Sunday, 21 April 2013

[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan © - 2007

-On-the-Peak (included in trioscape #22)

Dark green waves dancing
Hippy-hoppy-happy hornpipes
Up and down the slopes
As the drift and the dream
The weave and the wave
The fume and foam
Of the sea of trees
Turn my mind into a drifting buoy
Father out, the great graceful breakers
Moved like kings into court
Trailing the peacock-
Patterned forest behind them
At my feet the mists stroked the grasses
With soft little paws

Floating right amidst the green spirits
Can I see the true face of the closest tree?


Above an empty sheet of paper
With lines like the thin ridges
In an open fallow field
My snug pen squats
As if waiting in ambush
Below my window, my fathers shaking shadow
Is shrinking slowly but surely
Into a focus constantly adjusted
By the noon sun of spring
As he scatters some strange seeds
Over the soil like salted brown rice
He has been preparing since last winter

By god, the old man enjoys sowing
Even more than his old man

My grandfather died at the age of 29
In a hilly village in central china
He had cast every drop of his soiled sweat
Onto a field not belonging to himself
It is said that he reaped little in autumn
Nor did he really care about reaping

Like a bridegroom planting his plump sperm deep
In his brides virgin field on a mid-summer night
I am now sowing, with my pen
A Sky Filled with Red Noise

Wrapped tight against light
With thickening layers of
Layers of transparent words
Our glamorous globe is decaying
Among netted privacy

Oh for a spell of a heavy rain
Cleansing and cooling down
This world warming with wild whims


Just like the noon sun that can shrink
The shadow of a bulky frankenstein
Into a tiny dot, a late night moon
Can enlarge the shadow of a small soul
Into a long and heavy curtain
To block the view of all the clowns
Trying to put on a night show on the stage

-Fat-Facts about Wonder Whales: A Wild Wish

1. As the biggest animal in the world, you have the loudest voice in the living universe;
2. It is your roar rather than your song that can be heard even three thousand kilometers away;
3. The most devoted mammal, you never leave blue waters, except when trying to catch a dream above the sea;
4. With the biggest mouth in the animal world, you can swallow 50 tons of water, tears or sweat.
5. Your songs are made up of long low notes; you reserve your short and high notes for making an uproar;
6. Some of you can hold your breath well over an hour to dive a depth of 2 or 3 kilometers just to touch the sea floor;
7. With the heaviest brain among all creatures, are you destined to be the ultimate ruler of the living world?

-Grace of Gold

1/ gold is valuable not really because of its bright beauty but because of its resistance to rust
2/ as the most malleable metal, gold of a small ping pong ball can cover the whole floor of a basketball court
3/ it is aqua reqia or royal water that can dissolve gold and even golden hearts
4/ gold is never a rare metal: 9 billion tons of gold is dissolved into the worlds oceans
5/ the biggest gold nugget is found not in a treasure house but under a rotten trees roots (71 kg; in Victoria, Australia, 1869)

-Static Statistics Suggested

17: the number of muscles you use to smile
43: the number of muscles you use to frown
--why not smile more often?

50: your weight in kg on earth
1390: your weight in kg on sun
--why try to lose or gain weight?

206: the number of bones in an adults body
350: the number of bones in an infants body
--is that why children are less stubborn?

8: the number of cents worth of gold in a human body
50: the number of tons of gold dissolved in one cubic kilometer of seawater
--is this the reason for all human poverty?

