Sunday, 30 December 2012

Some New Changes for Poetry Pacific for 2013

as the year of the snake slithers in, we plan to introduce some more changes to our PP. for instance, we will add a disclaimer, some guidelines, etc. also, we have dropped the descriptive word 'solicited' before the published poems, and are thinking of featuring one single poet or a group of poets regularly every monday, instead of posting poems on a first-accepted-first-go basis. as in the case of many other fellow small ezines, we did not have many definite ideas to begin with; nor did we have any specific plans for every stage in our development. all we had is just one commitment: to showcase the 'best contemporary poetry in english' we can find, now on a blog-based ezine, or/and in the print form in the future. in other words, PP will be an ever-evolving literary outlet, and we ourselves are curious to see what we can and will do with it.

recently, Allen is busy with some other volunteer work besides normal school stuffs and university applications, while Changming is fully occupied with teaching and helping with students at every level. neither of us has enough time to do some reading or writing as we would like, but things will hopefully improve as students return to school...-c.a.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

[archived]: Poems by Allen Qing Yuan - © Sept'12

Every Youthful Moment

Paving his own
Road, never backing

He does what he wants,
How he wants,
When he wants,
Making the light shine.
He has faith
The future
  He’s facing towards.

Enjoying the golden age,
Remembering every page,
Of his life,
Written or unwritten,
He gives it his all, hoping he will not
Every youthful moment.

Poker in the Rain

The shallow sunshine
Shying away without a reason

The greyed audience is dazzled
By a performance so magical, so captivating

I don my joker mask of lies,
A truth hidden between the shades
Playing my role like an ace of spades
Hoping to exchange this burden
For a hearty umbrella-wielder

The wet wind ravages and clubs my struggling spirit
Encasing my fortress of flesh & bone
With the drips of droplets
I splash dive into the city buzz
Forever amidst
The diamonds of grey rain

Scramble Crossing

Red, Yellow, Green

Hastily, aggressive people swerve from
Lane-to-lane, searching
For any & all shortcuts to one destination
A destined nation

Others are spread out like runners on a bumpy track
Accelerating straight ahead, avoiding or jumping over hurdles
To their fragile finish lines
Whether it may be escalation or annihilation

But I wait, behind the light
Is this where I cross?

Red, Yellow, Green


We are businesses that cannot stay out of each other
Out of this global corporation
Composed of countless microscopic workers unable to voice their cries and hungers
We each develop a striking union, or a dedicated company
To shift this social economy
Each department carrying out a dedicated task
In order to survive and flourish
Producing what we need and what others need

But we cannot deny our greed
Indeed, a business is just
A large-scale reflection of ourselves

Spring Slumber

packaging my entire selfhood in
layers of layers of soft, tickling fantasies
i ship my mind in comfy covers
for an sensation more than
the five senses can excrete

asleep, I fall into a misty typhoon
an omnidirectional mirror with a blurry reflection

I'm a shark chained to an anchor treading through this sea
ploughing through the starry specks of Atlantis
I look for whatever treasure is invisible
its scent is the blood I seek

As i peel the sore eyelids from my fresh eyes like a new cap off a pickle jar,
like a lemon juice squirting from a lime,
it's a citrus refreshment for the back of the eyes
the sunlight flares as I shoot my hands upwards

I configure my senses and then
i feel the numbness in my leg
an anchor that kept me
in this reality

Guilty Crown

Even if a dying green wreath of lies
Is placed on my head, soundlessly,
Without my knowing of it
I will keep on moving spaces on the
Black and white squares,
Divided only by their own borders
The smell incense arousing the tips of alertness
Will not even awake me from this struggle
With my black glass hand
Bearing a clear intention at the heart of it
For an ultimate checkmate,
A single attack that renders all other moves pointless
I will undertake the guilty crown.

Red Letter

a patch of red intentions
with seemingly ordinary shape and size
about to slip out of my sweaty desires

in my bleak twisted fantasy
the dots of doves
are swaying in a fall of crimson
rain unloved

slackly sealed with a zebra depiction,
a Bengal tiger colourway,
a messenger of the actuality that I couldn't have rode the other way
as if it could be for anyone, replaceable

your writing is the most flavorful painting
but blasphemy to my tastes

how much i yearned for those brief but weighty words
that 3 word statement
that 8 character declaration
but the end was just like
the end of a favour

“thank you, and good bye”

Buddha Beads

17 spheres conceived by the flesh of earth and water
each one a wish,
to keep myself restrained by good faith

rich cocoa coconut shells, albeit grazes and nicks,
each one a wish
weathered and dropping

yet so creamy like euphony from the lips
each one a wish
unspoken but powerfully recited

inscribed with mini-mighty Buddhas
each one a wish
to be enshrined and embraced

the stretchy wire coiled through and up into delicate loops
each one a dying wish
heading towards where they're all tied up

the carvings of Asian depictions
each one a wish
for luck to somehow hang around my hands


you ravage the confidence from their cracked spirits
feeding on their growing fear and shrinking self-hood
you pound their competitive edges into unrecognizable pieces
wrecking chaos in a line and into social circles
you crush their customs but they still don’t make sense to you
reverse-engineering to find no mental revolution
you stalk on their pride like an outcast lion
roaring for recognition, for them to be that pathetic reflection in their own eyes
you lack their unity and communal confidence
clawing at what threads they have thrown you, the scraps for you to live on
you desire to live so large although they left so little
running into a foggy section intersection where they are the drivers


Wondering, I Wonder

I wonder if you know,
what it means to find your dreams
like that dusty baby photo you had no recollection of
to gain confidence in a decision not yet made
like a healthy bird preparing for its first flight
to be the one when you're the only one who knows it
like a new butterfly fresh out of the cocoon
to have your dreams in your reach and then fail
like a naive bear hunting experienced fish
to try to perform what is possible but impossible for you
like a fish flopping on the beach
I wonder if you know,
what your dream is.

Crow Up Call

“Caw!” beckoned the crow
“Aw!” shrieked the baby boy

the courier of omens flashed warnings,
like a shrouded light house,
but did the beacon burn brightly enough?

Before the boy slipped through the grasps of the call,
the crow informed him “Childhood is but the infancy of life”
“Aw!” replied the infant

the crow silently soared away,
the boy not yet ready to “caw”

Nature's Cell

the slender and straight trunks
seal our vision of the sky
like screen bars on a faulty monitor

unsure and hesitant
the green growth is the only beauty
blossoming in our domain

its bytes exponentially growing upwards and outwards
some shadowed, some shining
a canopy of yin and yang
a contrast so vivid on a scale of 0-100

the sunlight is a pure purge
for the virus skitters away like a shameful puppy

breathing life into us, we live free, carefree
to rise to the sun-kissed clouds in the open
to match the horizon to our eye level


standing on the shoulders
of your elder wood
where the sides curve into faces
long, disfigured yet noble

your arms embrace outwardly
not afraid to be broken,
because they are inseparable

your veiny growth pumps through
the stump, a heartbeat so subtle
like a tambourine against the clouds

your skin is so thick, yet you are so open
learning from the sun
feeding yourself with its rays of nourishment
you will rise, a living legacy.

