Pui Ying Wong

May 26, 2017 Wong Pui Ying


After Jim Moore


If like a Buddhist I accepted the world
as it was given, without judgement,

does it mean I would remain unmoved
by any atrocities, any tragedies?

Karma gives birth to snakes, swine,
songbirds. Step out of one life

and come back as another,
a woman with an enigmatic smile

was once a man, a pauper or a prince,
the possibilities are endless.

A girl from the old neighborhood
is murdered, and before death, tortured.

In The Metropolitan Museum
Buddha turns inward, eyes downcast.

 “Turn around! The bitter sea knows no bound.”
A shout from the dark that says

what’s bitter is not life, only emotion.
But Issa, practitioner of detachment, too, doubted.

What are words if they can’t sing
dirges, when even the crows are crying out.

Pui Ying Wong was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of a full length book of poetry Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010), two chapbooks: Mementos (Finishing Line Press, 2007), Sonnet for a New Country (Pudding House Press, 2008) and her poems have appeared in Angle Poetry (U.K.), The Brooklyner, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Crannog (Ireland), Desde Hong Kong: poets in conversation with Octavio Paz, Chameleon Press (Hong Kong), Pirene’s Fountain, Prairie Schooner, The Southampton Review and 2Bridges Review among others. She lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband.