Saturday, 20 April 2013

[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan © - 2/2011

&Narrative Viewpoints (1): First-Person

Having perceived more shadows than lamps
More cries than songs
More raw coffee than refined honey
More rotten fish than yulan magnolia
More thorns than petals
I left my home village for a distant hill
began to hike with an unknown god

Since then, I have been moving
Moving around
From east to west
From yin to yang
From the outer to the inner, where I
Hope to relocate my soul, where I believe
My senses can better be entertained

On a rainy day, I will leave a short note
To my family, telling them
Never bother to find me, for I will have gone alone
Along an un-trodden trail, like a dying African elephant

&Narrative Viewpoints (2): Omniscient

God in the West:
As long as I can get by in my way
I believe I must be doing the right thing
So, I will keep using all my powers
To convert all others and othernesses
Into the religion I have defined, and
Refined for them, despite their black hatred
Despite their red resistance

God in the East:
Longing to live in harmony with nature
You hate to interfere in the way yin
Seeks to balance with yang, or otherwise
Even when you try to enlighten others
You respect them, be it an ant, or a blade of grass
You would never do anything to them
That you would not be done by

Gods in between:
Feeling coerced, cheated, betrayed
Manipulated, offended, they all came
Down from heaven, up from hell
On a sunny afternoon
To join common humans on earth
Making love, or trading with them
For a heart’s hijab or a soul’s turban

&Narrative Viewpoints (3): Third-Person Objective

A big bed, with only one leg visible
Under a chandelier, within a room
Neither too large nor too small
A clock ticking, tacking somewhere
A male lying on the bed
his limbs as hairy as a chimpanzee’s
A female riding on his top
Her body bobbing up and down
Short breaths, mixed animal calls
Curtains flapping against moonlight
All in dimness, something in progress:
A dreamy smell or smelly dream


In the heart of every selfhood
Is there a tiny seed of antiself
That keeps growing unnoticeably
Until it is big, big enough
To become one and the same
With your entire being inside out
Like a drop of condensed color
Dyeing all the water
In a diaphanous jug

Each time an antiself gains a growth
Your previous selfhood gets thinner
Lighter, larger, yet more colorful
Like yin seeking to become
Totally mixed up with yang
In an ever renewed balance

&In front of Commercialism

Far, farther, farthest
You are forced to retreat, fleeing
Into the farthest pristine land
Of the inner world beyond the horizon

Where the white silences of the arctic
The natural balances between life and land
May offer you a bunker, where you can
Position your soul against all enemy fire

&Mustache Or No Mustache

Unable to attain a new birth
I tried to take a new look instead
By shaving off my mustache
The American standard that I have
Been wearing since teenager years
But my teenager son says I look funny
My wife finds me a weird stranger
Even I myself hate to see that ugly
Seeming-naked guy in the mirror
Making me feel eerie and disgusted

To all strangers I look a perfectly normal man
But to my associates I appear like a monster
So, I wait, for my features, to return, wondering
If a new look can never get reconciled
With an old self, or perhaps vice versa?

&Apical HCM

Unlike those young strong-bodied athletes
Who may keep running asymptomatically
Until a sudden death, I have had constant
Chest discomfort, short breaths, palpitations
All typical of hypertropic cardiomyopathy
Though a specialist has assured me this is
A congenital condition, which allows me
To live as long as I can make utterances

Indeed, with an abnormal heart muscle
Thicker at the apex than that of my wife
Or any other fellow being except my son
(Who may carry on this tradition), I can
Soak more consonance, more assonance
Right there than in, say, a big kimchi pot

Once these syllables become fully fused
With warm blood, my heart will pump them
Out through my yellowish-voiced throat

&The Cycle of A Life

The Egg: roundish, yellowish
Like a morning dewdrop
Hanging on the east side of
An unknown leaf, ready
To be hatched out
By the warm sunlight
Of late spring

The Larva: with stripes and patches
So fashionable as a fancy garment
Designed by the newest summer god
You keep wriggling, wriggling
Towards the heat of south
As if to display your pride
Over your colored being

The Pupa: Unlike a south China cicada
Trying to slough off its old self
For a different song of the west wind
You wrap up your outer life
With your innermost thoughts
About reaping sorghum
In the far fields of autumn

The Imago: As colored snowflakes
Beat their wings
Against northern dreams
You forget whether you
Are the butterfly, or the
Butterfly is you among
White wintry wishes

&The Room Just Rented
(for Robert Frost)