-Reading the Opening of Genesis

1/ the biggest difference between reason and religion lies in the way the former tries to explain everything while the latter explains everything
2/ the narrator of the holy scripture is obviously more omniscient and more omnipotent than god himself, for he knows what god had said and done long before adam was created
3/ is faith really necessary to the mind as breath to the body?
4/ where was god before he created the heavens and the earth, and what had he been doing until then?
5/ he who has a god is really fortunately happy
6/ religion is attractive because humans need answers to the questions they cannot answer in their own voices

-Qiu-Shaoyun: A Soldier-Story
Once upon a time, during the forgettable Korean War…

Neither his family background
Nor his educational level
Nor even his true name
Is meaningful here
But he was a soldier
Fresh from a remote farm
Lying flat on his belly
Burning himself second by second
To a slow and prolonged death
On a foreign busy slope
Soundless, motionless, as if feelingless
So his comrades in arms
In their ambush positions
Would not be killed by random enemy fire
While his sick mother
Called his name
In her wintry dream
His fiancée praying for his safe return
Under the oldest village tree

Yet he is no more a hero
Than a great general now

-War, the War (Aside)

During the Korean War, about 120 soldiers deployed themselves close to the enemy positions in ambush for a whole snowy night. At 5: am when the regimes trumpet horn signaled the general offensive, the company failed to jump up as before, because all of them had been frozen to death, each still remaining in a position ready to charge uphill…

The Political Instructor
We will defend our motherland
With the new great wall of blood and flesh
As well as the old rifles in our hands
Yes, our weapons are out of year
But our will is more than strong
Oh, I wish to see my newly wed wife
What is she doing right now
Snowflakes, bog, beautiful
As large as in my home town
But not so white and fluffy…

The New Soldier
Whew, I am really nervous
And it is burning cold out here
But I cannot move
Or the enemy will spot us
And kill us all
With their all powerful weapons
I will wait, keep still, damn it
Once the charge horn is blown
I will rush forward
I do not want to be a coward
I cannot lose face
Yes, I will bring honor
To myself, to my parents
To my villagers and my ancestors
I will live up to my family name
Shee, my blood is frozen
But I cannot move, should not
Will not, not, no, n…

The Cook Soldier
Sorry, boys, too bad
I cannot cook at this moment
But after this battle I promise
I will find the most edible grass roots
Tree leaves for you boys
And cook you a big meal
With your fried flour
And a lot snow
And a bit more salt
You know every time when
I see you wolfing down food and soup
I think of my own boys
Always hungry as colts
Yeah, my sons, where are you?

-Tree Stumps

Like check stubs
These stumps are kept deep
In the earths heart
Until the account is closed
They will well remember
Every single withdrawal
Made by human extravagance

-Walking in Different Shoes

Philosopher: left is a phenomenon
Right is the essence
Businessman: left is money
Right is risk

Poet: left is rhythm
Right is imagery

-Allenian Dragonmania

my younger son is the greatest fun
of dragons i've ever known as a chinaman
he could lecture hours nonstop
on various dragons' magic talents
he often insists that in his own room
everything is transformed from a dragon
once he asked me in loud resentment
why he was not born in the year of dragon

on a shiny night with his little might
allen shrieked all his way to my dream
confused, confounded and horrified
before he told me a fantastic tale:
a real living dragon in its authentic form
had thrown a visit through his window
confessing behind his mind's curtain
it had been deeply touched
by the tremendous tenders of affection
my son had made to him in private

-What do YOU see then?

It is your golden-rimmed lenses
Rather than your naked eyes
Or it is your naked eyes
Rather than your virgin mind
That look at yet without seeing
the morning glow
The shadows of maple trees
And the pecking crows
Outside of your rooms
All rented

-When You Think, You Are

The red red rose is not my luv
So I first cut the rotten roots
Then the sick thorns and stems
Then the infected leaves
And then the fading petals
Until finally I can only keep your head
Deep in the pot of my soiled heart
Where you may remain eternally alive
As sheer consciousness
Growing Solitude

Up above
on a hilltop
stands a lonely being
Being alone

-Time Is the Makeup Master of All

With your wind-like fingers
And colored cosmetics of sunlight
You make up all faces and facets
Before putting their bodies properly
Onto the front stage of life

