Thursday, 13 February 2014

[archived]: nature poems-1 by Changming Yuan ©




Changming Yuan



Spring:             like a raindrop
                        on a small lotus leaf
                        unable to find the spot
                        to settle itself down
                        in an early autumn shower
                        my little canoe drifts around
near the horizon
                        beyond the bare bay

Summer:          in her beehive-like room
                        so small that a yawning stretch
                        would readily awaken
the whole apartment building
                        she draws a picture on the wall
                        of a tremendous tree
                        that keeps growing
                        until it shoots up
                        from the cemented roof

Autumn:          not unlike a giddy goat
                        wandering among the ruins
                        of a long lost civilization
                        you keep searching
                        in the central park
                        a way out of the tall weeds
                        as nature makes new york
                        into a mummy blue

Winter:            after the storm
                        all dust hung up
                        in the crowded air
                        with his human face
                        frozen into a dot of dust
                        and a rising speckle of dust
                        melted into his face
                        to avoid this cold climate
                        of his antarctic dream
                        he relocated his naked soul
                        at the dawn of summer

Beyond the Blue

there is no borderline
between sea and sky

waves are pushing their colors
up towards the air, bloating
their calls and songs to bold
changing shapes

it is a world within nature
presenting itself, or what
cannot be represented elsewhere

separated from the mind
the frame always trying to capture
a few fish swimming in the waters                   

Sun  Setting above the Sea

Like an all-faced fisherman
Too excited about a long day’s catch
The sun eagerly drags its net of light
Bigger than the universe itself
Onto the thickening skyline
Leaving behind nothing glittering with fish scales
In the shadow of night


A seagull glides
Its motionless
Graceful glide
Above a million freshly foamed waves

From this realm
You hear the gull
As all birds are

Little is definitely impossible

Sea View

However winds blow
All waves keep pushing forward
Towards the shore

Only the light rays at sunset
Retreating to the ocean’s heart
Like a flock of pigeons
Returning to their cage 


You saw the clouds near the skyline
Drifting around in an earthly dance
You hear the evening clearing its throat
As if to address a huge crowd

Close to your dream explodes around
The heavy metal music of the inner city
When high above the streets
The moon flees like a startled seagull

Spring Scenery

As the morning fog
Stalks away on its fluffy feet
All boughs
Unanimously agree
To take action
By bursting themselves
With dripping green buds
Little dimples
In myriads
Across the widely smiling face
Of spring                 

Tree and Flower

tender and charming
peach blossoms fallen
      into a transparent dream
on the unmowed lawn
      whose snoring disturbs
the wakening leaves

i would like to give them
a melodious kiss
but I cannot
i am the peach tree
      still still

Crows in the Sunlight

Soon after their dreamless roosting
The crows on the boughs begin to look up
Some ready to fly, some to land
Beyond the darkest moments of last night

Disturbed by their calls, a solitary squirrel
Climbing down the tree, crossing the fence
To a pasture no greener than the leaves
But there is certainly more sunshine
More photosynthesizing, under the golden film

As I walk past, neither the crows
Nor the squirrel bothers to notice my presence
Why should they be startled away? It is me
Trespassing a new territory between day and night
Where the crows hide their night-dyed feathers


With neither dignity
Of a canopy
Nor myth
Of an aureole

Your cap is simply too small
Your stem too short
Your geared-bones too tender
Yet your fleshy body has inspired
Myriads of umbrellas
To shield gods and humans alike

Against rain or heat
Against history

Summer Scenery

The galley of an unknown author’s work
In a fully justified format:
Every stark hill italicized
Every glaring lake capitalized
With no single tree misspelled
Or single flower misplaced

Again and yet again, the sun has
Proofread the text
With all its attention

Found everything just ready to go

At Sunrise in Summer

You leap from the valley
Like an infant newly delivered
Your umbilical cord just cut off
From mother universe
To establish your own
Circulation of bloody light

Why not get up and open
Every skylight on the roof
Turning on the suns big tap
To take a morning shower
And cleanse all the darkness
Accumulated on our skins
tattooed by the night?


