Wednesday 20 April 2016

5 Poems by Yuan Changming


Between two high notes
The song gives a crack
Long enough
To allow me to enter
Like a fish jumping back
Into the night water 

Both the fish and I leave no
Trace behind us, and the world
Remains undisturbed as we swim
Deeper and deeper in blue silence 

Upon my return, I find the music
Still going on, while the fish has
Disappeared into the unknown 


As long as you have ample blood
Filling in your cells, your heart
Will never fade
Within your fine structure 

A rosy inner being: 

Each sarcotesta is inflated
With juicy passion 

[the falling leaf] 

Shaking off all the dust
You have accumulated over the season 

Flapping your wings against twilight
At the border of night 

Like a butterfly coming down to
Kiss the land
As if to listen to
The heartbeat of the earth 

Only once in a lifetime

[searching among trees] 

In a forest beyond the boundary of mind
I try to find a tree neither too tall, nor
Too twisted, but what I did see is a 

Tree thickly bushy, and uniquely straight
With every leaf glistening like a scar
In the sun, a tree I long to date with 

Even to marry
After I divorce my fated past


While nobody has ever been to heaven (or hell)
I can readily go to Yaleugooli, an inner island
More charming than Maui and Palawan combined
With a beech more sensational than El Nido or
Lopes Mendes; in particular, a cave more majestic
Than Sơn Đoòng , where I cannot only get myself
Totally lost in seeing countless wonders of nature
But also take a respite as long as I like; an other
Eden where I can enjoy being one and the same with
Hyperion (from North California?) as my soulmate
Or live an immortal life like the Metasequoia King
Near my native village in central China, if ever I
I so choose when I feel disturbed by earthly winds
Or suffer from insomnia in the heart of winter night 

Yes, I’ve been to Yaleugook, more than a thousand times
While they could only wish to enter heaven after they die 


Yuan Changming is no poet, let alone a Canadian one, though he is a 9-time Pushcart nominee and author of 7 chapbooks, including Crows (2016) and Wordscaping (2016). Growing up in a remote village, Yuan started to learn the English alphabet at 19 and published monographs on translation before moving out of China. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry (2009,12,14) , BestNewPoemsOnline, Poetry in Voice, Threepenny Review and 1189 others across 38 countries. 

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