Ventis: Wielder of the Philosopher’s Stone

Under the star-lit night sky
The boy picks up a petty pebble
Aims at a tree
And tosses it
The petty pebble weakly lands onto the dirt

The boy picks up a great rock
Aims at the menacing moon
And chucks it
The great rock heavily crashes over the tree

The bold white circle shoots a spotlight onto the boy
A young aspiring alchemist in the vast land of Aeria
Ventis gathers his belongings and turns back
To his hometown, where there is terrorizing fire

A civilization engulfed in its own creation
Only Ventis can save the day
With his created rock, a rock of creation

Running past the crowd
Ventis breaks onto the scene
With a clench of the Philosopher’s stone
The fire is dissipated and transformed into smoke

But from within the smoke,
A homunculus appears,
A creation not divine
A creation feared by God

But rocks have always been Ventis’ obsession
In his right hand he clenches a hard round rock
In the other he holds a smooth & slippery pebble

With magic the stones bend into weapons
Ventis fights and fights
And the homunculus falls and falls
Only to never rise again

He then reconstructs the fallen buildings
Making them bigger and better than before

After a rejuvenating night’s sleep
Ventis awakens to another fine day

Venturing back out to his usual spot by the river,
Ventis reaches into his plush pockets
For the special rock
For which is not there

No matter: he will create it again
Just like how he created homes,
How he created dreams,
How he created his name

The wind picks up the words and carries them away

Under the sun-lit blue sky
The boy throws the pebble
The boy chucks the rock

The common one falls into the strong tide
While the right one makes it to the other side

What is Poetry?

is music without a synthesizer, but equally delicious to the ears and mind
was an old expression but now a new hobby
will be created by graceful hands and tasteful hearts
has been retained thoughts, burst like mint bubbles
can be lyrics to a song never published or sampled
could be new art, Da Vinci’s undead pursuit
should be inspiring, a star searing sight
might be symbols for those treasure hunters
may be simple for those simple-minded
is being a pastime for those enjoying free time
but it is not dead
it is just dormant, inside our pens.


We are businesses that cannot stay out of each other
Out of this global corporation
Composed of countless microscopic workers unable to voice their cries and hungers
We each develop a striking union, or a dedicated company
To shift this social economy
Each department carrying out a dedicated task
In order to survive and flourish
Producing what we need and what others need

But we cannot deny our greed
Indeed, a business is just
A large-scale reflection of ourselves

Land of the Rising Sun
(A tribute to Japan because of the recent 9.2 magnitude earthquake on March 11, 2011)

Again, don’t know why
An artificial sun
Would hurt God’s sons

Hell rattles like thunder
More than a splitting hair
‘cause the whole world cares

Send one thousand cranes
It’ll definitely pay
For lives lost and saved

Cupid the Dentist

We fill the bad holes in
The holes that cause pain and won’t let us get what we had back.

We replace the bad ones with new ones
The bad ones that need to be gone and new ones to fill that empty space.

We keep the good ones there
The good ones that keep enduring, that will grow and decay together.

We stop pain, knowing that
It may be temporary, a fake relief

But together we keep them working.

Full Reception

One bar
We don’t have anything to say
Yet we want to

Two bars
We can’t hear over static
So make the call at home

Three bars
We can message whoever, whenever
But wait for an unknown reply

Four bars
We don’t have anything to say
Yet we want to

Five bars
Full reception, fully connected
Yet we don’t need to talk

Criteria for Respect

Does he go to a big building with a big name regularly?
+10 points
Does he accumulate over a million pieces of paper a year?
+10 points
Does he work in downtown and wear a suit?
+10 points

Does he do what he wants?
+20 points
Does he love what he does?
+20 points
Is he good at what he does?
+20 points

Marked out of 30 points, no bonus marks.

[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan - © 2009

A New Recipe She Invents after
Thirty years of Marriage
(for Leo Dangle)

‘yummy, it tastes so good!’ he exclaimed.

‘really?’ she asked.

‘where did you learn the recipe?
These steamed fish chips are really delicious
With all this shredded green onion and fresh ginger.’

‘well, this is the third time I cooked
it this way. Do you really mean
you like the dish?’

‘of cuz! Why would I want to lie
about the food YOU cook?’

‘well, this is the only thing
i am never sure about you.’

‘are you?!’
How Long Have I Been Living?

Today is exactly like yesterday
This year like last one
And this whole decade like the last as well
If only I lived differently each tomorrow
How many more years would I
Have lived before I stop counting my days?


The moment he wrote down the word ‘crow,’
It beat its wings and flapped up from the paper

The moment he punched the word ‘rose,’
Bees began to bump against the screen

The moment he spells the word ‘fire,’
His soul no longer trembles in cold

So to preserve the power of writing
He has frozen his heart fresh
The Fish in the Glass Jug

You keep jumping above the water
Just to escape from this doorless prison

You do not know there is everything
But water outside this transparent wall


I often deplore my sons and nephews never felt
The pleasure of scything
There is no telling
Just how many hearts have been uplifted by this simple exercise

The warm wheat like golden flowers cut down, carpeting
The sunlight-framed fields
A plump land of ears listening to the songs of autumn

How neatly the ripeness lies around
The blade cut all the harvest right into the heart
Ignorant the wise e boys who
Have no idea of this stupid but sensational movement

Dragon Drawing
even though born blind, each of them declares his version to be the most faithful representation of the real original loong, drakon, draco or drake…

The Original Chinese Model
Paws like a tiger’s
Claws like an eagle’s
Scales like a carp’s
Belly like a frog’s
Neck like an iguana’s
Horns like a deer’s
Head like a camel’s
Ears like a bull’s
Eyes like a hare’s

The Western Image
Huge, scaly, horned, talon-footed, bat-winged, lizard/dinosaur-bodied and fire-breathing
A New Species
Paws and claws like those of something between a tiger and a talon
Scales like those of something between a carp and a lizard
Body like that of something between a frog and a dinosaur
Neck like that of something between an iguana and a python
Horns like those of something between a deer and a bull
Head like that of something between a camel and a hippo
Wings like those of a huge bat and …


There are winds to lead and winds to avoid
There are winds to sweep like a million unseen brooms
Winds to break every head on the bare land
Winds to caress or flirt with the tenderest spring petals
Winds to uproot century old oak or willow trees
Winds like heavy sighs of history blowing out every light
Winds of leaves, flowers, rains, snows, sand and dust
Winds that whisper, winds that whistle like screaming monsters
Winds that you can never walk against, pushing buildings and cities

Winds that swirl around and make the whole world dizzy
Winds that drive waves upon beaches like stampeding horses
Winds that send roofs, beds and pigs up above dark clouds
There are winds that blow all golden sunshine into white winter
Winds that strike human hearts like bells ringing fiercely
Winds that never stop waving, wallowing and warring
Even if you long for just one damned moment of peace

Those Gliding Geese

Little clouds of fossilized sunshine
Now flying mute
And leaving behind their shadows
All the songs of the morning

Until they are shot down
Like flute dots

The last calls they make
Their only songs

First Day of Death

I wonder
If it will really snow
As broadcast seven days ago
I wonder
If the potted azalea beside my fireplace
Is starting to wither at this moment
I wonder
If I will run into some old friends
I made in history books, and
I wonder how my sons
Are wondering
Where my soul is wandering

on A. K. Ramanujan’s ‘Self-Portrait’

you sound so similar to everyone
but yourself, and seldom speak to a non-human being
to conform with the law
of acoustics
the voice of a street guy
pitch so familiar
yet reluctant to echo
from soul to soul