A whole body of teeth
Nothing but teeth

To chew the passing summer

We bite off from you
All the pearl-like memories
Tinged with sunlight

A hard but juicy kiss


To demonstrate their heliotropism
They all keep saluting 
To the summer sun, constantly moving

But at this private spot
You alone refuse to flatter light during the day
Bow towards the east at night
Even take a look beyond the foggy fields

Close to the fence between day and night
You hold your head high, trying
To mould every little conception
Into a silver bullet aimed at Venus 

Autumn Scenery

between two sharp chest ribs
      of an isolated birch skeleton
dusk-dyed and wind-carved
      hung still on an invisible wall
comes to perch an ageing crow
      whose bold beak holds a cold
and pale prophesy old
      with all withered leaves palette-cut
blowing towards gates and doors
      like the fliers sent randomly
from an alien chain store

Stream Moonset in Autumn
Close your eyes
Stay still
And you can feel
The moons silver needles
Softly pointed
Penetrating tranquility
Into your head, hand and heart
Like Chinese acupuncture
Flying balmy filaments
At you and me alike
Although ten thousand miles apart

Open your eyes
The light is streamwater
Spattering down from heaven
Upon your shaded shoulders
Whirling up and splashing about
Into stars, if you can
Catch just one droplet
Hurling it into the backyard
Out of the broken window
Of your fenced mind
The symphony of night


squatting around in a foggy field
each flushed with protests
against frost coming all too soon
Buddha puts you there
to guard an entire season
but we will relocate you
to guard our rented houses
the last of a fast-fading landscape
the last to ripen


As the wind rises
We begin to wander
            Once more
    With all our white
        And fluffy wishes
Across an unwelcoming land
    With no definite direction
    No hope of settling down
        Among inhabitants of Hollow Hills
Except the willful wind
    Until we collapse
        Into soundless seeds
When suddenly caught
            By a bone of grass

In the Twilight

As the night began to dye the whole day
            With its long and dark shadows
The man and his dog bowed over the huge tub
                        Of an autumn evening
                    Their faces becoming greyer
Like two sparrows pecking with leisure
            At the few dregs of sunlight
                        Left over on the lawn
                                    All worn out


Swarms of baby bees
Attracted to the head of every sugar cane
All busy sucking the sweet from mother earth
Or collecting sunlight for a rainy day

Far beyond the fields of late summer
They stand tall above evening arrays 
As if to salute the new crescent moon
Like red reeds, with red seeds


Each pair of round lips
Cut right in the middle
Bleeding so boldly
In a foggy fields

Nobody to kiss
Nobody to talk with
All like blood-skirted pasts
Painted thickly close to the heart

Winter Scenery: The Black Bird

so little triggers

a black bird
the nexus of antithesis
foiled with snow

to fly into the vast history of

Winter Sleep

between padded sheets
i envelope both
      my senses and soul
and stamp my naked body
with a gear-edged dream
      put into the big mailbox of night
and send my suppressed self
      far away from home
to a strange place

Wintry Willow

What a strangely familiar blizzard
That has blown your bare body
To the far end of the prairie

Standing stiff at the still cliff
You listen to the muted monologue of the valley
With all your hardened heart

Then and there, in the shape of the wind
You start to shake off your silver branches
Like a huge skeletal seagull beating its wings wildly
Eager to flap into the northern lights                                    

Ode to Huyang Tree

in the most remote corner
      of the wild wild west of china
along the sharpened edges
      of the great gobi
beyond the surging waves
      hostile to humans and animals alike
where even the dry wind is choked
            with sand dying of thirst
you are the only life form
      with leaves green and shady
            standing firmly alone
      with no dignity
            but full of pride
you are little known to foreign visitors
      who find it hard to pronounce your true name
nor do you even have a definition
            in the dictionary of colonists
yet among the native uighurs
you are worshipped with wonder
      as a living legend:
            you do not die
                  until after one thousand years
            you do not fall
                  one thousand years after your death
            and you do not decay
                  one thousand years
      long after you finally fall

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?