Though you may not exist at all

-China Charms: on the Honghu Lake

Among dozens of colonies of lotus
The flowers grow in crowds of colors
White, pink, red, blue or purple
Except all leaves green, as stems arise
Straightly from blackish muddy lakebeds
As if to pave a path for a patrolling Buddha

The most versatile plant in my original country
Lotus is now seen in terms of seeds and roots only
Both sweet and crisp to its finicky eaters
While the much lauded purity of its big flowers
Has become a forgotten foreign cliché

Under a cluster of tall and broad leaves
The boatman in straw rain cape suddenly squatted
Not to hide from the summer shower
Chasing the giggling seedpod pickers
But to reveal a secret to me touring from Canada
Each of those standing tall above the lake
Has a groom lying flat on the water nearby

-China Charms: At Zhangjiajie
(a UNESCO designated nature park)

Slim, tall and sedate
In the fluffiest garments
Of no human design
Each hill stands like a female model
Trying to display her charm and dignity
As if in a grand fashion show or
Like a fairy maiden at a casual party
Lost in a game unknown to passers-by

Amidst the morning mists
Flirtatious expressions of summer hills
I indulge myself in fits of a lover
s impulses
To give every protruding rock a dry kiss
And every slender tree a huge hug

I cannot help feeling deeply embarrassed
When my allen asks: who are they, dad?

-China Charms: Visiting the Weisui Lake

The same kinds of pine trees
The bushes no less bushy or brilliant
The same lines of mountain ranges
As irregularly handsome
The waters also composed of h2o
Certainly just as clear and clean
With even more lively fishes swimming
In leisure, and in this unknown valley

How come it has not become a costly resort
Like the famous louise lake there
At the feet of rocky mountains, for instance?

-China Charms: At Badalin, the Great Wall

Among thousands of climbers
Like so many fallen autumn leaves
Drifting up and down along an embedding stream
Names carved with keys and coins
Weathered over days, years and centuries
So many lives have been lost
As witnessed by fewer and fewer worn bricks
Breathless, I spotted a foreign black woman breathing hard
With a pair of shiny crutches
Standing against the darkening sky
How could you manage to come all the way here
By yourself? I wonder

-Far And Near

You seem so near
As near as the red rose
Pressing against the window of my heart
When you drive along a foreign freeway
As the morning sun begins to shrink your shadow
On the other side of the world

You appear so far
As far as a muted star
Glimmering through the rift of my mind
When I clam you in tightly with my limbs and heart
As the setting moon prolongs my womanhood
At this private spot of honeysun

-Evolving Human Communication

you wonder why you would wonder why you should wonder why you must wonder why you have to wonder why you wonder

--hello, may I speak to ss?
--call me asap
--wrong number
--you are a man or a woman?
--(u r a human at all?)

-Passing the Construction Site

At a huge and busy construction site, people are moving and removing bricks under a scorching summer sun when a blind passer-by comes up trying to find his way out of the noisy place. Approaching the first worker he meets, the disabled man asks: what are you doing here? dont you see I am carrying these stupid bricks? A few steps more, the poor pedestrian asks a second worker the same question, and the answer he gets is: as you can easily see, I am trying to build a wall. Confused and confounded by the different answers to the same questions about the same situation, the unseeing outsider asks a third one, who replies, well, you see, I am constructing a home. At these words, the blind person finds his way out.

-Bygones Is All Becoming

The scraping pain from the tenderest part of your heart bone
The prolonged echo of the nightingales calls from heaven
The morning glow between flirtatious mountain peaks
The very richest cuisine for a hungry Chinese mouth
The stifling smell of garbage during an endless strike
As well as the rapidly increasing or decreasing numbers of dollars
Blinking joyously on your pc screen
The spreading of your name from tongue to tongue
Within the boundaries of the human world
And of course the orgasm at the ejaculation
On an ecstasy bed of midsummers night

Indeed, all is becoming bygones

-China Charms: At Zhangjiajie
(a UNESCO designated nature park)

Slim, tall and sedate
In the fluffiest garments
Of no human design
Each hill stands like a female model
Trying to display her charm and dignity
As if in a grand fashion show or
Like a fairy maiden at a casual party
Lost in a game unknown to passers-by

Amidst the morning mists
Flirtatious expressions of summer hills
I indulge myself in fits of a lovers impulses
To give every protruding rock a dry kiss
And every slender tree a huge hug
I cannot help feeling deeply embarrassed
When my allen asks: who are they, dad?