Like a Lamp
on Grace Nichols’s ‘Like a Beacon’

in Vancouver west
from time to time
you just cannot help yelling, yearning
for your father’s humming
you fumble into musical halls
in pursuit of tunes
soft/hard utterances

you need this feeling

you need this contact
with origin
guiding your heart
like a lamp
along a forlorn road


when I am scheduled to die I shall stop dreaming and play
with a brown bear that lolls and wallows in a stream
and I shall climb onto a tall pine tree in the zoo
and roar loudly like the lion king towards the rolling autumn sky
I shall sit and help myself to a pile of fatty foods
With my mouth wide open and make all the eating noises I can
Jaywalking, trespassing and even running a little red light

You can give up your names and masks
And throw away all your clothes and manners
And stop caring about whatever others say or do to you

But we worry about our bills and savings
And concern ourselves with what is going on
Within sight or beyond our living rooms

Perhaps you can put a bit of everything on rehearsal now
And refuse to do whatever you would rather not want to
Since you are scheduled to die shortly, anyway

The Beginning

When I was one
I found my bun

When I was ten
I found my pen

When I was twenty
I found my Wendy

When I was thirty
I found the air dirty

When I was forty
I found life naughty

When I am fifty and sixty and seventy and eighty
How much more findings I will make and feel hasty?

My Dad

My dad has shrunk quite a bit
And begun to look up at me now
But I do not look down upon him, partly
Because he used to be much taller
Two Ultimate Truths

When the whole cosmos collapses into chaos again
All life or non-life forms will be destroyed into void
Except the few lines you have composed for time

When all the cells of your body stop functioning
Every dollar you have accumulated will begin to work
To recall them to life without your ever knowing it

Love Lines

1. You are the only man/woman in my entire world
2. If only I could have a chance to die for you
3. Finally, I have had someone to smile at or cry to for anything or nothing at all
4. Were I to die tomorrow, I would have nothing to regret about
5. Thank your parents for having not only given birth to but also brought you up
6. I am most grateful to God for giving you to me
7. You fit me like the key to the lock
8. No, I dare not marry you; the very idea blasphemes your noble body
9. You are simply so so very clean

Past vs Present

You’d better stop throwing
Your pasts
This mirror embedded within the future

Or you will get your selfhood hurt by
The broken
That you can never put back into a whole

Autumn Rain

The drizzle has finally stopped
All the wet has swarmed into raindrops
And fallen flat on the ground
Except this one that continues traveling along
Soon it will slip out the twig’s desperate hold
Like a gold coin between a dying miser’s fingers

The last leaf of a naked tree
The last dew of a forgotten season

The Short Cut

He leaves the path into dawn
Well knowing where it ends
He will cross a small stream
And stop his pursuit of a hotel

At the border of the brightest moment
He will put aside all his loads
He will stand up to set off
And as he moves, he will search

He will chew grass roots
And drink the dew he gathers
Before darkness sets in he will sit
Himself down to rest and begin to dream

Senses Un-serviced


Mommy, mommy, the boy said
Am I not a girl
Yes, you are, honey
So I proved it to them
How did you do that
I showed them my badge
For the girl’s club


Item by item
The little boy
Put goods
In his mother’s shopping cart
Overwhelmingly bigger
Than his concept of money
When the whole world
Is nobody else’s but his alone


Sitting among
Fisher prices
Like a little Buddha
The infant is lost
In its meditation
Over an empty bottle
All too plain
To be a toy

Do Clouds Stop for You

Do clouds stop for you
You don’t em
You say ‘move’


I fallen
With your raindrops
You with my sweat

Your shadows pressing
Below you


Blood withers
My body is a pickle
I am bathing it

Yes I am cold-boiling
His stem, veins and leaves
Deeply soaked in my self-assertions

How he absorbed my spirits
From the quasi paradoxes
Of his senses

Till I stuffed
The whole vegetable
With my salty whims

Swollen like an apple
Bare as a twig
His fantasies hydrated

To revive him
Fresh from the brink
I demand to die

If Omitted

Had yesterday lasted a month longer
Were the earth flattened today, or
Should the mind become separated
From the body tomorrow…


Again, the tremors
Have you ever felt em?
I often do

You say
It must be an earthquake
Or the palpitations of your own heart

But you know neither is true

Was it the house foundation
As a heavy metal monster
Running past invisibly?

Incomplete Imperatives

While the sun is sleeping
While the hope is being prolonged
While the winter is not really arriving yet
While the egg remains hatched
While the vapor stays in the air
While the grass grows
While the fish swims in the water
While the house stands firm
While the cherry tree blossoms
While the iron is still hot

Home: A Logo Poem



The first few years
After they moved to their new house
They keep it fresh and shiny
With the new original paint
Resistant to oil, water, even graffiti

Then, time and time again
With care, patience and precision
One sands and smoothes the walls
As the other fills in all the empty crevices
Both with similes, metaphors or paradoxes

When the fence became rotten outside
And holes and cracks crawling around
above the fireplace, in kitchen corners
And more stuffs accumulated in forgotten closets
They tire of repairing and even painting
Yeah, others have either changed their houses
Or moved away
Even before they paid off their mortgages
Only they hoped to renovate theirs
With the little savings they have

It used to be their dream house
Only too costly to rebuild

Allen in Wonderland



Truth :: beauty

Beauty :: truth

The two zoom simultaneously
At the very first ray tickling the mind of
The sleeper


With so many masks
Each getting fresher
And closer
To your heart

Your masks are your body
Your body is your face
Is your face your mask
Or your life itself?

You have never been a forbidden fruit
Not even to Eve


alas! you sensitive secretive songster
knowing every secret spirit of the forest
and all the spirit’s secrets in the mists
you keep calling and singing blindly
until your throat becomes all blood-blocked

you never care, nor are you aware
how many ears have heard your sounds
how many eyes will see your figure proper
except some casual hikers going astray
or a couple of local firewood gatherers

you just keep singing and calling blindly
you singular solitary singing species

In the English Bay

the waves surging towards the seashore
not unlike my spirits

the seashore embracing the waves
not unlike your arms

a fish trying to jump above the water
like what is not supposed to be unlike

On Osler Street, Vancouver West

somewhere down my neighborhood
as if the sun and moon were melting
all the cherry twigs tinged with spring
like morning glows fallen in the wood

beside the freshly mown lawns I jog
both my steps and breaths in keeping
with every little bare cluster humming
such a sweet tune in the silvery fog

is my residence here but a day dream
or is the day dream my residence here?

Reflections on Earth-Breaking

flesh is
but spirit is
not secret

The Art of Social Arithmetics

one plus one

two minus two

three times three
leads to

four divided by four
amounts to

Although perching in the some grove, the husband and the wife fly in different directions when the trees suddenly fall down. –Chinese Proverb

like common-laws living on land
you’ve never gone through a ceremony
but you share privacy and publicity alike
in the minimal space of time
at the maximum moment of space

after days of months of years
of playing intimately in the water
beside the reeds and duckweeds
you have begun to look like each other
in almost every physical feature

now, as a violent storm rises above the lake
do you feel enough limerence to stay here?