One room becoming available on this busy street
And delighted you are the new fortunate tenant
For this popular unit, which you have recently taken
And moved in as soon as you were allowed
On a rainy evening before all lights were turned on

Here to the manager, an alleged aid to God
You eagerly paid both your rent and deposit
And planning to stay and have your own children
Though the Landlord seldom cares, the living now
Is getting ever more crowded, more stressful

And the only corner big enough for your heart
Is full of dust and spider webs, the closet
Where you planned to hide all your dreams
Has long been colonized by ants and roaches
You wonder where your inner being can dwell

You want to complain aloud and directly to Him
About this hasty relocation for your individuality
The only room available to you here and now
Yes, you have settled in a place simply too crowded
And that makes your entire tenancy full of sound and fury

&Personal Paradoxical Prophecies: A Zodiac Poem

Aries (March 21 – April 19)
You risk both your dream and life to rescue your drowning master
But only to be sacrificed by him in a temple to some unknown god

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
You may hide all your powers and display all your attractions
But you can not change your mind just to win your lover's heart

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
You are accused of having a double or dubious identity
But you never treat any fellow being like a true trickster

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
You cannot survive the shortest battle in the broad daylight
But you will attain an eternal reputation in the night sky

Leo (July 23 – August 22)
You were born with the heart and limbs of a great lion
But mere heat forces you to flee from your own kingdom

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Your fear of familiarity drives you from place to place
But being a stranger makes you all the more conspicuous

Libra (September 23 – October 22)
You try to balance day with night, yin with yang
But you can never mix light and shadow together

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
You are such an easy prey that no one expects you in the game
But you are ready to challenge and defeat the most skilful hunter

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
You embody a perfect combination of speed and skill
But the one little game you pursue is simply too evasive

Capricorn (December 22 – January19)
Your heart is full of the compassion of a mountain
But your mind is coded with the wisdom of water

Aquarius (January20 – February18)
You do not have much light to shine down
But you have plenty water to spray around

Pisces (February19 – March 20)
You are held high above your fellow countrymen's heads
But only as a humble reminder of someone else's victory

&Light vs Shadow: A Recursive Poem

  1. Do not be carried away with so much sunshine
since shadow is right behind your feet

  1. Do not be afraid of shadow in front of you
for the sun is arising just behind your back

  1. Stand still for a moment or two
and you can tell shadow from light or vice versa

  1. Keep walking in your chosen direction
and you will find your way out of the shadows

&Bird's View

you like to hide your pupils
in the blue of the autumn sky

when clouds collide with each other
you enjoy shining down
like a pair of invisible suns, seeing
the gliding birds above corn fields
the moving shadows of hills
the reflections in the water of an unknown lake
a wild flower blooming by the river bank
a colony of ants busy transporting foods beside an oak tree
a lilac seed blown out of a metal fence
and a vision drifting around a human head

you saw, you see, you are seeing
even though your eyes are closed

&City Life

living so close to an airport
you can never flee from the sound and fury
the very order of the day

even in the farthest corner of your dream
you cannot fall asleep among many a noisy departure
or arrival above your head and heart

as others keep travelling day and night
you try to find a moment of spot
where your inner being is not disturbed

&Dusk above the Sea

beyond the vague boundary
between waters and clouds
is a boat looming, glistening
like the face of a star
rising all too early
while a half dozen birds keep
flying around, as if to catch
a few sardines that might be
thrown out into the sea

but neither is the boat necessarily a trawler
nor are the birds trying to have a free dinner

or are they?

&My Butterfly

as if to light the candle
reached out from the dark window
a white butterfly keeps beating its wings
against evening, trespassing
upon every frontyard, trying to deliver
the same message
to the local residents
though they do not seem to
like it

you will never forget this single butterfly
mono-coloured, yet karma-led

&Pet Fish

like three sparrows
cutting winds in the spring sky
the angels are often so agitated
for no reason
that they try desperately to charge out
of the little aquarium
sitting high on my granite fireplace

but now one is biting at my thought
one swimming with all leisure behind a fake rockery
the third just floating in the mid-water
staring at nothing


in my little living room i keep two pets:
one is a tropical angel
shaking its sparrow-like tail constantly
in the aquarium of my mind
the other is a white-winged crow
yawing from time to time
close to my pen and a blank
sheet of paper

while one needs minimum care
i have to feed the other regularly, like my inner self

&Light vs Shadow: Another Recursive Poem

if only there were still 10 suns hanging in the sky
as in the ancient chinese mythological universe

if only all stars were close, close enough to us
like millions of broken mirrors
put back together around us

if, if only every light on earth were much brighter
or, simply if our eyes were just a bit more insightful

there would be no shadows moving before or behind us
there would be no darkness within or without our minds