-China Charms: In Huanglongdong Cave

With thousands of stalagmites
Potent, tall, hard and wetly smooth
Pointing naked upwards or downwards
Each of them grows only one centimeter
In a circle of complete century
(Is this cave a secret basement
Where god stores immortality
Or an open museum of penises
Natures totems of life?)

-China Charms: In Jinzhou Museum

1/ tripods
It was too difficult to make stone tripods
With nothing but stone axes or chisels
So our ancestors first tried to make one
Out of clay, then bronze and then iron
What kind of tripod can we construct now
Should we keep making tripods
With ever newer materials?

2/ jade cicadas
no, they are not cicadas fossilized
tiny, yet chubby with smooth skin
and full of translucent flesh
as so many twins born
over 4000 years ago
without laser technology, how did they
make so tiny a hole through the head
and thus fossilize its calls and songs?

3/ burial-urns
with a tripod for the ash
so directly connected to the dust on the ground
to give as much room as possible
for the living soul separated not afar
in the middle by a perforated plank
to allow the traffic or communication
between the ashed body and roaming soul
but who was the designer
for the little gate on the cover
as if in a bird cage?

-Three trees

Into the backyard
Of my humble heart
I transplanted three nameless trees
One blossoms in spring
And bears fruit in summer
One wrestles with winds and rains
On each less bright day
But the third does nothing
Except standing idly there
Up towards a distant star


No, we never planned it that way
But it so happened this seventh summer
I took my twelve-year-young son
To my fathers native village among hairless hills
In the far east end, the other side of the world
Which he had left as a starving orphan
And returned with me in the Mao suit
Like a magic-toyed boomerang
When we were both at Allens age
For the first times in our lives

Last time, my father forced the Little Red Guard in me
To kowtow, burn joss sticks and paper money secretly
For his parents, whose dialect had survived
Though I understood it only half-heartedly

This time, I cajoled my boy to grasp a handful of earth
From the grave of my grandma worshipped by villagers
(Her humaneness has supposedly made her a local deity)
And smuggle it to the backyard of our home in Vancouver
Like some foreign seeds prohibited at the customs

As we departed, again, our clan elder chanted:
Under the shade of a new highway
This old grave will soon be erased

-Last But Not Least

All my life is a preparation for this moment
So, please remove all these pipes and needles
(Meant to nail and chain me in this earthy cell)
Feed me with no more food, drink or fluid
(They are nothing less the poison to my mind)
Stop quilting me with any blankets or bed sheets
(For my spirit is warm enough to rise like a balloon)
More important, keep talking or playing a yani to my ears
(They are my final exit from this crowded room)

Ok, now, let it be right against light
Let me use my might to think bright
Shrinking all my shaded consciousness
Into a tiny transparent dot, and remind me
To become a god rather than a ghost
Farewell, you poor humans


From the skys east side
Comes times high tide
Lashing the chest of night
Seeping into every site
Of waterproof dreams
Before rinsing the polluted
In this flood of light
All My World

As a salmon, I have dug a tunnel
Long and narrow, with my streamlined mouth
Under the broad water street

As a cuckoo, I have made some calls
Loud and short, with my blood-voiced throat
Among the mountain mists

As an aspen, I have outlived my body
Heart and soul, with my unheard song
Near the waterside of an unknown lake

