stream from the Earth core, When strawberries go rampant, and the sleek juicy plums lie open to blue Jays’-beak, magical blooms filling my garden and my heart, I shall live well — I shall live very well. The months between the cherries and the Jasmines Are splendid cornucopias which spoil me with Fruits scarlet and purple, fragrance floral and earthy, Then, I chant a siren song from the old fairy tale, Laying languorously while contemplating that magical spell, I might chase after some little naughty kids on horseback, Crossing tranquil riverbank, spirited doves, and canvasback. 4 Down to the marrow of my bones There’s something in this livelihood I adore. I love this beauty, demure, fragile, Of my sweet cottage dwells in pearly pastels. There’s something in my blood that also owns long winters, frosty raindrops decorating days of the mundane, Like the exquisite sour-sweet posh Venetian cookies, an enigma of the contradiction, a synchronous dilemma, pumping fresh air into yearning hearts that fenced with ancient stones. I love those skies, thin blue blended light pink, Those rivulets heavenly poised, cooling my hair freely; I long for a peach-blossom’s breath, with so much beauty to stay, a breath that carries my sorrow in kind, a touch with delight, eyes no longer blind, the other shore, my paradise! If only one can fly! Then I murmured, tentatively asking, ‘what lies in the other side of the ocean?’ ‘America!’ My violin master cried out, ‘Ah, little girl wandering in wild dreams again!’ Ooh, why he must wake me up between blacken plain notes.... I was a happy dreamer!
Lotus ponds, Jasmines, fresh pine trees and coconut fruit, lychees and mango, the sea and the island….. these are precious childhood memories that forever engraved in my blood, living and growing in every cell of my body.
Even years later, when I dream I sometimes travel back to the sun deck which was joined to my bedroom as a young girl, sitting there and watching the vast lotus ponds during summer blooming season. It was those moments during which I felt special and connected to the Divine.
The violin master also enters my thoughts these days, who was a man with great charm, honesty, and courage. He came from a highly esteemed family and his father was one of the most revered Chinese painters in modern art. However, like many others, the father was unjustly prisoned and mother committed suicide during the infamous Culture Revolution. As the youngest son of seven siblings, his characters was extraordinarily brazen and unconventional, yet he was the first and only male adult in my youth who told the truths.
We had wonderful rapport as mentor and pupil. Nevertheless, he was dismissed shortly by my family due to the most absurd reason of him’ being too handsome and misleading’ (my aunt later remarked). His departure was such a shock and lost to me, I never recovered my passions of being an aspiring violinist as I was.
As I pen down this poem, I aim to capture a pleasant snapshot of my early life, a moment during which I wandered in my wild dreams while having the violin lesson. With this poem, I’d also like to pay tributes to my beloved teacher who had planted the seeds of endless possibilities in me.
He became the concertmaster (the 1st chair violinist) in China National Symphony Orchestra some years after we parted.