&Unseen Summer Scene

as the wild fire finally dies out
countless trees have disappeared
or become haggard with dark scars

but there are always a few trunks left
standing straight, trying to grow some green
after the first spring rain


lying down too low
for too long
how this rock longs to rise
standing boldly high against the autumn sky
like a douglas fir, or
a bamboo shoot

but it is always the tallest one
that suffers most attacks from the wind
that is cut down before all other trees

&Converting to Vegetarianism

now eating nothing
but tomatoes, potatoes
carrots, cabbages,
apples, watermelons
cherries, strawberries
sorghum, pepper
i recognize them all like true communists
either in appearance
or in heart

while their lycopene may contribute
to the well-being of my ischemic heart
i can only draw bloody memories from them
about summer fields
about all my red pasts in China

&The Painting

Colored with blood
It’d never fade into dark
in his story’s eyes

&Configurations of Cards: A Poker Poem
how i long to remove all the iron in my blood, and make it a big spike so that I can drive it into a crack of time
The Spade

not unlike the proud Prometheus
you stole from an unmapped paradise
the white seeds of peace and purity
sowing them tender and graceful
with softly solid stillness
in a dry and dreamless wintry land
like muted wishes flooring the human heart

The Heart

like a fishing hook thrown into the lake
every nerve getting tight and straight
you feel the sunpainted fingers of serenity
trying to catch misty moonlight swimming like trouts
but each time detouring around your soul
as it takes a prolonged bath
in the spring water, clear and clean

The Diamond

on the other coloured side
of summer stands a lonely being
being alone at the bushy and muddy bank
of a wide but unknown river
looking beyond the blue universe
dying speechless without leaving a will
at the boundary between light and shadow

The Club

despite the absence of
an inspired wind, all
fallen leaves giggle, busy reporting
to their invisible roots
like infants smiling from ear to ear
when recalling all the fun
they used to enjoy in their former lives

&Mahjong Marching
When a crow chats with another crow intimately, or a dog writes poetry on my frosted lawn, can we still see ourselves as humans capable of ‘modern behaviour’?

hongzhong (Red Middle)

While my mind tries to find a way
Out of the labyrinth
Walled with thick wishes
My body is left behind, wandering
Like a headless fly flying around
In a vast desert, another labyrinth, unwalled

facai (Prosperity)

As the whole world keeps running amuck
in its thin and pale dreams drifting like mists
I stand still, watching in dark stillness
Afraid to awake and shock
All the dreamers at midnight
To a shameful death

baiban (Whilte Board)

Since my parents hurriedly
Put this yellowish ticket into my hand
I have been trying, trying really hard
To catch the right bus
Running fast somewhere
Before it expires shortly

&Fatherly Fear: To Allen Qing Yuan

how much
just how much love should I show you, Son
I do not know, I only know
how I had tried
how I’d persisted in having you as my second child, a lifelong companion to your bro
how I had found the greatest joy in merely seeing you after each long and hard day
but I never meant for you to have been
36 days prematurely born, and to have begun
Suffering so much when you were only 12 years old, suffering
from a terrible drought within your Chinese skin, suffering
from bulged disks that cause you to walk like a cripple, suffering
from sciatic pain when you move around, suffering
from having to withdraw from your school's volleyball team, suffering
from lacking the confidence to emulate your elder brother, suffering
from your limitations to kick, jump, run, bend like your friends, suffering
from your inability to work outside home to earn your own money, oh Son
I do not know, I do not know how much love I should show to you:
if a bit too little, you would feel disappointed of my fatherly love
if a bit too much, I fear heavens would be so jealous as to take you away from me

indeed, how much
just how much love should I show you, Son
I do not know, I only know
after I die, my other self will stand right behind your back
wherever you are, whenever there is or there is no sunshine
ready to protect you against all evil gods and ghosts

but while still alive, I do not know, Son
how much love I should show you:
if a bit too little, you might feel disappointed of my fatherly love
if a bit too much, I fear heavens might be so jealous as to take you away from me

&The Window

All windows offer
Some sights of
Blue skies
White clouds
Green mountains
Trees dancing nearby
Or birds flying afar above the skyline
Unless blocked by
Wavy roofs
Or exteriors in thick cosmetics

Yet this one of mine
Allows me to see nothing
But dark shadows
Spider webs
Damp and dirty soil
Though I do not live
In the basement of a human residence

