Just as an egg
Hatched out a chicken
Well before a chicken
Laid down an egg
So He created man
In His image
Long after man invented God
After his likeness
Natural Confrontations (2)
If each night rises
Outside each day
There lies a mighty mountain
Where darkness runs wild
You want to climb
Along this trail of light
And hunt for the rising darkness
Even without an arrow
As if straight from heaven
A young snowy seagull charges down
Trying to pick up the entire ocean
With its bold beak
Just when the tsunami raises
All its fierce fists
To protect against earth’s agitation
In foamy darkness
When no one seems to stand
On the beach, watching
3/ Plum Blossom
Without a single leaf
Green or yellow
To support it as a foil
But on a skeletal twig
Glazed with dark elegies
A bud is blooming, bold and blatant
Like drops of blood
As if to show off, to challenge
The entire season
When whims and wishes
Are all frozen like the landscape-----------------
Human Culture: A Parallel Poem
when i wake up
and open my eyes
i see all my dreams
bounced back from the frames
when i take a shower
and start to sing
i taste my song tart
behind the blurring curtain
when i strive to step
out of my humble house
i feel fences quarreling hard
in the whole neighborhood
when i visit around and
do some blind sightseeing
i smell blood stained
along the castle foot
finally i flee from this world
and hide myself far away
i still seem to hear
the glaring cries from the great wall
delicately hung is this earth
a bluish cage in the universe
Steeper See-Saw: For John Hollander
The higher the income, the lower the morals
The taller the building, the shorter the attention span
The bigger the house, the smaller the family
The more wealth, the less joy
The more conveniences, the less leisure
The more knowledge, the less judgment
The more medicine, the less health
The more protection, the less security
The faster the transportation, the slower the communication
The closer the network, the looser the relationships
The cleaner the environment, the dirtier the mind
The wider the highway, the narrower the perspective-------------------
The Second Departing: For William Butler Yeats
Going, going away in an ever retreating bay
The ebb starts below a quickened sun setting
People swarm here, watching, picking, fighting
Over the fishes, shrimps, crabs, shells, weeds
All left stranded, struggling for waters on the beach
They do not care if darkness stalks right behind
Their shadows, rolling like a tide upon their souls
They care only about the benefits they can gather
The sea produce they can trade with one another
Surely some ignorance is still in proper place
Surely the second departing is taking place
The Second Departing! The very idea stirs in the minds
A whole flock of crows beating their darkening wings
Flapping into the narrow skies of the prolonged history
It’s these crows, these very unidentifiable black birds
That are driving the light beyond the horizon, inner or outer
(Where they have found God as a redundant re-creation
When they believe they are the right gods for themselves)----------------
Directory of Destinies
- Believe it or not, the ancient Chinese 5-Agent Principle accounts for us all.
1/ Water (born in a year ending in 2 or 3)
-helps wood but hinders fire; helped by metal but hindered by earth
with her transparent tenderness
coded with colorless violence
she is always ready to support
or sink the powerful boat
2/ Wood (born in a year ending 4 or 5)
-helps fire but hinders earth; helped by water but hindered by metal
rings in rings have been opened or broken
like echoes that roll from home to home
each containing fragments of green
trying to tell their tales
from the forest’s depths
3/ Fire (born in a year ending 6 or 7)
-helps earth but hinders metal; helped by wood but hindered by water
your soft power bursting from your ribcage
as enthusiastic as a phoenix is supposed to be
when you fly your lipless kisses
you reach out your hearts
until they are all broken
4/ Earth (born in a year ending in 8 or 9)
-helps metal but hinders water; helped by fire but hindered by wood
i think not; therefore, I am not
what I am, but I have a color
the skin my heart wears inside out
with footprints of history
5/ Metal (born in a year ending in 0 or 1)
-helps water but hinders wood; helped by earth but hindered by fire
he used to be totally dull-colored
because he came from the earth’s inside
now he has become a super-conductor
for cold words, hot pictures and light itselfall being transmitted through his throat
Man becomes established at the age of thirty -- Confucius
1. The meaning of life, if any at all, is to create a meaning for life.
2. This is a graying age, where white is turning black while black white.
3. There is light in every dream we have in darkness.
4. However pitch-dark the entire night is, it can never turn a single snowflake black.
5. There is no distinguishing between black and white, for the color of life is grey to begin with.
6. A house for sale is never a home, while a heart unoccupied is a hotel for rent.
7. Freedom is the thin distance between the fleeing mouse and the chasing cat.
8. Love may be 99% honey and 1% money, while marriage is definitely otherwise.
9. Pleasant or painful, all experiences are as good as cash saved for a long rainy day.
10. Birth throws us out into different times whereas death recalls us back into the same place.
11. No rules are created for their creators.
12. In this age of information, we are all fish swimming freely before the net is towed onto the boat.
13. The more high technologies, the more low minds.
14. Many still very much alive are already stone dead; many already stone dead are still very much alive.
15. On the stage of life, we may not be able to choose the play, but we can choose the roles to play.
16. Comedy can come without romance or finance, but tragedy has to do with either or both.
17. Growth is painful because it means a series of deaths of our pasts, while death can be pleasant because it may result from a series of births of our presents.
18. Misfortune is a peculiar privilege.
19. In memories, roses always look fresher, while thorns less sharp.
20. What we see or read has always been so edited that the truth remains only in the mind of history unwritten.
21. God died long ago; heroes have all disappeared; and here is man left standing alone.
22. The bird flies as high as heaven, but it has to return to the earth to make a nest.
23. Remaining an outsider can give you a sense of superiority, transcendence and peacefulness.
24. Time is the most meticulous makeup master of all.
25. Only those determined to reform others can hope to be reformed.
26. Parting is painful; even more so is having no one to part from.
27. He is happy who is not afraid not to be rich, sexual, famous or powerful.
28. Do some deep thinking about nothing every day, and you will stay healthy, wealthy and wise
29. We all have some questions for heaven, but heaven always remains silent.30. Like a silkworm, I have contributed all my silk to the human world. If it does not care, why should I?
Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman, grew up in rural China and published several monographs before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan teaches in Vancouver and has poetry appear in nearly 500 literary publications across 19 countries, includingAsia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cortland Review, Exquisite Corpse, Mad Hatters' Review, Redactions and RHINO.