The Birds and the Mountaineer

in their glaring voices
unseen birds are singing
unaware of strangers
approaching step by step
down in the foothills

while the lonely climber
keeps breathing quietly
for fear of awakening
the immortals dozing off
right above his spirits

You, Or

of the crew
          will preview
         or inter-view
    the new
   of a dew
            on the yew

9 Nicknames for a Poet

1. shepherd of words
2. juggler of syllables
3. alchemist of ideas
4. collagist of sound patterns
5. singer of imagery
6. prince of a linguistic kingdom
7. addict to wild thinking
8. crow with white wings
9. god of a personal religion

Chasing Something Absent

beyond the shadow
you are the presence
of a shadow
that is
rarely the reality
whenever you are
you are not what is present

where you stand
you join the light
and never
the light disperses
to fill in the moments
when your spirit is absent

few others have the impulses
for standing
but you stand
to chase something absent


often am I attempted to rid of
this little mustache of my manhood

so I spread
the foam of self-exposure
above my lip
for cleaning

that was when I took off my mask
to try to look younger

but my Allen said
I was a total stranger
without the mustache

Night of Sky

night of sky in the sea, bursting
with clouds and whales and chrysanthemums

night of sky in my mind –flat
when my meditative spirit stays still
among shapes and sounds, like a lotus-eater

night of sky in the sky, deep night
when my imaginings are starfish finding themselves
swimming closer to the carrel tree, to their nests


come on, you guys, I am no longer a kid now
I have the right to vote like you old folks do
and if I really want to, I could always drink too
or play in a casino as you probably know how

but I don’t drink or smoke beyond your sight
nor do I have anything to do with any gangster
let alone snuck out to loud parties at midnight

I know how much green vegetable to eat
I know how often I should wash my hands
I also know how to keep my own room neat

I have never skipped classes in the past year or so
I have never forgot to hand in my home assignments
I have never been detained for any behavior low

I am sorry I cannot promise my marks would be high
I cannot promise I would win the next math contest
I cannot promise to be more outstanding than the rest
but this I promise you: I would give it one heck of try

I can in deep waters keep myself float
I can support myself with a government loan
since I have grown up with dreams of my own
let go of me, just let me row my own boat

The River and the Bridge

over that little meandering river
flowing anonymously from my boyhood
there used to be no bridge

so, we rode a ferry boat in spring
and nake-swam across it in summer
when it became as dry as reeds and straw
we trudged a trail like a small stream
and when it was frozen with sand and gravel
we walked on the thickest ice we could find
although not knowing how to ski
nor did we fear losing our balance
between boyish dreams and the cold winter

since I left my native village long ago
a bridge has been built
and thus has become the only place
and the only way
to get to the other side of the river
Birds at Risk

your songs and calls all recorded
your body well stuffed
your genes being cloned
your species digitalized

now we are living a posthumous life
we have become shadows of ourselves
among so much bustling and hustling
we are dying, birds, dying


several sunsets ago
when I was looking for something
I found a collage
made with foil, crayon and megabites
carefully kept between the pages
of our favoured family book
reminding my little allen
where he an locate
this chip of childhood
when he grows up
and feels like looking back for moment

surely, his collage is very different
from what I used to make
when I was his age
in a nameless village never mapped
surreptitiously, I buried a handful
of soil, seeds and stalks
deep under an unknown tree
hoping someday a big miracle
or a small wonderwork
would somehow be hatched out

I awaited, for many years
before my son was finally begotten

Half Truths about Hotels

1. Earth is the only all-star hotel we can find on our journey to the other world.
2. The most luxurious presidential suite is but another prison house for the privileged.
3. With or without a view, one hotel room is just as shabby a shelter for the soul as another.
4. A heart unoccupied is a hotel for rent, while a house for sale is never a home.
5. Some suites are more desirable simply because they have more doors than walls.
6. Every hotel is a blue cage hung high up in the tree of time.
7. All hotels are God’s rental properties on earth.
8. In the closet of every hotel room hides some luggage packed into the traveler’s heart.
9. The hotel is more attractive than the home to the immigrant because one does not need to worry about mortgage or maintenance.
10. What really accounts for your sojourn in the hotel is the way you check out rather than the way you check in.

The Meditating Mind

Be a bare buoy
Between and
Beyond …
the mortgagor

he has plenty of words
with which to build a huge house
yet he has neither wit nor worth
powerful enough to stir the hardened heart
of his ever friendly account manager
who would readily offer generous loans
only to those who can prove
they actually have enough cash
to buy more than ten houses

with his net assets writ in water yet
where can he find a willing creditor?  

China Charms: Tao Yuanming’s Song

In the twilight, amidst a few clusters of wild chrysanthemums, a man in his early thirties is playing a delicate instrument looking like a zither. Chanting, crying and smiling, he is so lost that he seems to have poured all his being into this single song of his. Among his audiences are a couple of humans obviously charmed by his music, for all their spirits appear to be dancing to its rhythm. Amazed by this autumn scene, I approach them and, to my little surprise, I find the singer’s instrument to be nothing more than a solid chunk of wood, with no string at all.

Note: Tao Yuanming (365-427), first and greatest nature poet in the long history of Chinese literature, resigned from his government post and became a peasant simply because he found it unbearable to “bow [to others] for the sake of five dou of rice [for his salary].”


you do not want to stay
at your bursting origin
and become vaporized
within the stagnant pool

you prefer to roll ahead
flowing at will with full freedom
no matter whether it means
you have to exile
or to be exiled
by your dear root source

you often hit rocks
tumble over boulders
or straddle ridges
yet you know it is exactly they
that give you a crystal voice                                

Pippa’s Lament

a newly liberated butterfly
beating her wings against the freshness of flowers
--no eye sees

a speckled-faced village boy
shouting loud at his dirt-free future in his dream
--no ear hears

a thick summer sunbeam
warming a flat stone in the heart of the forest
--no finger feels

a rich and brilliant dish
lying on the big table in an empty monstrous house
--no tongue tastes

a blood-stained sea breeze
blowing afar from an island beyond the horizon
--no nose smells

no one knows god is not in heaven
nor is all well with this worthy world

The Maozhu Grower

Weeding, watering, fertilizing
      Constantly toiling and moiling
That is everything
      He has been doing
Ever since he planted his maozhu
An obscure chinese bamboo breed
      Though it has repeatedly refused
To show to the staring eye
      Any sign of green growth
      For up to five long long years

He never expects to sit someday
            Under its shade slaked deep in summer
      Nor has he ever halted to hope
      After a rainy night his only child might
Shoot out of earth ninety feet tall
Within just a few thick weeks of all

To the Homeless

neither the first fallen
from the overcrowded tree
as spring's sole prophet
nor the last against night
hanging on like a soldier
bayoneting with the whole winter
you are nothing more or less
than an introvert leaf
stalking in summer's shadow

face faded, body forlorn
you are a lonely being, being alone
wandering around in a whirlwind
rolling over the bumpy roof
passing by the wet threshold
or sleeping beside the road sign
you never care when to disappear
or where you have come from
except your dreams frosted
in a forged fog

before the unseeing eyes
betwixt the city's pitiful noises
you seem a sad withered soul
dyed with heavy dusk
waiting to witness
the ever hardening of autumn
but right now who knows
deep in you unwalled heart
you are flirting with the freedom
found only in a permanent house?