Confucian Gentility: Floral Haiku

Orchid:            Deep in the valley
                        Alone on an obscure spot
                        You bloom none the less

Lotus:              From foul decayed silt
                        You shoot clean against the sun
                        Never pollutable

Mum:               Hanging on and on
                        Even when wishes wither
                        You keep flowering

Plum:               Your brave bold blood dropped
                        As though to melt all world’s snow
                        Before spring gathers

Sightseeing at Harrison Lake

under a wishful willow
on the bench's bare back
are awkwardly carved
many names, initials, heartshapes
some densely isolated
others thinly connected
with plus or equal signs
making a whole new monument
            a tortured totem of tourism

unoccupied, probably reserved
there's no sudden heat of hope
or quick burial of burned burins
yet like a huge fish fossilized
sitting still in open solitude
towards the hills drifting beyond
as if to wait at the waterfront
for the long lost syllables
            stranded below the setting sun

Animal Virtue

in the big mouth
of an african alligator
open wide as broad daylight
a little nameless bird
is pecking joyfully
with leisure and pleasure
at his tooth slit
as if flirting with her bulky lover
trying to protect her
against the sun
burning flesh and earth

around the old
weak, sick and disabled
as well as innocent colts
the zebras get ready to build
a circle of wall
with their naked bodies
each time a lion looms
and waits for his first chance
to prey on one of the unlucky

alone and quietly
the doomed elephant
the once strongest of the rain forest
retreats deeper and deeper
into the limberlost of distances
struggling to die somewhere
in an unknown corner
far beyond the tusking territory
of his silent survivors
to keep their hope alive

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 Season

First on clumsy panda feet

It squats, eye-sweeping
Over trees and grasses
On silent haunches
And then, begins to loll and wallow around

Sea Snapshots: Four Haiku
1/ however winds blow
all waves keep pushing forward
to the shore only

2/ light rays at sunset
Retreat to the ocean's heart
together with gulls

3/ a daring spirit
trying to stir the whole sea
with its tiny beak

4/ in grace and leisure
you dance with a raging storm
to the blue descant

 Sounds of the Ocean

Whining, whistling, whispering
Singing, murmuring, sighing
With myriads of tossing tongues

You just follow the earth’s rhythms
If not your own instincts
If not the tunes of the winds

Articulating yourself in an unfailing voice
You do not care if you have any audience
To begin (or end) with

Indeed, there is never a need for understanding
From either humans standing afar on the shore
Or fishes swimming close to your heart

Dialectic Diary (1)

The waters always look murky
To those standing on the shore
Although they are truly transparent
Beneath a flying seagull

Dialectic Diary (2)

Never has the light been so bright
It can melt everything
Even crow feathers, even the night
That will come to land
Sweeping all their way to the heart

I dislike the mountain during the day
Not because it blocks the view
Or spreads shadows, dark and thick
To the closest trees, but it is the soft gaze
Of a lonely walker that will
Focus on their dancing reflections
In the lake. You claim the light
Can melt everything, even a soul

Yet not the shadows, not the dreams
Not such shaded thoughts

 At the Bubbling Beach

along the shoreline
      wriggling like a loose hula
a solitary seagull
standing still
      at the sandy tip
as if totally lost
      in its foamy contemplation
      over the distant horizon
bending like a boundless bow
widely drawn
the vast watery blue eye
       of this universe
lying on its back
deep in his pupil
      is an invisible arrow
            ready to shoot
at the way the sea
      seems to see

Above the Water

the goose has been floating
so long in the lake
its body above the water
becomes a picture, the rest
a rotten stick

the goose above the water
is more graceful than a swan

the goose under the water
is fossilized

in the heart of that lake
there is nothing
but a picture
of a goose-like figure
ever so bold and vivid

Spring Sunlight

On the lawns covered with chilly dreams
Like a huge heavenly herbivore creature
It wanders in ever fresh and warm leisure
With its transparent tongue reaching far out
As it licks at the snow left under the tree shade

From under the thick quilt of last winter
Hills wake, and all buildings loom up
Like its bulky body showing its strong figure
While the wind collides with the clouds
As if it were shaking down its fur like feathers

In Stanley Park

tender, timid tulips
drinking the steamy sea smell so loud
even the haughty and moody hemlock firs
becoming muted, lost in their red
brownish memories of the native Rockies

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?

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