Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Changming Yuan : 5 poems


          yes, yes, with your
yellowish skin, you enjoy
       meditating within the shape of
a wishbone, inside the broken wing
           of an oriental bird strayed, or
in a larger sense, you look like
    the surfacing tail of a pacific whale
           who yells low, but whose voice reaches afar
far beyond a whole continent, to a remote village
    near the yellow river, where you used to sunbathe
           rice stems, reed leaves, cotton skeletons
with a fork made of a single horn-shaped twig
          when you were a barefooted country boy
                   on the other side of this new world

is this the reason for your obsession
          with the letter?


first rotated
then curved
before they were finally connected
the same three old horizontal lines
fenced together for the climax
of the holy, the human, the hopeful
as with the trinity
for the three gems
during wudhu
to stand in as many red words
or forms of matter
since in a race anybody, anything
beyond this smallest prime number
is nobody, nothing. That's why the lines
still remain parallel in roman and chinese civilizations:
one is almost dead, vertically
the other still very much alive, horizontally


more courageous
than an animal hunter
trying to kill an innocent dear
one hundred yards away, or even farther
with a powerful rifle, you hide yourself
waiting still under a thorny bush
for an entire sullen summer afternoon, just
to shoot a fleeting thought, like a jaguar
with the camera propped up behind your mind
its shutter no bigger than your pen tip

[seasonal stanzas]


Rolling, flowing, dripping
From the palest memories of last year
The melting snow stops moving
But hung everywhere
Like crystals
Against the freezing fits of frantic winds
With the moon always broken
In this shortest month of the pearl
No love can be purified
No couple can enjoy a full honeymoon


At this true, truer outset of the year
When the world finally awakens
From its prolonged white hibernation
When we can march forward like soldiers
With the steadiest steps
Every life can now
Give a morning kiss
To earth, to the landscape
Without mask or cosmetics


All plants beginning to burgeon
Open their hands and hearts widely
To draw inspirations
From the season
To play with spring spirits
While the ghosts of those doomed to die
Within the year are stalking behind us
Some to the church
Some to the mind
Others to the corners of night

[natural confrontations]


With a thin
Blood-throated voice
You call out aloud
Trying to wake up
Millions of millions
f trees and rocks
All deeply lost in
Their cold dreams
Of last winter


Deep in the valley
Alone on a shady spot
You bloom aloud, though
There are neither eyes
Nor ears open nearby
Paying the slightest attention
To your shape or melody
Be it ever so fragrant
So fulfilling


A gossamer-like breeze
Left far behind
By a running dog
Tries to strike
The stagnated twilight
Hanging above the whole city
Before the storm sets in

Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Allen Qing Yuan, holds a PhD in English and works as a private tutor in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific. Poetry submissions welcome at

Yuan's poetry appears in 659 literary publications across 25 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, LiNQ, London Magazine, Poetry Kanto, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Kanto, Poetry Salzburg, SAND, Taj Mahal Review and Two Thirds North. 

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