Rhapsody of Night Sky

A cosmic mirror
      Smashed into small
And bright dots of light
Most of them become
So stained with time
Until darkness grows
      Thick enough to glue
Earth with heaven
      With debris possessed
Still glistening high above
Among hardening silences

Here at the Seashore

All roads and trails
Have come to a hasty end
All hills and mountains
Have sunk into the bottom
And all trees and flowers
Have retreated themselves
Except a solitary seagull
      Soaring high above
His blue call resonates
      With the foamy song of the sea

Rain and Poetry

it is raining
      raining again
in vancouver

i am trying
      trying again
to write poetry

raining / writing
writing / raining
until somehow
they are related
      within my room
just rented

Grammatical Groundwork

in the overly exploited mine of vocabulary
      he digs deep into the ores hard and shiny

at the heavily guarded garden of syntax
      he keeps pruning his trees dripping with green

among the wildly running crowds of syllables
      he skillfully cowboys his colts cute and lively

The Portrait of a Young Mountain

when I first see you
you are nothing more or less
than a muted mountain
      massive, mighty and monumental
a solid thesis statement
made by mother nature

then you seem to grow
      slimmer or slenderer
than your true shape
as I try to translate
both your body and spirit
      into an antithesis of artwork
with my brushes and palette

to authenticate your whole being
i look at you once again
      and find you no darker or brighter
than what you exactly were:
      a muted mountain

a simple synthesis
of you and me

The Land Paintings at Nasca

long lost on the barren sandy land
few folks have ever seen you as figures
drawn with bare hands of aliens perhaps
or even forgotten gods from another world

nothing but simple run-on sentences
rambling from somewhere to somewhere else
unedited, unmodified and unfootnoted
just light lines scratched on brown ground
like an ancient labyrinth suddenly flattened
framed with all metaphoric possibilities

too vague and sketchy to make any sense
for the lazy and myopic minds of men
casually walking in your blind spots
unless they can see you from high above
where they might wonder how and why

you have too few viewers privileged
to make you a familiar human scene

During their Dialogues

Behind the words they exchange
Hides a wild snow-covered animal

It seems like a sleek but wounded panther
Squatting under the thick bushes of syllables

Stop and listen with their cagey minds
They can smell its bleeding sighs

But neither of them has seen its true face
As it occasionally appears and disappears

The Jug of Life

never full
this cup of life
its taste changed completely
with only one droplet of dreamwater

staring at it square
holding it tight against light
not a single drop spilt
but all the colors missed
      along my way here
rich and brilliant

In the Library

amidst the stony silences
      so dense and heavy
even time seems
to have dozed off
i hold my sneeze
      until a stranger neighbor
happens to drop
      onto the unfootnoted floor
a thick book of human history (?)
filled with echoless voices

Passing by God’s Residence

beyond the fence with barbed wire
i saw the windows all like portholes
half closed for blind bats or flying moths
while the only door is widely open
for any creature larger than a cat

i smelt a loud light from the kitchen
appealing to both my sense and soul
when a heavenly voice called loudly:
come on in, i will give you
whatever you have desired
yet as i approached the huge house
i could not help wondering:
how can my human body manages
to crawl through the door designed for dogs?


as more fireplaces begin to burn
electricity instead of wood
fewer chimneys are left over
as throats to be cleared
allowing us to cough out
all stained stuffs such as
      black hatred
      foul words
      poisonous curses
      and evil plans
on a lightless night
weaved with winter winds

our houses becoming tidier
the air seems much clearer
but our climate is getting
warmer and warmer
as we keep installing
more modern conveniences
in the rooms of our minds

Two Street Trees

so very close
you grow together
your green arms
      branching almost into
each other’s hearts
      both beside the fast lane
      among tied silences
but like two stubborn rails
never interlinking
no matter how far
you have traveled along
your mouthless trunks
      always remain separate
although in between
      there is no wall
no fence for defense
not even a yellow leaf

Double Conquering

just like the unknown birds
whose little flapping wings
stroke into blue beating
our forefathers’ featherless minds
fluttering high and afar
until we have started to conquer
the crystal worlds in the outer space

can we hope to do the same
to our inner space ever forbidden
with the unmeaning manifestation
of nature, such as another creature
or perhaps some nameless plant?                                      

To the Unknown Musician at A Subway Station

at this serene spot of dark time
right at the corner of the eye
of all the pell-mell
the sound and fury
of a busy crazy city
you remain courageously composed
totally lost in the ecstasy
of your own voiceless song
for the compartmentalized drama of life
rolling on the railway of human inertia

no passengers know who you are
few even bother to stop and tell
if you are playing a chopin or yanni
or one of your improvisations
nor do you care who your audiences are
(if there are any at all)
or if anyone has the right ears
or the right mind
for the melody of your whole being

but among the tens of thousands
of nameless and faceless passers-by
I for one feel your fingers
playing with so much power
on the strings of my heart
my soul begins to cry
with deeply felt joy and wonder
as you are turning
(although without intention)
one of my life’s dullest episodes
into a most poetic moment

Seven Haiku

1/ the spider
let my net be set
to catch all the innocent
with my printed curse

2/ the silkworm
a small white walled cell
your cocoon jails your own soul
lined with brocade

3/ fallen leaves
still, blown by no breeze
tree spirits fall like scorched snowflakes
stopping fright for life

4/ distances
tender shines the night
the moon looks foul and foolish
when dreams come too close

5/ nostalgia
at the vague foreground
you try to find fine figures
in a vast landscape

6/ on the stage
one single actor
can never put on a play
or a tragedy

7/ recollections
all pasts swept in winds
withered and fallen from trees
once green and shiny


between the morning glow
of tomorrow
and the sunset clouds
of yesterday
is all my present life
full of shining dreams
weaved with hard darkness

the internet

with the debris
of babel
they have now built
an unseen network
of bridges and highways
between and beyond themselves
to reach each other
through the one
and same e-tongue
the mountain of language

in your shiny shadow
the hi-fi recorder
of lined time
I can never discern
your true face
miraculously morphosis
as if in a colossal kaleidoscope
but when your shout
in a yellowish voice
in can clearly see
your echoes roll
form soul to soul

Siamese stanzas: three sunbeams

the first
beam the 3rd
penetra beam
ting the another resonates
hymen beam with the
of dawn has kept crystal
emitted welding timeline
photons colored purity
seeking minds of one
the egg together single
of earth with the musical
machine tone

eight untitled haiku

this drop of red wine
tries hard to return as grapes
to that rambling vine

each one of us strives
to own a patch of blue sky
though barely breakable

sea waves surge forwards
leaving hopes and dreams behind
but can’t come ashore

  lotus roots long cut
but still connected through thoughts
invisible flower smell
that snowman we piled
has melted into sunlight
before summer comes

 like monkeys in zoos
they humans enjoy picking
lice in each other’s hearts

in the wild wife world
men burn forest fires
before they shrink thin

 in husband cosmos
women spins black holes sucking
both lights and colours

the message in the bottle

beside the backyard
of his heart’s home
runs a river never roars
into which he keeps
throwing bottles with messages
one after another
like someone whose hobby
is to compose poems
and submit them with sases
to magazines or magazettes
although he receives few letters
that happen to be handwritten
he enjoys looking constantly
beyond the waters of sea
in his hope to get some replies
long after his dwelling disappears


