“Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac” was written in 2013 under the title “The Year of the Snake.” It was a poem about one searching for meaning and faith during tragedies. Like the girl in Alice Munro’s “Runaway” who eventually was trapped in a goat’s skeleton, the poem didn’t find its way out. When the Horse Year arrived, a horse poem came with the inspiration from Plato’s Chariot Allegory and more animal poems gathered. She started to recognize that the zodiac in a human being’s body and mind is shaped by space and time and transformed by history and reality. It called for a poetic form. Soon “Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac” was born and unleashed its animated voice and symbolic meaning in its broader and bolder ways. This collection takes on its own pace and develops into four sections: “Night Shades” meditates on fate, tragedies and loss, “Dried Roses” reflects love and longings, “Life Jars” collects incidents and stories from daily life and “The Self-Completing Tree” reveals the journey of finding identity and searching for freedom and faith.
This book seeks ways of healing and exploring new dimensions on one’s life journey. With questions about fate and identity, concerns about life challenges and social issues, it blends images and mythology derived from both the Eastern and Western worlds. It calls out with bittersweet hope:
Now take me
— this pack of Paradise.