&Automobile Aphorisms

  1. keep focusing ahead, for anything beside your chosen lane is none of your concern
  2. the plainest jalopy and the most luxurious car of a new model both run on four wheels
  3. windshields are much bigger than rearview mirrors simply because the future is more important than the past
  4. remember to shoulder-check, just in case some hazard is in your blind spot
  5. there is often a plain police car stalking right behind you
  6. you are caught speeding when you are least aware of how fast you are driving
  7. one of those days you will run into red light at every intersection
  8. you can straddle the line, but you can never travel on two lanes at the same time
  9. a driving mistake made in a fraction of a second can cost you a lifetime to pay or repent

&Previous Residence Revisited

You used to be the owner of this house and
The land on which it sits, where you were
The judge and the executioner, where you had
The right to kill whoever would intrude
Into your little kingdom, where you can hold
An anti-god party, or grow marijuana behind your doors
Just as you can do equally wild things in your dream

Now, neither the tiles on the roof nor the wooden fence
Knows you are no longer the king here, while the falling leaves
Know you have to stand afar even if you just want
To take a nostalgic look from the outside
Or perhaps they do not know either

&While, As They Say

The iron is still hot, while
The sun is still lying on its waterbed, while
There is still some gasoline left in the tank, while
The paper is still unpolluted, while
The word is still at your pen tip, while
The fire is still burning, while
The door is still open, while
She is still in love with you, while
He can still afford, while
They are still here, while…

&Strolling in the Fraser River Park
(Entrance Notice: Unleashed Dogs Welcome)

In this territory, every dog is free
Though the leash is never too far behind
In its owner’s hand

While the dogs make love
Without even knowing each other’s names
Their masters remain standing far apart
Each fiercely guarding his pride and privacy

Without a dog, you will find yourself even less
Than an animal, as your human rights
Are blatantly violated by running dogs

None of them ever barks here though
Either with humor or at any human
But one of them could go crazy
And bite your head off
All before you know it

&Match-Lit Maxims

  1. a tiny match can start a whole mountain of fire
  2. if put aside for too long, the match will give no more light
  3. a match can warm a heart, though never a body
  4. the hardest darkness can be cracked by a single match strike
  5. it has taken tens of thousands of years for man to develop a match, but only a season to replace it
  6. as long as you keep striking the match carefully enough, there will be fire sooner or later
  7. with a match in your pocket, you will never want light
  8. it is an ill match that never gives light
  9. a match has no match in a match of match

&The Crow Cornered

Still, still hidden
Behind old shirts and pants
Like an inflated sock
Hung on a slanting coat hanger

With a prophecy stuck in its throat
Probably too dark or ominous
To yaw, even to breathe

No one knows when or how
It will fly out of the closet, and call

&My Crow: A Martyr of Truth

your heavy wings used to be
feathered with light whims
your black feathers used to be
white as your pure spirits
but your throat was so often
choked with dark truths, and
knowing too many of them
has made you infamous

you cannot be distinguished
from one another, but you can
tell all humans apart, even their shadows
as you keep announcing unwelcome truths
you hope to redeem every lie
in a snowy world

Is telling dark truths always so boldly that has
Blackened your whole being inside out?

&Well, Well, the Well
(for Yuan Hongqi)

In the lowest terrain of
My father’s native village
Used to be an old well
As deep as the memories
Of last century, around which
Boys would be running
At noon in summer
And girls dancing under the willow
At midnight, where my father
Often sat, listening to his sick mother
Telling stories about his unknown ancestors

The well finally ran dry
After God knows how long, and
Since electricity came across the hills
And ponds, nobody has returned to it
Except mosses and lichens that have colonized
The whole territory, where only my grandma’s ghost
Shines down from time to time
Trying to guard its walled-in secrets
Now as dry as its mouth

&The Truth, the Only Truth
Why not try to live in Heaven, which is right here and now, since all of us must go to Hell before we finish building it?

Just as both God and Devil
Are man’s incarnation
So are Heaven and Hell
Both man’s construction

Epilogues: A Parallel Poem
Just as both God and Devil are man’s incarnation, so are Heaven and Hell both man’s construction.