seemingly fresh
seemingly full
this cup of coffee
slightly sweetened
with a tasty lump of time

drink it too eagerly
your might get your lips burned
sip it too slowly
you could completely lose its flavor
watch it too closely
you would find only a dark reflection
deformed strangely


never can you hope
to become a comet
streaking across the starry sky
as it burns its super spirits
to enlighten millions
of thunderstruck minds

but you can try
to be an epiphyllum
with broad leaves
adding all your beauty
just to one tender night

you know it is the life in moments
rather than the moments in life
that really count

amateur chef

for the feast of life
each of us
is trying to prepare
with our hands and hearts
a special course
although without a ready recipe

true love

fed with magnetic foods
sensational even to its soul
our love has grown lightwinged
like a little lovely lark
that will return at sunset
to our house of heart
where it can settle softly
with the door of its cage
always remaining open

the man in the poem

every time the man in the poem suffers
from an intense attach of loneliness
in his own cozily unloving home
his soul feels doubly tempted
to flap its invisible wings
into grey and silver beating
out of his mortgaged heart

yet every time the man in the poem awakens
from his stupor to reassume his daily obligations
he swallows down his urge to reach out
for his soulmate crouching afar
under a big shady tree without a name

every time the man in the poem
takes up his pen, phone or mouse
all his nerve endings become galvanized
not because he does not have the right address
but because he wants to keep his hope alive


in this thick forest
of green growth
every tree trunk
is being sawed
with a long and burning blade
full of sharp-toothed sawyer
call obligation
the rock vs the diamond

under the forked footsteps
of numerous mountain climbers
the rock is shining with smile

deep in an undiscovered mine
the diamond feels sad and sullen
about its light being buried


[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan - © 2008

The Fallen Tree

I had taken it for granted
All trees stand upwards
But this one fell down
Too tired or too sick
Too old or too drunk
To keep itself straight
In last night’s storm

Seeing the pine tree lying there
Its proud needles stained with mud
I cannot help pressing my horn:
Rise, and hold your noble head high!

The President and the Mouse

Nothing went wrong to begin with:
The president had made a speech
As powerful as penetrating as ever
Which was televised nation wide
But some of his diction so infuriated
Jake’s boss in their imposing building
He gave Jake a huge pile of bullshit
The first thing in the very morning

For obvious reasons Jake could
Not throw out it back at his boss
So he passed the whole shit to Jane
After returning home from his work
And so Jane passed it to little John
And so John to his bulldog
And so the bulldog translated it
Into much more dogshit and
Passed it to a mouse in the storeroom
Usually on the high alert against
A neighbor’s cat…
Shreds of My Shadow

Soon after the summer sun
Pushed my yellow shadow
Beyond the boundary of land
And threw it onto the blue see
A wild wind blew it into shreds
Across the foamy fields

Let them swim like salmons
Or grow like seeds in spring

Snow Dancing

Drifting, slanting, flying
You spirits of winter water
      Coated with white and fluffy
Silences and serenities
Fall as if from lucent dreams
Erasing and eradicating
Every god-marked boundary:
      Between day and night
      Between living and dead
      Between the earth and the sky
      Between the ugly and the beautiful
Streamlining each angle and corner
      With your soft and tender power
As you dance wildly and vigorously
      To the unheard melody of heaven

All quiet and white, but at a site of light
The shadow of a crow is turned into a glow

Chinglish Sayings

The moon over America is bigger and rounder than china
The crows in the rose garden are less black than the forbidden city

We natural follow our hearts more close than to our minds
Those standing most closest can strike most deadliest

The east wind will suppress the west wind is certain
We enjoy go watch play basketball on the weekend

Few Chinese individuals have really independent personality
In social relation face and golden mean are most important thing

Because china is the most populous country, so it has most problems
Tho our ancestors invented gunpowder, we used it for celebration only

Firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, tea are seven things of every household
People take food as sky while emperor is just as too far away as sky is too high

Since we without the condition, we strongly against this system
We are desirous getting into the stage though we lack of masks

We find simply inappropriate to use ‘I’ or ‘me’ too often
My home is the only place in which myself really cares

Interview Interrupted

It does not sell a penny, even if it does
The honorarium can never offshoot the costs
Of the stamps, envelopes, pens and papers
Not to mention the computer and laser printer

Nor does it bring any worthy honor or fame
Since it died as early as a century ago
when people began to turn to novels, movies
fashion shows, tv, sports, rock and roll

Nor can it help articulate any post modern
Feelings, thoughts, impulses, dreams
Sensations, experiences which can be more
boldly expressed in digital fonts or formats

Nor can it really prove, record, mark, communicate
Criticize, satirize, promote, denounce, debunk
Describe, reflect, educate, stimulate, amuse
Amaze, appeal anything or anybody in today’s world

Indeed, whatever can be said has all been said
And whatever has been said is already the best
Of all the artworks plaguing this polluted world
Why the heck do you have to write poetry?

Post-Modern Epitaphs

1. off line
2. tuned out
3. game over
4. id expired
5. a static statistic
6. too tired to toil for more fame and money
7. here I have found freedom, equality and fraternity

QUX: Waltz of Alphabet

[A]bide one [B]arrow
[C]art another [D]ear
[E]late in the [F]air
[G]love the [H]owl
[I]deal with the [J]ail
[K]ill to [L]earn
[M]arch the [N]arc
[O]pen a [P]lay
[R]ice for the [S]crawl
[T]angle the [V]ale
[W]rite about the [Z]one

Dancing Definitions

Descant of beauty
Art of mechanics
Geometry of youth
Poetry personified
Painting in 4 dimensions
Heavenly handwriting
Figure thinking
Rhythm of imagination
Each and all
      In human dynamics

Dearest Discovery

If you have not yet found
The way to immortality
It does not matter, I have
And there is actually a short-cut

You don’t have to convert yourself
To avoid hell and go to heaven
Nor do you need to take elixirs
Or even try to accumulate prestige

Fame or creation does not help
All you ought to do is not to lose
Your self-awareness, the energy
That preserves itself after your death

Keep it or let it drift against night
It does not matter, if you really like
Concentration can turn it into
A spirit, a ghost or even a god

So, concentrate

The Little Grass

beside the sidewalk
a little nameless grass
manages to stand up
each time after it is
trodden down under
a dirty and heavy shoe

1/ to the wild rhythm of an open fire
our ancestors danced with their naked bodies
in each other’s warm shadow
although they are total strangers before the cave

2/ to the blinking beat of a cold screen
we are now dancing with our gloved fingers
in the bright spots of our own minds
although we have no spectators in rented rooms

3/ to the unheard melody of a starry song
our offspring will dance with their lucent souls
along the borderline between earth and heaven
although they cannot distinguish themselves from air


Now another ice age is coming
Everyone knows how and why


I had a conversation with a potted pine tree
Put precisely at the center of a corner
Among some dwarfed plants
Crowded in an ornamented house
Full of solid walls and railings

Like its twigs and even roots
All its protests were pinched and pruned
With the scissors of human art
It was mad, it was sad
Preferring to be growing in on a wild hilltop

From this pine tree deformed in a pot
I heard the muted cry of every soiled woe
Every suppressed life on earth

Animal Farm Revisited

The other day, I saw a vulture wearing the feathers of a dove
That happened to sneak into this fairy farm  
There it was bullying pigs and goats into flight
Torturing ducks and roasters for having wings feathered with similar dreams
Beaking the bear because of its claws just as powerful
Conspiring with bulls, elephants and walking dogs against the dragon for trying to fly just as high
And threatening all others for emptying their bowels through their own ass holes
Just like itself

Did you honestly see that?

