My Story of Bottled Water

The Story of Bottled Water (2010)

Last week, when I watched “Water on the Table” on TV Ontario, I was very touched.
“Bottled water” vs “Tap Water” has been debated for a while, yet I failed to see the serious consequences until last week.
A picture is worth a thousand words. So they say. As I followed the film, the beautiful cascade of waterfalls reminded me of the great joys when we splashed in and drank from spring fountains thirty years ago. I felt very sad and guilty that the next generations may never have the chance to enjoy nature while wandering in trash composed of empty bottles and near dried rivers where the source of clean water used to be. I could imagine outside of our human communities, other creatures such as birds, fish living in the filth. Companies that bottle water claim that they have saved us from harm, but how about the fish,  the birds etc?  How can they be fed with bottled water?  When we humans worry if we can afford to drink from bottled water, how about these equally-existing creatures on the earth? Why do many companies spend so much money to make bottled water and push the media to promote it, but don’t have any intention of addressing the pollution problem?

Each individual existence on the earth should insist on the right to have free clean water.  Each of us should watch the film and look at how beautiful nature is when clean water is allowed to flow freely.
A great poet Rumi said, everything has a soul. The water does, the fish does, and each of us does. Let’s save the earth and save ourselves.

Steve Jobs’ Speech

I admired Jobs very much. Long time ago, I worked for Apple.  Last year, when my poetry book was accepted by Mosaic Press to be published in 2011, I suggested the book title: The Waiting Apple.  After talking with my publisher, we agreed “Wings Toward Sunlight” fit better. 

Today’s newspaper released Jobs’ taking medical leave news, I wish him the best and healthy return soon.

Story Behind “online: i found true love!”

I was asked to write a book about stories behind poetry of North American women poets by China Foreign Press in 2007. Since I loved poems by Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson, so I did some research for that kind of topic. However I worked in IT field for full time and had a family to raise, I found it was very hard to commit myself to the task. So I declined. Today I thought about the topic again because indeed stories behind poetry were very enchanting. Here I want to share several stories of my own.
First, I will tell a story about the poem related to Facebook. I joined Facebook long time ago, but seldom used it. After one invitation following another, I was a little frustrated: Do I know him? Do I know her? The worst thing was that you only had the correct answer when you clicked To Confirm Friends. And it turned out the result was not what you thought. One day, I chatted with my friends and complained, they suggested, why not write a poem? Sure. Here it is.

online: i found true love!

yet, the other day when i sat
in a beauty salon, the song
love at a grocery store
stirred up mocking sighs—
smart, at least, find a cook.
and i added,
in a bar, a loser.

uploading my photo, i wonder
what they know of me.
but who cares?
facebook claims its magic—
among an ocean of faces,
all we need is a click.

one could imagine
a door ajar
in a waiting room.

The interesting part is that the dialogue in the poem was from one incident when I shopped at Jones New York. At that time, the song “love at a grocery store” was aired, one staff member smiled,
“How smart to find a lover in grocery store, at least he likes cooking.”
Another staff member commented, “True, never find a lover at a bar; he may turn out to be a loser.”

In the poem, I change the setting to be a Beauty Salon, to give a hint that photos uploaded to Facebook may not be the real side of one. Thus the whole poem could be connected together in its meaning.

The last verse of the poem was inspired by my friend who asked me, “why do you keep writing?”
I thought for a while and left a message, saying, “I guess I am waiting…”. He commented, “ah, in a waiting room.”
I end the poem like that to give some room for imagination. As we never know the result from a relationship connected by Facebook.

At Poetry Alive workshop, I selected this poem and the story to show how poetry and our life can be connected together.  At the presentation, first I give a blank page to ask the audience think about facebook and online love.  Then we discuss and talk about the poem. In the end, I like to wrap the poem with the image: A door ajar like the above.  I believe all of us do hope life is full of adventures, of course, the good ones!