This is your whole world:
An unseen spot of time
in an indefinite space


-Rain Clouds

Close to the bold borderline
Between the sky and the sea
You rise, together with the sun
Below giggling morning glows

Above sour songs, loud lights
Hot hopes in the humanscape
You keep drifting around, slowly
Summoning each salty heart

Beyond the shadow of dream
Beyond the dream of summer
You grow ripe and ready to fall
To myriads of lucent oval tunes

-Circle within Circle

Year in, year out
He kept drawing circles
One after another
In an open circle
As if to seek the focal point
That is right there
Within his own hand


please remove all the iron in my blood and make it a nail so that I can drive it in a crack of time

-Keatsian Variation

Heard melodies__________________
Are sweet those
Unheard are________
Sweeter _________________
songs sung_______________

Are fragrant ______________
Those unsung_____
Are even _____________

-photo of Family and Friends

I spacespacespace S
S i s I
I s i S
S i s I
I s i S
S i s I
I s i S
S i s I
I s i S
S I s I
I s i S
S I s I
I longlonglonglong S


w yhavetowearapairofglassesy b
I o o e
T u u t
H c c t
O a a e
U n n r
Tcanyouseewhatyoul ookatorlookatwhatyouc

-Walls and Windows

All walls are unique human constructs that can protect us against rains and winds, but they also confine us to an enclosure that is located amidst loneliness, indifference and restrictions

-O0Dor (a logo poem)

1 0
0 1
1 0
0 1
1 0
0 1
1 0
0 1

-Image on Paper

Is a picture
A poem
A photo
A sign
A piece of calligraphy
Or a doodle?

-Return to the Sender

A red maple leaf perhaps
Sent by autumn
In an envelop of hope
Stamped with summer light
Undeliverable to
Changming Yuan
8033 Osler Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6P 4E3


scene i
A [in front of a detached house, trying to repair his fence while talking to himself]: Fucking hell, why does there have to be winds all the time? Without these wicked winds I would never have to worry about my fence, and the whole universe would have been much more peaceful.
B [passing by, with a bunch of empty birdcages behind his shoulder]: A nice day to do some repairing, eh? You know youve got a pretty solid house here.
A: Yeah, but it has cost me a lifetime, though, and I can never pay off my mortgage.
B: You know what I would do? I would hung a bird cage and keep it open. They say it will make you feel happy at least.
A: Really?! Wish to have one then.
B [giving one of his empty birdcages to A]: Here happens to be one for you. Happy or not happy, you will keep a bird.
A [taking over the cage and trying to hung it somewhere]: How come? But well wait and see! [aside] Me to keep a fool bird in this cage? No way!

scene ii
A [receiving a guest in his living room]: So, hows everything going, pal?
C [looking at the bird cage]: When did you begin to have a bird? Whats happened to your bird?
A: My bird? oh, I never keep a bird, but just …
C: ?

scene iii
A: [talking to himself before trying to answer a phone call]: Me to keep a bird? No way!
D: [at the other end of the phone]: I almost forget to say I am sorry for your late birdie, but didnt you take good care of it? Perhaps you did not know how to keep a tender songster to begin with? Ill lend you many really helpful books; perhaps I can give you some good tips right now?
A: Oh no! I never keep a bird except…
D: Come on, and cheer up! A bird is just a bird.

scene iv
A [in front of his house, trying to repair his fence again while talking to himself]: Dogfart, why does
there have to be wicked winds so often? Without them I would never have to worry about my fence, and the whole universe could have been much more peaceful.
E [trying to sell a new product to A]: This time I remember bringing a beautiful bird as a little present to you. Here you go [putting a pink parrot into the cage].
A: Thanks very much, but…
E: Dont mention it. This bird belongs just as much to your cage as your cage to this bird.