You Know How Fast You Are Driving?

I have no idea, officer, but
I am trying to catch the next flight to heaven
I have an important appointment with an angel
I need to go to a washroom

This is my first day to go to work
This is my last chance to save my marriage
This is the only hope to find my lost child
This is the right situation for a surpass

My new boss is waiting for me
My new bride is expecting me
My baby is being borne
My father is dying in hospital

Something has gone wrong with my right foot
Something blurred my eyes for a moment
Something is not right with the odometer
Something funny is going on…

Sure, but I have to give your ticket
For driving too fast to your destination

Have Aliens Found Us


We haven’t em
We have found fossils

Those white birds of history
Their wings frozen in time
Once flying mischievously
In our personal climate
It’s all like hide-&-seek
They have found us
We haven’t em


At the Gas Station

Does this gas
Taste of grain or blood to you?

They say pump
What you don’t drink with your mouth

Do all these nozzles
Serving the wrong thirst
Reach out from the same nightmare?

They say it’s all civilization
So be a vampire

Politicians & Public Opinion

This distorted shadow of a monster dancing widely
Or of a colossal rain cloud above the borderline between sea and sky
Constantly changing its shape and thickness
With lightning and thunder
Ready to blow or to be blown into an unseen bubble
By the whirl beaten up by another dancing monster


On a bright night, at a violet site,
I sowed a seed onto a fertile field
Never expecting to enjoy the thick shade
Under this tall pine tree
Like an all-purpose shield

Not My Ashes

No, please do not keep my ashes in that suffocating urn
Where my spirits can neither fly nor to the ground return

But throw me high, higher against a wild west wind
Let me travel along with this season’s sigh thinned

Like the seeds from an unseen hand
Spread finely across a far virgin land

3 Sketches from Sichuan Earthquake [12May08]

1/ Mother and Baby
with all your human motherhood
your arms and legs like concrete poles
you created a safe cradle for your baby
as it enjoys sucking life from your withering breast
under tons of debris

2/ Teacher and Pupils
as the mountains clashed
you returned to the school sinking in the quake:
how did your single small body manage
to protect four teenagers from being smashed
by the walls caving in?

3/ Victim and Rescuers
just from the bloody battlefield against death
you are carried down on a stretch made of soldierly arms
too feeble even to feel alive
yet you remember to make a military salute
to the unseen PLAs supporting your boyhood

No One Knows When

Deep in every human heart
Is caged a ferocious tiger
Always ready to spring out
And eat you or me alive

How Does the Big Eagle

How does this big eagle
Improving its shining claws
And spring around like a mad beagle
To every unwritten clause

How innocent it pretends to be
How fresh it prefers fowl
And bullies the starving bee
Out of tasting a petal foul


Under a narrow and starless sky
Dig me no grave but let my fly
Loud did I sing and loudly sigh
      Please throw me against a high wind

This be the spirits you scatter around:
Here he starts from and falls on the ground
Here is the cuckoo, home from the sound
      And his ashes fall upon a wild flower

White Crow

You have never seen a white crow
You have never hoped to see one
But you have made this white enough:
You’d rather be than see such a crow

Soil and Air

Some sing life will restart out of soil
Some sing out of air
From what you’ve never heard of
You give up on those who hate soil
But if it were to be born once again
You doubt you had any idea of love
Not to sing that for construction air
Would not hold even with sunlight
Or suffice

Modern Narsasis

I’d better stop
Looking hard in the mirror
With these gold-rimmed lens

Or I’ll cut myself
Into sharp bleeding pieces
If it is broken

Songs and Calls

Birds make two types of sounds:
They sing
When they perch
On the tree
They call
When they fly
In the heavens

Between Me and Mirror

Looking right in the mirror
I find
No human reflection
Not even my shadow
Though the room rented
Is full of morning glows
Except the presence of absence

Where I am
I am
What is blocked
However I turn
The mirror absorbs my entire being
I long to take a closer look
At my truer self
But all I could see there
Is a blank space only

Sam’s Song

Tho my partner threw me away
Like one of her used lipsticks
After putting on a new makeup

Tho my landlord gives me shit
Each time I fail to pay him
In full amount or on the first day

Tho my boss has just fired me
Simply because he happed to see me first
After he lost a fortune this morning

Tho my only friend big mac
Is too weak to play with me
Or dream about having gold solid

Tho some call me trash
Others look down upon me
And still others never see me

Tho I have had little luck
Not to mention money
Except a few human rights

Be all that as it may
i got to eat a loaf of bread
and sleep in a dry corner
even on a rainy day

Pounding, Pounding

Hard above my head
Is a heavy rhythm
Like death’s thumping steps
Ready to iron me
Onto the ground

Fair Is the Fate

each of us
has a fiery steed

you may tame it
and enjoy the ride
on its back
like a pilot

or you are kicked aside
and even trodden
under its feet
like the dirt

so, be brave
and to horse!
Musings over the Moon

      1.    what a splendid silver plate
holding so many gold dreams

2. you cover your face with cloudy gossamers
not really because you are too shy or timid

3. this world can never go without light
so you come even before the sun exits

4. when darkness rules over the earth
only you remain close to human life

5. you always keep a cold and hard distance
tho your tender fingers caress every soul

6. you give no warmth in winter
but you offer light at midnight

7. unlike flirting stars whose affection is never stable
you are always loyal to those truly in love with you

8. you know all the secrets of the moonless night
yet you never use them to blackmail the sunlight

9. you quietly withdraw from the scene in the morning
only to let the sun receive tribute from all worshippers

No More Hanging On

so long have I longed
to give up all my earthy concerns
like an enlightened Buddhist monk
i am ready to climb up to
the peak of an unknown mountain
where I can build a plain hut
with fallen leaves and branches
where I can feel nothing
but the fresh songs of the forest
where I can hear
the budding of wild chrysanthemums
where I can taste the green wind
caressing the bubbling stream
where I can watch the sweetness of bamboos
shooting from the rocky vale
where I can smell the heavy breath
of tall pine trees and unknown bushes

will earth stop rotating round the sun
because of my humble interruptions?