From the front yard of a melodious morning
From the busy road of a sweet Saturday
From the moist corner of a heavy march
From the back lane of pale winter
We have come, here and now, all gathering
In big crowds gathering in big crowds
Gathering in ever-bigger crowds gathering
For the boat to cross the wide wild waters
Before the fairy ferry is fated to fall
Under our feet too heavy with earthy mud

You may well hate Charon
But you cannot help feeling envious:
That business of carrying the diseased
Across the River Styx is ever so prosperous
The only monopoly in the entire universe
That has a market share
Larger than the market itself
Daydreaming, on this side
Of the river, how you might wish
To be an entrepreneur like him
A success American dreamer

Flying between sea and sky
Between day and night
Amid heavenly or oceanic blue
I lost all my references
To any timed space
Or a localized time
Except the non-stop snorting
Of a stranger neighbor

Then, beyond the snorts rising here
And more looming there
I see tigers, lions, leopards
And other kinds of hunger-throated predators
Darting out of every passenger’s heart
Running amuck around us
As if released from a huge cage
As if in a dreamland

&Fame Check

If you google your own name
and find millions of search results
You are already as well known as John Keats

If tens of millions of results prop up
You are comparable with Bill Gates, Isaac Newton

If hundreds of millions do
You are reputed like Tiger Woods, Shakespeare, Jesus Christ

If billions do
You are in the same rank as American President in office

If trillions or even zillions do
You must be someone called Allen George Michael John Smith
That is, more famous than USA

&Virtual Reality

Taking a casual walk with google
You may run into those ghosts or spirits
That you kow or would like to know
As they keep propping up
Above the skyline of the cyberspace

Within this parallel universe
You are as immortal as god
If only you know how to create
A personal webpage, a blogsite

&Driver Or Passenger

Each time I gave my wife a driving lesson
We would run into fights
Either I slapped on her face
Or she nail-raked my skin
But luckily she passed her very first test
And we did save a few bucks without getting divorced

The first time I taught my George how to drive
His resentful and doubtful face made me feel
Almost guilty of myself as a driver-tutor
Whose skills and habbits were still as poor as my pockets

Now my Allen has just got his learner’s liscense
And I am not going to teach him any driving lessons
Since I have proved the lousiest driver in my family
The only one to run into an accident at least once a year

For the safety of my body and wallet, I have
Stopped driving, since I can never be a passenger
When my family is on the wheels

&Winterscape: Snow vs Crow

Like billions of dark butterflies
Beating their wings
Against dreams, or myriads of
Spirited coal spread from the sky
Of another world, a heavy black snow
Falls, falling, fallen down
Towards the horizon of my mind
Where a little white crow
Is trying hard to fly
From bough to bough

&Winterscape: Crow vs Snow 

Like billions of dark butterflies
Beating their wings
Against nightmares, rather
Like myriads of
Spirited coal-flakes
Spread from the sky
Of another world
A heavy black snow
Falls, falling, fallen
Down towards the horizon
Of my mind, where a little crow
White as a lost patch
Of autumn fog
Is trying to fly, flapping
From bough to bough

&The Loss of a Nation’s Identity

Neither Chinese foods
Nor Chinese parents
Nor the Chinese language
Nor our Chinese outlooks
Not even our Chinese names
Make us truer Chinese now

Just as all the Chinese
Born after the Song dynasty
Were no Chinese to Japanese, so
Each Chinese coming of age
After the Ming was no more
Chinese than another to Koreans
While to other westerners
We Chinese were never the Chinese
They had known or known about

Nay, we are indeed no longer
The Chinese our ancestors used to be:
During the Yuan, we became
A nation of slaves, less than animals
In our own land; during the Qing
We learned to dress ourselves up inside out
Like our conquerors with queues
Since the opium war, we have been
Trying to modify, to remove
All our yellowish Chinese genes
Deeply coded within Chan
Within Confucianism
Within the one hundred flowers
That came to full blossom
Once upon a long time

Yes, we are offspring of ancient Chinese
We still eat and look like our ancestors
But we are not Chinese any more
No more than Japanese, or Koreans
Who still use some ancient Chinese characters


You have no name except a title
Otherwise, you would be referred to just like another human

You never have the need for a name
Since you are addressed with the heart, never the tongue

Even if you used to have a name
No human knows how to pronounce it with his mouth

Your name, like your super being, is but a gift of man
The same was as man is a gift of nature

Only those who know your true name
Will be truly blessed

&Another Winter Vision

This is not a dream to be decoded
But beyond the withering bushes
Of a strangely familiar mountain
Where all roads and trails come to
A cold end, where sweat and blood
Are frozen together, a purple lightning
Has stricken open a boulder-like tree stump
Bound with a band of iron or bronze

There, close to the thickest root
Sprouts up an unstained red bud
Getting ready for great growth again; will
It bear fruit for every herbivorous creature? Will
It offer shades to each wondering soul?