scene v
A [standing in the middle of his living room and yelling loudly at the parrot in the cage]: Me be a bird in cage? Oh no, me keep a bird in cage? N--
[the parrot mimicking]: mi-bi-bir-din-kei; mi-ki-pir-din-kei; mi-bi-bir-din-kei; mi-ki-pir-din-kei…


scene i [on the main floor, in front of the elevator, right at midnight]
A: How come the elevator has never come down?
B: Probably out of order, again?
C: Why not just climb the stairs and go home?
D + E: Good idea, Bro!

scene ii [on the 20th floor]
B: I am tired of slogging up this stupid stairs.
C: Me too, especially with all this damned luggage.
D: How about putting it here? we can come down to fetch it when the elevator is okay tomorrow.
A: You can say that again.

scene iii [on the 40th floor]
C: Totally exhausted. Wish to have been waiting down there like all other folks.
D: Why the hell did you suggest climbing all these fucking stairs?
E: Why the hell should we have agreed to do this most stupid thing in the world?
A: Anyone got a bottle of water? Dying of thirst here.
B [to himself in a low voice] I got half a bottle, but I myself may need it later.

scene iv [on the 60th floor]
D [breathing hard]: I wonder, how many, more steps…to go?
E: Too tired, to climb, another level…
A: Got to take, a good break…
B + C: whew, whew

scene v [on the top 80th floor]
E: Finally, finally, here we are. Who got the key?
A: I dont…
B: Left it in the lugguage.
C: Mine also down there.
D: Jesus Christ!
Changming Yuan
8033 Osler Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6P 4E3


from a messed nest to a jest fest
with a blessed crest and a dressed breast
the pressed guest had best detest
molest or invest in a west quest
for the chest of zest
in the assessed protest
against the test of pest
lest the rest vest
in the depressed or accessed


One would try to add a colon now and then
Another might insert a semi colon up and down
Still another could have used a period here and there
but he knows only when to cast a careless comma
as he writes, writes, and keeps writing
his entire life into an ever long-winded sentence

-Battle of life: A Cartoon Poem

A glass bottle with a big belly but a narrow neck
Full of bow-colored and manna-like food
A hairy scary monkey hand grasping more than it could
Tightly stuck close to the bottleneck

-In the Prairies

There are
No pens
No fence
No railings
No windbreaks
No walls
And no boundaries
Except whirlwinds
Blowing wildly
Across the territory
As another little grass
Tries breaking the earth
Like a new syllable
Sprouting at the tongue tip

-At Downtown Vancouver: A Flash Poem

I was waiting in my cozy compact on a rainy Saturday night for a long red light when I saw a human figure weeping and wailing at a public phone disconnected if seen from behind on the back of the bare booth, both broken.

-Boomerang Back to Beijing

For 13 hours in a row
Long enough to fly to heaven
I put myself in the custody
Of an unknown god
Above thick rain clouds
Closer to bow-colored dreams
Floating fiercely around

The human voice behind
Belonging to a wingless angel
Constantly reminds me
Of my forgotten destiny
Far at the other end
Of the world below
My point of origin

-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 nights 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!


Writing from Vancouver West
To my former friends in China
I always feel hesitant
Whether to or not to use
The first person singular pronoun
As in I do not really think so!

Time and time again, they have
Unnecessarily reminded me of
The biggest difference in language
Between the east and the west:
There in English you always
Spell your favourite word I
In big bold italic upper case, however
Here we have really rarely
Employed the word even in poetry

In their writing practice (probably too long)
They either drop the pronoun or replace it
With many an impersonal thing like:
The present writer, the writing subject
The unlearned, the uncouth one
The old person/body, the little human/one
The trivial/insignificant/unmentionable
The president/manager/[ ] proper
The person per se, or more precisely:
[Your] inferior, [your] subordinate
[Your] stupid husband/brother/son
[Your] foolish wife/sister/daughter
[Your] humble [ ], or less humbly:
As [your] father/mentor/lord

Instead of standing up for an unmasked person
I should try to remain hidden like a taboo
In Chinese

-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
Jakes 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 neighbors 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

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