After A Heavy Snow

                                                     By Parker Po-Fei Huang

                                                        A bank of whiteness


                                                           Is all I see. Have I

                                                       tossed away the world

                                                         or the world me? Or

                                                           is it just a single

                                                      moment that I stand on

                                                          a sheer precipice

                                                        with clouds passing

                                                               through me?

                                                      Some mists sweep the

                                                       sky. Some stars elicit

                                                         serenity. I feel that

                                                         I am gathering the

                                                      reflections of a flower

                                                     in the water and that of

                                                     the moon in the mirror—

                                                       no scent, no motion,

                                                        yet I sense eternity.

                                                       I stop breathing lest

                                                       I wake myself. From

                                                      where, of what world,

                                                       have I come here? I

                                                      turn my head and see

                                                     there are only footprints

                                                             that follow me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Marion B. Visel Memories

I think of Parker as "Mr. Huang" because when someone lives next door to you, and then your parents, for the first 40 years of your life it's a hard habit to change.

I remember him doing Tai Chi in the driveway most mornings. I remember him taking slow walks around the neighborhood - walking and thinking, walking and thinking. You would almost see him turning over the words of a poem in his mind as he walked.

I'm not sure how the conversation started but one day when I was 9 or 10 years old we met on the sidewalk in front of my house. He was probably returning from one of his walks, perhaps with a Chinese newspaper tucked under his arm. I asked him about "Chinese writing." He very patiently took a piece of paper out of his shirt pocket and drew a couple of characters explaining what they meant and how they came to be. Being a visual person this form of writing made complete sense to me, really more so than abstract English letters.

This story epitomizes Mr. Huang to me. His patient teaching, of course. But also his openness with me. I never hesitated to ask him a question because he treated everyone with deep respect. Even a 9 year old riding her bike down Day Spring Avenue in Hamden, CT.

The world is a better place for your having lived Mr. Huang.

Peace, Marion B. Visel

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