Reflections on the Road

1. the road is narrow because few have traveled along
the road that has few travelers is not always narrow

2. broad ways lead only to the foot of a tall mountain
it is thin trails that lead travelers to various peaks

3. there had been no roads in this world to begin with
they came into being after people began to travel

4. there are thousands of roads available to all
but you can choose only one to travel along

5. like bars falling down from the heavens
roads have chained the world into history

6. roads have neither starting or ending points
except stops and stations along either sides

7. there are no roads just as straight on earth
as those followed only by the human heart

8. no footprints can be found on broad highways
only on paths are they marked like milestones

9. while the straightest road can disappear
your steps will lead to your destinations


with your resolution hard as diamond
you punctuate the whole universe
like a prolonged exclamation mark
as you accomplish your mission
leaving nothing in the heavens
but a memory of light
or an idea of fire
Voices: active vs passive

To say
Loves a woman
Is not to say
A woman is loved
By everyman

Harmony of Homonyms

Assent of ads adds to the ascent
Blue buses blew busses
Chaste councils chased counsels
Dyed days died in daze
Earls elicit illicit URLs
Fazed fays faze phased
Guys in guise graphed to graft
Hairy Harry heals heels
Idols idle in idyle
Jugglers jammed in jambed jugulars
Knights knock at the nocks of nights
Leased lyers are least liars
Mind mined in mist missed
Nice gneiss on nickers’ knickers
Overdo once one’s overdue
Past profits passed prophets
Quays quoined with coined cays
Ryes rise with rows of rose
Sighted symbols are symbols cited
Tales about trust are tails trussed
Urns earned have no use for ewes
Violed verse versus vale vialed in veil
Weeks whiled are wild weaks
Xi sighs with psi in size
Yoke your yore in yolk
Zealous Zellers zooms in zooms

Hey Dear Neighbor!

Would you like to try
These pyramid-shaped dumplings
With glutinous rice
Wrapped in reed leaves?

The fillings are my wife Helen’s recipe,
But the tradition is my culture’s specialty.

We eat them only
During the Dragon Boat Festival
To commemorate the death of a great poet,
Who drowned himself in a river
Long before Jesus was born.

Oh yeah, in my country of origin,
This food is called zongzi, yes, z-o-n-g-z-i

A Politically Correct Passport

Type: P
Issuing Country: BOG
Passport No.: 41ICQ
Surname: Freedom
Given names: Democracy Science
Nationality: Homosapiene
Date of birth: 24 Dec 1963
Sex: N/A
Place of birth: Jungle Pacific
Date of issue: 04 Jul 2001
Date of expiry: 01 Oct 2012

VISA status: Rejected, rejected, rjd…

Misplaced Modifiers

You bartered a beautiful ball for your baby with a big basket
You will plead your pal tonight not to play with the panther
You have helped him to hum the hymn to heave heaven
You walked with your warbler, always weeping and whining
You did not dart into the darn because you were doomed

If grammar serves you right when the ambiguity is completed with a phrase
You will stop as long as she finds the adverb before he places the adjective

Gerunds vs Infinitives

I remember forgetting singing this song
I remember to forget to sing this song

Stop regretting telling her your story
Stop to regret to tell her your story

Relief and Belief

When one leaf begins to tremble
The whole willow may remain still;

When one poplar tries to shake
The whole forest will stay calm;

When one forest cannot help agitating
There must be some thing arising, like a storm.

The Clothes from Heaven

Clad with the heavens’ brilliant cloth
Weaved with golden and silver light
The blue and the dim and the dark embroidery
Of heart and soul and the half-heart,
My dreams hang there with the morning glows
While my soul remains stark naked
In the shadow of last night here on earth:
I am standing right in front of you;
Do not stare because your eyes might hurt.

Tall Tale Told by Gulliver

As peach flowers fell like a brilliant snow
From the back lane to the wood did I go

Listening to the stream sing without a mouth
I forgot to return where is my monster house

The water flew from the mountain to the sea
As if it had nothing whatsoever to say to me

But its song always held my heart tight
Thus the night would give me no fright

I sang with the stream, whose song let me go
I am home again, and find every soul so low

Intermezzo of the Flute

I saw a flute in Henan,
And slim it was, at an archeological site.
It made the noisy quietude
Overwhelm that muted site.

The quietude agitating underground,
And spread around, no longer quiet.
The flute was slim upon the sound
And long and of a melody in the air.

It was carved out of a whole eagle bone,
With a stone chisel by the same hands
That played a song, its pitch rose
As high as the eagle could fly.

Fluted descants were delicious,
But those unfluted are even more so;
Hark, even after eight thousand years
They still echo from soul to soul…

After The Bulb Burned Out

Through the dark tunnel of the hallway
I fumbled my way humbly to the door

Back home again
I found everything
Just so much brighter
Even my old shoes
Dusted with thick shadows
At the closet of my heart

Masculine Haiku: A Poet’s Family

Head and heart both bald
He’s not pulled out one single line
Except his surname

Using no poet’s lathe
He shaves off his young manhood
With an e-razor

Like son, like father
His voice has begun to break
All for poetry’s sake

To his great credit
He’s published two finest sons
Among his fine poems

Dream China

Shanghai! Burning bright in the heart of night
Where do you see what you keep looking at?

Sure there is no Dragon King or Jade Emperor
Nor could the western moon be really rounder

It is a good cat that can catch mice in the dark
He who finds Venus has the eyes for the mark

Bright is the heard symphony performed by the fingers of culture
Brighter would be the unheard harmony between man and nature

Shanghai! Burning bright in the heart of night
Where can you see what you keep looking at?

Another Dilemma
--on David Budbill’s ‘Dilemma’

I long for tons of
so I can be a
with all this

What good is my
when I get
in such

The Game of Love

Always a three-way hide-&-seek:
You are fumbling for Helen
Helen is looking for Harry
While Harry is trying to find you

Who can take off the ribbons
Let you open your eyes wide
And see what you are looking at?

Family Man’s Fantasy

Boy, who says it’s ideal
To have a Japanese wife
An American salary
A Chinese cook and
An English garden?
Who says they can make
Every man truly happy?

For the past twenty years or so
He has been tired of them and more
Like a spoiled and exploited old bunk
Ever deep in debt
With an oily belly too big to budge
And a whole backyard of dirty dirt

Who says he is truly happy
How much more unhappy can he be?

Faulty Comparison with My Hometown

Like Vancouver, the climate of heart is mild all year round
Unlike the Lower Mainland, it is very hot in mid-China

The grasses on Grouse Mountain are similar to Luojia Mountain
The trees in Stanley Park are taller than the East Lake Park

The salmons in the Fraser River swim as far as the Yangtse River
Most residents in BC live much longer than Hubei Province

Lexical Tourism
(after Bill Holm’s ‘The Icelandic Language’)

You do not speak that language
Neither have you been to their country
But within the territory of our English vocabulary
You can easily find who they are:
They enjoy playing mahjong in a casino
They are afraid of typhoon
They kowtow to show their respect
They fight with kungfu skills
They believe in fengshui
And now they have their own taikongnauts
From these lexical spots
Can you clearly sightsee how they live?

Keeping Hands Full

You are always grasping, my friend
Says my therapist
You must learn to let go:
Whenever your hands are not full
You want to get hold of something
Or indeed anything
Now a bird in your left hand
And a bunch of flowers in your right
That’s why you are unhappy all this time
Because you do not have more hands
To grasp more things
Like green backs, purple ribbons
tall titles, soft sex and charming children
If you empty your left hand to catch the ribbons
You became unhappy about the departure of the bird
If you put down the flowers to take the greenbacks
You feel unlucky about the loss of beauty
But if you let go
Just let go
Whatever you are grasping
You can get happiness whenever you can
Since your hands are free

Over This, Over Nothing

For God knows how many times
I have ever so strongly felt
Like crying at the very top
Of my hoarse voice
In a corner of twilight
Crying my nerves away
Crying my blood dry
Crying my head off
Crying my heart out
Crying my body up
And crying the whole sky down
But each time
There are no tears
Just no
Damned tears