&The Wrong Way

A place in the shredded shadow of night
The dream broken into cutting bits

That’s where you try to avoid it
Remembering, many traps


&Village Accent

Growing up in a remote Chinese village
I can never get rid of my country accent
Even since I began to speak Mandarin
As those in big cities or on television do

While attending college in Shanghai, I felt deeply hurt
Each time a teacher or classmate made fun of my dialect
But inside of my own home, I feel truly delighted
Whenver my wife or son imitates my English speech act

To make myself sound less foreign in a foreign land
I often hope to wear a mask covering my voice print
Like a big soil-colored birthmark near my mouth
Or perhaps, to have a tattoo formed around this area

&The Hieroglyphical Origin of My Identity

To begin with
I’ was no body
But a common reed
Bowing its head to the rising sun
On the barren bank of the Nile

Slim, tall, hollow-hearted
Standing against tropical heat
Until one day I was used
As a human symbol, an open vowel
Referring to the speaker
And since then I have become
One of the most frequently spelt letters
In the linguistic order of the day
Always capitalized
To embody my dignity
Though I am nothing
But a common reed
That could have been made into a flute

&Avowel: A Hieroglyphical Bionote

A: a gliding and circling African vulture
E: holds a double reed tight in its tucked talon
I: until one reed falls down to the ground
O: where a rope hoop is kept widely open
U: to catch a chick running on the bank of Nile


Most of us have taken off our clothes
One layer after another
Just to show off our tattooed skin
As human’s most fashionable garments

While others are using screens of all sizes
Like shredded patches of shroud
To wrap their minds dry and tight
As if they were corpses of Egyptian pharaohs

&What Colors the World

The flowers whispering
on an early Spring morning
The garments swirling
at the high-noon of mid-summer
The leaves drifting around
on a later autumn afternoon
The dreams looming
at midnight towards the end of winter

&Statics vs Dynamics

While the swimmer beats his arms violently
Against the swiftly flowing currents
Like a butterfly flapping from bough to bough
His mind remains still, with only one single
Small idea to surge ahead with all his strengths

While the chan practitioner sits still on a cushion
With all her muscles reposed and relaxed
Like the Buddha meditating under the pipal tree
Her mind is filled with myriads of wild whims
Burst and bursting as in a big bog of bubbles

&Star Fruit

All others wear masks
Roundish, without edges
Their truer selves always differing
From what they appear
To the naked eye
Except you, who remain the same inside out
Your heart ever as green
As your untattooed skin

No juicier than others
Neither plumper nor sweeter
But you are far more integrated

&Autumn Leaves
They are turning more colorful
bolder, brittler than spring flowers
As their songs and calls of death
Resonate with the wild west wind

Most of them are ready to fall
At dusk, during a storm
Some on clear nights
Others at the moments
When their throats become too choked
With shadowy memories of the past summer
To voice their elegies

But the last one you are watching
Will still be hanging on there
Through the entire winter

&An Other Revolution

Having been oppressed
Or depressed
For too long under the ground, and
To add insult to injury
Having been trodden
Trampled underfoot
By humans and other animals
Simply for too many times
The dead will rise at last, shooting up
From volcanoes, climbing ashore
From ponds, lakes, rivers, seas, jumping out
From every crack and crevice on the surface, charging down
From ridges, hills, mountains
In numbers overwhelmingly greater than
The few creatures still moving on the earth


As giant ants march ahead in nightly arrays
Demonstrating against the ruling humans
Along the main street of every major city
Hordes of hordes of vampires flood in, screaming aloud
Riding on hyenas and octopuses
Waving skeletons in their hairy hands
Their blood-dripping tails whipping
At old werewolves or all-eyed aliens standing by

Gathering behind the masses are ghosts and spirits
Of all the dead, victims of fatal diseases
Murders, rapes, tortures, wars, starvation, plagues
Led by deformed devils and demons
As if in an uprising, to seek revenge
On every living victor in the human shape
Some smashing walls and fences
Others barbecuing human hearts like inflated frogs
Still others biting at each other’s soul around black fires
All in a universal storm of ashes and blood

Up above in the sky is a red dragon flying by

&One Luxurious Way to Relax

During a night storm
Try to stay awake
Listen, listening
With your innermost ears
To the rain drops
hitting the roof
the doors, the windows
Of your entire selfhood
Like a flock of pigeons from heaven
Coming to perch above your head
Their wings shining with moonlight
Their sweet beaks
Pecking constantly
At every string
Within your soul

