Sunday 5 May 2024

5 Poems by Yuan Changming

Swift: for Li Lan

            Above this wild wild world covered
          With layers and layers and layers
        Of red dust, my selfhood
      Has long been tired
    Tired of flying
  Flying alone
  Day & night

But where can I perch?
Do I have a nest at all?
  O for a solid
  Respite before
    Continuing my lonely
      Flight, snuggling my inner-
        Most being in the heart of your
          Soul, and settling my weathered body
            Right at the A-spot of your tenderness


A deep double-
Throat, singing
From beyond
Heaven (or hell)
Echoing in nature
As it finds itself
Heard in
A human voice
Like a whale’s call
By its like
Even afar across
The whole Pacific

Winter Wait

With their most tender touches, snowflakes
Have painted the whole night white
Including the darkest corner in sight
    Even within a forgotten dream 

Except the plum tree, standing alone there
Under the eastern sky, whose
Flowers are blooming boldly against
The entire season, more vibrant than blood

The Tuner: a 50-Word Trilogy: for Qi Hong

In the mid-teens
You gave me a tuner
In Mayuhe, which I’ve

Treasured as a love-token
For five decades (when
We remained totally
Lost to each other
On Earth’s opposite sides)
Until now after horizontal

Refreshments you clarify
You had just meant to help
Set the tune for my erhu

East vs West: A Synoptic Cultural Comparison

During the great flood
Noah hid himself in the ark
While Dayu tried to contain it
With his bare hands

Prometheus stole fire
From Olympian gods
                     While Sui Ren got it
                      By drilling wood hard

Smart Daedalus crafted wings
To fly away from his prison-tower
                                  While Old Fool removed the whole
                                  Mountain blocking his way

Helios enjoyed driving his chariot
All along in the sky
                 While Kuafu chased the sun
                  To take it down & tame it

Sisyphus rolls the boulder uphill
Because of his deceitfulness, while
             Wu Gang cuts the laurel as a punishment
              For distractions in learning


Yuan Changming, probably the world's most widely published contemporary poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes in English, grew  up in a remote Chinese village, started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age nineteen and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada as an international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Since mid-2005, Yuan has had poetry appearing in 2089 journals/anthologies, across 49 countries, which include Best Canadian Poetry (2009, 2012, 2014), the Best of the Best Canadian Poetry: Tenth Anniversary Edition, BestNewPoemsOnline. and Poetry Daily. In 2021 he was nominated, and served on the jury, for Canada’s National Magazine Awards (poetry category). In 2022, Yuan began to write and publish fiction, with his first (hybrid/experimental) novel Mabakoola: Paradise Regained due out in 2025. 


Poetry Books by Yuan Changming:

1.     Chansons of a Chinaman [Paperback]Murfreesboro: 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]. Chicago: Beard of Bees Press, 2015.

5.     Kinship [Paperback] Seattle: Goldfish Press, 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.  《袁昌明詩選(Selected Poems []. Vancouver: PP, 2021.

11.  Limerence [Paperback]. Vancouver, Poetry Pacific Press, 2021.

12.  All My Crows [Paperback]. Grass Valley, CA: Cold River Press, 2022.

13.  E.dening [Paperback]. Seattle: Goldfish Press, 2022.  

14.  Homelanding [Paperback]Yakima, WA: Cave Moon Press, 2022.

15.  Sinosaur [Paperback]. Hickory, NC: Redhawk Publications, 2022.

16.  Yellow Comedy [e.Chapbook]. LA: Four Feathers Press, May 2023.

17.  Free Sonnets [Paperback]. Philadelphia: Dark Onus Press, 2023.


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