Jing Jing Yang

Jing Jing Yang is the first immigrant Cupertino Poet Laureate (2020 – 2022), a grand winner of the city-wide Celebrate Creativity Poetry Contest 2017, with her poem “Logograph” in memory of her grandfather, Yang Shuda (the master philologist of Chinese language and a mentor of Mao Zedong). Her English and Chinese writings have been featured in Celebrate Creativity Anthology, Redwood Forest, City Headline, Cupertino Scene, and Changsha Nightly Post. Born in Changsha, China, she lives in San Jose, California. Her first bilingual poetry collection, Flowers In My Dreams, is available through Amazon. 

Poems on Belonging

LOGOGRAPH

A Tribute to my Grandpa - Yang, Shuda*
 
grab a handful of Chinese Characters
toss them into heat
erupt them into lava &
cast them into my poetry
black script on white paper
brewing & diffusing the steam
flaming in red hot orange
whilst
our ancestors sharpen the stone
paint their fairy tales
engrave their memory
on turtle shells
in cattle bones
scattered with sparkle splash
 
scripts started
before time
blistering
as blood and sweat
…
with a stem 
or a pebble
it rocks wolf skins 
'n' rolls into Human History

*YANG, SHUDA (1885-1956), a Chinese Language Philologist, Mao Zedong’s mentor, and friend. He devoted his life to pursuing academic service for his country. He read Oracle scripts on stone and bones. Today, his study is still the mastermind of Chinese writing exegetical, phonology, grammar, rhetoric, and so on.

中國字
 - 向祖父楊樹達¹先生致敬
 
抓一把中國字放進熔爐裡
烤成岩漿
把他們鑄進我的詩裡
黑字白底
紅通通的
冒著熱氣
就像
古人磨尖石頭
在龜殼上
在牛骨裡
火星四濺地
畫著她們的童話
刻著他們的記憶
 
文字
亙古以來
都是熱的 -
鮮血和汗水
...
一根樹枝
一塊石頭
歷史
搖滾
豺狼獸皮
楊樹達(1885年6月1日-1956年2月14日),字遇夫,號積微,男,湖南長沙人,中國語言文字學家。中華民國教育部部聘教授、中央研究院院士、中國科學院院士、甲骨文專家, 毛澤東的良師益友。 毛尊稱其為“遇夫先生”, 師生倆曾聯袂進京請願, 反對北洋政府。 解放後一直保持書信來往。

WHERE IS MY HOMETOWN

My heart is chasing my hometown
where I was born, raised, and moved around.
Now the skyscrapers are planted on the ground
near the Magnolia blossom in our backyard.
The neighbourhood aunties used to knock at our door
asking Grandma if they could have some.
The glorious petals and dark green leaves were placed
in the ceramic rice bowls, filled with
crisp, cold water from the community well.
The delicate fragrance makes my childhood memory profound.

Where is my hometown?
Where is that little wonton shop
Grandma used to walk her 3-inch-lotus feet with her cane,
the hand-made wonton soup she ordered.
was the yummiest treat!
Where is the “Dongsheng” Photo Shop Mom brought brother and me,
and where is the theatre Dad taking me
on his old “Phoenix” bicycle in the wicker seat?
He paddled all the way
through the northern district to the “Silver Palace” theatre
for us to see
Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Time”.
Many years later
I rode my own bike with him
to see “Roman Holiday”,
that was the last time
we watched a movie together
in my hometown

Where is my hometown?
Where is my hometown?
The old streets and houses are erased by time.
My inheritance from Mom and Dad is my accent,
enduring like the Magnolia tree, still stands.
Their roots incubate courage, my strength expands.
Half of my life divided between the two countries,
my hometown seeded my identity
and my adopted homeland sprouted the liberty with one forever stamp.

H o m e
is where my heart is.
I carry it always
till the end of time.
我的家鄉在哪裡

我的心一直在追蹤家鄉
我出生,成長和几次搬遷的故园
遍地摩天大樓耸立 离我家咫尺之遠
那是當年街坊唯一白色玉蘭盛开的地方
隔壁常伯媽曾敲响我家的大门 跟奶奶討要
绿叶簇拥着潔白的花瓣
浸泡在盛着井水的陶瓷饭碗
幽幽的清香环绕着我的童年

我的家鄉在哪裡
营盘街口上小小的餛饨店上哪兒了
奶奶曾拄着拐杖踮著三寸金蓮帶我去逛街
祖孙俩总是兴致勃勃大快朵颐唆完最后一口汤
和她老人家在一起的美滋美味让我终身难忘
那个東昇照相館呢
每逢节假日生日媽媽總帶著我和弟弟去照相
還有那兩間戲院-
小時候我坐在爸爸單車前一個藤編小座椅裡
他踏著那輛老鳳凰載著我 穿梭大街小巷
去城北銀宮看卓別林的“摩登時代”
十多年後我們興致勃勃各蹬各的自行車
奔向“羅馬假日”
那是我們父女俩在家
觀看的最後一場電影

我的家鄉在哪裡
我的家鄉在哪裡
雖然老街舊房紛紛消逝
但爸媽我留給我的一口鄉音
象那棵純正挺立 不朽的玉蘭
他們的根基給我勇氣去陌生國度闖蕩
前半輩子我分別居住在兩大國度 -
桑梓故土播種了我血肉
移植家園給我萌芽的自由蓋上永遠的郵章

我親愛的家鄉
妳在哪裡啊在哪裡
其實 妳一直
宿在我心裡
守在我身邊
地老天荒
海枯石爛

09/27/2019

Copyright © 2022 by Jing Jing Yang. Used with permission of the author.