&Another Way to Stop Anxiety

As the Fraser River keeps trying to
Draw the entire Pacific ocean
Into the hearts of Vancourites
A little tugboat is pulling
A huge barge
Full of unseen cargo
Into the little harbour
When you watch it with your mind’s eyes

Or when you go astray in your dream

&Gathas (1): The Art of Relaxing in a Frantic World

Take away
Better to put off
The fire under the cauldron
Of your boiling consciousness

In the deepest valley of night
When the water within your mind cools down
Growing as still as the lake water of autumn
It will reflect the most distant stars
In their celestial essence
Even the sun ready to rise
From the other side of the world
Until your entire inner universe
Becomes a tiny
Lightspot of

&Gathas (2): Absorption

Arms widely open
Fingers pointing to the sky
Whole body staying straight
You come to stand still, upright
On a stump like a poplar
Your spirits reaching out like its branches
Taking in all the air and sunlight you can embrace
Allowing the the stump to revive
Through your warm breaths
Where your selfhood gains longevity
From the myriads of its roots
In this long-forlorn forest
Until you and the stump\
Become one and the same
With a new tall tree
Forever green

&Gathas (3): Mind Mudra: A Chan Poem

Legs crossed
Sitting straight
Still in chan meditation
Upon a lotus flower
Newly blossoming on my inner pond
I perceive myself transforming
Slowly but steadily
From a monstrous yellow-skinned frog
Into an ever bigger, brighter Buddha
Until my whole being inside out
Bursts into trillions of individual cells
Each being an other self of mine
Like a star beyond the skyline
Blinking, whispering
As if all chanting in unison
In a universal prayer
For harmony

&Gathas (4): Elixir for Insomnia

Stop counting ants or elephants
Stop twisting and turning on your bed
But get your entire selfhood ready
To receive, with all your tenderness
The big blue dewdrop from heaven
Letting it melt your brains into a stream
Flow from your head to your toes
More slowly
Most slowly
As it cleanses, cooling down
Melting your vertebral column
One section at a time
Until all you brain cells
Become ready to evaporate
Like the dews at the leaf tip
Towards the morning sun

&Universal Prayer

While sitting in meditation
I dispatch all the cells within my body
As many as 100 trillions
(Each containing
A whole set of my genetic codes)
Into the spaces
Within and without the cosmos
Now I command:
Let each of my cells
Each of my selves
Lead a particular celestial body
To join in a common wish:
Bless my family
Bless my neighborhood
Bless my race

&Nuwa’s Dilemma: An Other Mega-Narrative

Back from her 3 day celestial tour
(each second amounting to a century on earth)
Nuwa was abhorred to find
How the human world she had created was evolving:
While the human kind had grown
Rampantly in numbers
And in numbers only
It kept degrading inside
Into grotesque beasts
Lower than deformed insects

Seeing how well the World of Gods
And the World of Dead were both doing
Nuwa began to feel
Confused, confounded:
Of all her equally whimsical creations
Why the World of Humans alone
Was developing so loathsomely?

From that moment on she has been hesitating:
Should she destroy the entire human world
And recreate the race, or just let them go
Their own way and destroy themselves?

&Autumn Leaves

They are turning more colorful
bolder, brittler than spring flowers
As their songs and calls of death
Resonate with the wild west wind

Most of them are ready to fall
At dusk, during a storm
Some on clear nights
Others at the moments
When their throats become too choked
With shadowy memories of the past summer
To voice their elegies

But the last one you are watching
Will still be hanging on there
Through the entire winter

&Everyone Can Become a Buddha

You will become apotheosized
Like a true Buddha
Once you can put
Both dews and poisons
Into your little jug
And still enjoy tasting the mixture
Or watching them melting into each other

&You Are a Buddha

As long as you can
Go along, or
Go alone
With Karma

As long as you are ready
To accept, or
Give up
Everything, anything

&Super Hearing

On a snowy Saturday night
In the very depth of dead silences
Listen, with your mind’s ears widely open
And you will hear the moaning of
Those tortured in hell, the protesting from
Those unborn around us, the whistling of
Souls as they blow by like swirls, the thumping of
Feet from the other side of the world, the roaring within
The hearts of the muted, the thundering beyond
The horizons of every inner space, thhe calling of
The most distant wild

Or, if your own mind grows imperturbable
Like the still lakewater in the valley of late autumn
You can hear, even on a busy street
The whispering of gods and immortals
The murmuring of spring flowers
The singing of starlight in a universe parallel to ours
Yes, you can
Just as I did

