Saturday, 5 May 2018

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

In the Year of the Rooster

This is not really Chinese zodiac
But born in a year of the rooster last century
I was fated to crow aloud to summon
The first morning glows above the

Rice-fields, pecking here and there
For a seed or a pebble bit close
To my grandma’s straw-roofed
Cottage, ready to put up a chicken fight

With my fleshy crown standing up straight
But never able to fly higher than a broken
Fence, since my body was winged
With more fat than feathers

Only after I died did I manage to travel afar
To an exotic land, when my naked being
Was minced and served for a minor course
In a recyclable plate as in this little poem


White Crow

Perching long in my heart
Is a white crow that no one has
Ever seen, but everyone longs
To be

Always ready
To fly out, hoping to bring back
A glistening seed or a colorful feather
As if determined to festoon its nest


Stopping Over

By no means can you catch
The crane. You are not

Supposed to. Because
You might hate the airbase

And take off
As that bulky

Plane, which,
Like whatever

You thought
Could fly, may

Carry your entire yellowish being away
And vanish


This Very Thought

This is the thought that is
Sailing along the horizon

This is the thought ready to fall
Finally from the leaf-tip at dawn

This is the thought looming afar
Beyond the stark mountains

This is the thought newly taken
Out of the water by the swordsmith

This is the thought with a bloated shape
Wrapping the whole world up in the mind

This is the thought running amuck
Naked, never able to find a shelter

This is the thought driving the wheels
Of history, back and forth, without stop


Weekend Weakened

Saturday/ 
Fever. Discotheques. Beers. Marijuana
Sweets. Cartoons. Volunteers. Prayers
Bathes. Gun shots. Private purple meetings
Vampires. Elections. Rest. Clubs. Restaurants

Theatres. Picnics. Football. Basketball
Billy Crystal. Howard. Cosell. Contests
Lady of Fatima. Garden work. Saturn
Hiking. Long sleep. Dinner party

The best and the worst of the week:
Nothing. Everything. Nobody
Everybody under Loki’s influence

Venture. Venture. Venture, as they
Sing, Bobo Waro Fero Satodeh

Sunday/ 
The first, and the last
Of the week. The day
Of God, of man

We all take today off
For a good rest of our bodies
To work better for the good

Of our souls, or rather
The other way around


Bionote

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan and hosts Happy Yangsheng in Vancouver; credits include 10 Pushcart and 3 Best of the Net nominations,  Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline, Poetry in Voice, Threepenny Review and 1,429 other journals and anthologies across 42 countries.     


No comments:

Post a comment