Sunday 5 November 2017

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

Quest for Light

in a world always half in darkness
your body may be soaked deep
in a nightmare, rotting

but your heart can roam
like a synchronous satellite
in the outer space, leaving
the long night far behind
as long as your heart flies fast
and high enough, you will live
in light forever


At the same height of
Every rocky mountain
       Above all seasonal change
You are widely and cursively cut

As if to bite a whole patch of
Sky from heaven
With rows of rows of
Whale-like teeth

Let Alone

Man, as he really is, is far beyond
God’s imagination, let alone understanding

If you really love Earth, you wouldn’t be
Afraid to show it to the world, let alone her

Most websites don’t even last fourteen
Months, let alone fourteen years

They never thought they’d be able to do
Any serious reading, let alone thinking

Some people can’t help inventing lies
Let alone telling them

The sun shines on you but not on me
Let alone my shadow

I always expect the world to leave me
Alone, let alone my poetry

Daoist Harmony between Man and Nature

One Way // One Selfhood

Two opposites // body vs soul

Four seasons // four limbs

Five elements // five senses

Seven days // seven emotions (sins?)

Twelve months // twelve energy channels

Twenty four solar terms // twenty four spine vertebrae

Thirty hundred sixty five days // so many meridian points

All so exactly correlated, corresponding, cooperative
To be balanced, between yin and yang

The Origin of a Family Name 

Y: You are haunted by ‘Y’, not because it’s the first letter in your
Family name, but because it’s like a horn, which the water buffalo in your
Native village uses to fight against injustice or, because it’s like a twig
Where a crow can come down to perch, a cicada can sing towards
The setting sun as loud as it wants to; more important, in Egyptian hieroglyphics
It stands for a real reed, something you can bend into a whistle or flute
In pronouncing it, you can get all the answers you need, besides
You can make it into a heart-felt catapult and shoot at a snakehead or
Sparrow as long as it is within the wild wild range of your boyhood

U: is surely a part of you, while you sound no more than a s single letter
U, which is nothing but a copy of a chick; you used to be on the bank of
The Nile, where u can be changed into v within a european word as in yvan
It’s said you have the makings of a victor, a powerful us or un representative
Who begins the unit, the union, the uniform, the university, the universe

A: As the first born to the Semitic family, A was originally
A picture of an alef or ox, the agricultural energy that was rotated twice until
Alpha loomed up in the Greek psychoscape even before
Adam became the chosen father of all Europeans close to
Athens, where Apollo had acupunctured wisdom and knowledge into
Aristotle, the intellectual ancestor of modern man, who inspired
Alexander to make the first effort of globalization, which did not reach East
Asia, the land of Ah Q’s, the largest hotel for
All travelers until centuries later, but it is
Atomic bombs that will blow up all our pasts and send us through
America to a higher civilization, where the drop of an
Apple is to enable us to fly to the other side of the universe
Along the cosmic string as Africa, the heart of human darkness
Awaits for Buddha, Jesus, Allah or an other unknown
Author to come and rotate for the third time
A scarlet letter of A

N: No, nobody knows this but you are really no more
Or no less than the old Egyptian metonymy of  a stream, river
Lake, sea or even an entire ocean, where there is always water
Where there are always fish rather than a synecdochic Z
Pushed straight upright On the bank of the Euphrates


Yuan Changming, nine-time Pushcart nominee and author of seven chapbooks (including Dark Phantasms [Flutter Press, Nov, 2017]), grew up in rural China, started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai as an ESL student at age nineteen, and published monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition, BestNewPoemsOnline, Poetry in Voice, Threepenny Review and 1,369 others across 40 countries.

Recently, Yuan has just created a new facebook page Happy Yangsheng [快乐养生]at to share insight, knowledge and experience about yangsheng (literally 'nurturing life' [to attain wellness, happiness and longevity]).

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