“Blue 藍” by Yafang Shi (“Blue Moon 藍月” by carlina Chen)3 min read

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“Blue Moon” by carlina Chen

I blue moon 藍月

in a locked down city
your room was jounced and lullaby’d
by the whoosh of the passing TTC

you carved blue moons and dark grass
on a piece of one-millimetre thin plastic

engraving and painting
the knife slit your fingers, nicked your wrists, and cut your elbows
unplanned blood creeks infiltrated the newly created canals

a home spaghetti printer
an artist’s makeshift model during the pandemic

after meticulous strategizing and plotting
you tenderly rolled the handle

five blue moons
one by one emerged
gradually rose from the dark grass

the moon is full of tranquility
the grass is darkly mysterious

blue moons
transcending the daily mundane

from the blue sorrow of the pandemic
an artist’s audacious creation beams

carlina Chen
you rock

the resilient

II a blue floral print skirt 藍花布裙

in a framed snapshot of my self-while-still-a-girl
i wore a classic, Chinese, hand-sewn, blue floral print skirt
against a huge opened paper fan
unfolding jade mountains and emerald waters

white flowers on handcrafted indigo fabric
denied and defied any pitch of kitsch

the aesthetic

III blue flowers 藍花

hyacinth, puschkinia, crocus and periwinkle
dance in the spring of the blue
wood squill and bellflower
trumpet the ballad of the blue
blue poppy, blue coneflower, blue cornflower, blue anemone and iris
ink gardens blue
globe thistle and sea holly
speak passionate voices of the blue
crane’s-bill and larkspur
chant the joy of the blue
jacaranda parades the blue
glory of the snow highlights the fleeting yet unflinching blue

the poetic

IV shades of blue 藍色調

midnight blue
the nocturnal blue

the sky blue

the gemstone blue
and hummingbird blue

the earthly blue

the dreamy and heavenly blue

the poetic

V blue horses 藍馬

i had seen white cloud horses against blue sky
i had seen fire cloud horses during sunsets

in an autumn-and-winter-intertwined day
i saw stunning blue horses gallop through white clouds
challenging the patriarchal and tyrannical stallions

blue mares leap over fences and walls
fly beyond barbed wires

the tenacious


Yafang Shi is a Chinese Canadian poet, photographer, and journalist based in Aurora, Ontario. Her poem “Sister Flowers” won first prize in the Aurora Public Library’s writing contest in 2021 and the winning was covered by the Toronto Star and RCI of CBC. Her photography/poetry artwork “Fire” showcased by the AGO was a winner of the York Region Arts Council Awards. Her solo photography/poetry exhibitions on women’s rights and resistance have been showcased in the Contact Photography Festival and at the University of Toronto and York University.  Her short story “Vase” is included in the anthologies for Chinese Canadian Authors and Chinese Canadian women writers respectively.

carlina Chen was born in Taiwan before immigrating to Canada to pursue her art practice. She now lives and works in Toronto. Her artwork is often grounded in personal experience and focused on proposing questions to explore how experiences of time and space can find meaning within the contexts in everyday life – routine, mundane, yet the backbone of our existence. The omnipresence is the staple of her language of art-making and allows her to reconceptualize how we relate to the space we occupy. “Blue Moon” is a suite of hand-pulled dry-point prints that were printed.  by using a manual pasta maker as an etching press. Some people say that a blue moon is to illuminate hopes and wishes for the future. With that in mind, I created Blue Moon series and hoped our current pandemic would end soon.

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