&Morning Mists

Unable to endure constant burning
The suffering souls finally find their ways
Out of the topsoil, trying
To rise together
With the summer sun

Yet they are all shot
With its very first needles
Into the darkest moment of last night
Where the ghosts of the newly dead, the invisible
Linger on, staring at one another
No one knows how many of them
Were still holding their authentic
Human shapes, how many of them
Became deformed, agonizing
Between pools of stinking blood
And piles of rotten flesh

&Confrontations (1): Crow

A wounded, fledgling crow
Yaws invisibly
Above its shadowy voice
As if to convey the message
About the darkness of tomorrow night
To the whole world, where a heavy snow
Has just started to fall, falling

&Confrontations (2): Plum Blossom

Without a single leaf
Green or yellow
To support it as a foil
But on a skeletal twig
Glazed with dark elegies
A bud is blooming, bold and blatant
Like drops of blood
As if to show off, to challenge
The entire season
When whims and wishes
Are all frozen like the landscape

&Confrontations (3): Seagull

With its sharp wings
Feathered with
The light of thunder
The seabird is cutting open
The entire thickening dusk
Along the borderline
Between day and night

&Natural Confrontations

1/ Seagull

With its sharp wings
Feathered with
The light of thunder
The seabird is cutting open
The curtain of a whole season
Along the borderline
Between the seas and the sky

2/ Swirl

A gossamer-like breeze
Left behind by
A running dog
Tries to strike
The stagnated twilight
All over the city
Before the storm sets in

3/ Sprout

From under
A bulky boulder
Sitting still, meditating
Like a Buddha
A tiny bamboo sprout
Has just broken the earth
Ready to shoot up
Against the entire sky


A miniture manhood
Like a mushroom stem
Trying to support
The whole rainy day
Within her body


A fragile front page
Of last year’s newspaper
Falling down from nowhere
Begins to drift around
As if to cover the entire city
With its faded words
Some broken into small
Fragmented lights, some burned
With frantic ambitions, others glistening
Like the stars beyond the horizon
Where the headlines run parallel
To the midnight, leaving the content of
The same old story, yes, the same
Old story partly saved
Partly crashed
Somewhere within the web
Still expanding


Let light occupy every shadow
Let hope occupy every city square
Let giggles occupy every playground
Let spring dewdrops occupy all the fields
Let pigeons occupy all parks and banks
Let trees occupy all roads and streets
Let equality and fraternity occupy all the office buildings
Let the exploited occupy all the administrations
Or, let us all stand up in a universal uprising

&The Programmer

With a single mouse click
The programmer vanishes
Into the plasma waves
Of the screen, with another key-hit
The computer flies away
Into the depth of the cyberspace
Like the legendary yellow crane

I was the one sitting there
In the coffin-like attic, trying
To program the destinies of
Both man and god

&Dao/Chan: Defining the Undefinable

Hard as the arctic ice
Tender as the summer cloud
Dynamic as a tsunami in the Pacific ocean
Still as the lakewater of late autumn
Chan is like Dao, rather
Dao is like Chan
The way, the spirit, the H2O
That can reach high into the sky
Squat still at the very bottom of River Styx
Flow towards the lowest terrain of each valley
Melt into salty tears, sweat, blood
Sweet milk, musky semen, mixing with
Fogs, mists, clouds, dewdrops, taking the shape
Of whatever it invades, occupies, vanishing
Into nothing and everything at the same moment
Within and without the visions of all naked eyes
Constantly moving, transforming
Between or beyond
Yin and yang

&Hi Story!

Yesterday evening, I eavesdropped
On my two sons’ conversation about
A most boring school subject
When I was trying
To weave a run-on Chinese myth
Into the broken lines of an English poem:
What is history? Allen asked
His story! Replied George
Whose, whose story?
God’s, John’s, Dad’s, your own, so long
As it is a third person singular male
But why, why not her story?
Probably because a woman, a girl, or a female
Is always part of his story, to begin with
I guess


The two can clearly hear
Each other’s murmuring
Heartbeats, even breaths
Though they are separated far apart
By the Pacific, by a whole season
But they have to shout as loud
As they can, yelling face to face
In the small kitchen when they
Are angry, like two deaf dogs
Barking towards the shadows
Beyond the setting sun

&World of Walls

Every wall is built to shield
The storm, the sunlight, to stop
The friends, the strangers, to blockade
The songs, the noises, or

To divide between two realms
Such as hell and heaven
Day and night
Freedom and confinement

Whether with or without doors

But all and only
In the human world


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