Wednesday 5 May 2021

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

 Between Yin & Yang: All Set to See

1/ Yin: The Mare in the Rain

Standing still on a huge rock
The pale horse holds its head high
As if it had been running fiercely
On a wild prairie, looking up afar
To the most distant mountain

Its eyes glittering as raindrops
Keep falling from heaven
Straightly down to hell, &
Water-carving its paleness
Into a demonic statue of history

2/ Yang: The Pause for (R)e.volution

Long long before long ago, Earth
Was originally set within a koru

Unfurling at every antlike moment
Directly towards the sun, until
Now it is too overloaded
With evil spirits & viruses

To continue revolution as it
    Tries to return to itself

Sonneting to the Other Side of Night

Since               yester twilight
Along              the borderline of darkness
With                fits of thirst & hunger
Among            storms of pain
Under              attacks of evil spirits & viruses
Between          interludes of insomnia
Beyond           both hope & expectation

At                    the depth of darkness
Amidst            the nightmare
Through          one tiny antlike moment
After               another…
Against           deadly despair
Until               awakening
To                   the first ray of dawn

All That Glitters

Is not just gold, but also the teeth chewing
The bitterness of life at twilight; the bones

Excavated from a lost civilisation; the roof
Tiles glazed with the rain of last night; &

The rock standing firm in the gurgling stream
The broken mirror in the debris of history; &

The disk hung like a scarecrow in the garden
The wings of a raven flying in the storm; &

The coal close to a furnace; the forehead
Of my late father in my dream; as well

As the scales of a fish jumping out of water
Against the starlight; the glacier protruding

From an unknown peak among Rocky Mountains
Or, the eye looking beyond the darkness of tonight  

Getting Along: A Bilingualcultural Poem

In Chinese, 朋友,恋人,& 爱人 are all
12-stroked characters, just as their counter-
Parts friend, couple & spouse are 6-lettered
Words in the imperial vocabulary of English

Though they are all underlined with human

Love and loyalty, the former entails twice
As much input or effort of the heart
As the latter to maintain a disparately
Similar humane relationship as a speech act

In Self-Isolation (against Covid-19): 

‘I Want to See You'

Says Bell to his assistant when he was making
The first human call over a telephone, ‘Not even

Your video, much less your picture,’ one of his
Descendants might echo. But it’s the authentic

Presence flowering out of your inner being
That can satisfy my skin hunger, allowing

Me to sniff at the space and time your body
Occupies, to inhale the same air released

From the grove along the stream that I want to
Look at, to be with you in a full contact sport

Of feel instead of a spectator one even though we can
Never make love on the one & same antlike timespot



Yuan Changming, 11-time Pushcart nominee and 9-time winner of poetry awards, is probably the world's most widely published contemporary poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes English. Growing up in an isolated Chinese village, Yuan started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age nineteen and authored several monographs on translation before leaving his native country as an international student. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan. Since mid-2005, Yuan has had poetry appear in more than 1,800 literary outlets across 46 countries, which include Best Canadian Poetry (2009, 2012, 2014), the Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-2017) & BestNewPoemsOnline. In 2021, Yuan published his first poetry collection in Chinese《袁昌明诗选》and served on the jury for Canada’s 44th National Magazine Awards (poetry category).

Poetry collections by Yuan Changming:

1. Chansons of a Chinaman [Paperback]. Murfreesboro, TN: Leaf Garden, 2009.
2. Landscaping [Paperback]. San Jacinto, CA: Flutter Press, 2013.
3. Mindscaping [e.chapbook]. Halifax: Fowlpox Press, 2014.
4. Origin of Letters [e.chapbook]. Beard of Bees Press (US), May 2015.
5. Kinship [Paperback] Seattle: Goldfish Press, May 2015.
6. Wordscaping [e. Chapbook]. Halifax: Fowlpox Press, 2016.
7. Dark Phantasms [Paperback]. San Jacinto, CA: Flutter Press, 2017.
8. East Idioms [e.chapbook]., 2019.
9. (R)e.volution [Paperback]. LA: the Wapshott Press, 2021.
10. 《袁昌明诗选》(Selected Poems of Yuan Changming: 2005-2020) [ edtion]. Vancouver, Poetry Pacific Press, 2021.

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