Thursday, 13 February 2014

[archived]: nature poems-2 by Changming Yuan ©

13feb14-landscaping

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?


Appointment

come, sunlight
let us sit tight
    side by side
let us have
    a chat or tete-a-tete
        beside silences sliced
you know quite a few
    idiomatic phrases
        of my night-coded dialect
and i understand some
    basic syntax
        of your seven coloured speech

we do not have
    a common language
we do not need
    a common language
on a quiet corner
        of private afternoon
we can set up a dialogue
    without the god
        as our interpreter



Hasty Come, Hasty Go

in haste
    you came
        on one of those
    dull and desperate days
    like a summer shower
        catching me in the open
        without an umbrella:
            my heart swept afar
            my soul rain-drenched
            and my bored body
                left standing alone
    among isolating pools
as you leave
            in a hurry too


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



Mid-Autumn Moon

a rounded rainbow trout
shining bright and lively
until it is cast afar
onto the bank of my dream                  


Withered Twig

definitely invisible
      to the human eye
            looking casually afar
hardly noticeable
      even by my neighbour
            at a close range

the whole cypress tree
      filled with green spirits
except me, the only badge
      faded, getting rusty
yet refusing to fall
            onto the grassy ground

maybe it is a worm
      that has burrowed
            into my flat body
and bite by bite
      gnawing at my heart
i am dying, and
      dead will i be

please do not say
      i am a martyr
      for i hate
            my embarrassing fate
but just break me off
and see my stained soul
      a hidden birthmark
            rather than
      an unfading scar
            of my immortal mother

                                   


The Revelations of Lichens

On barren rocks
In sun-baked desert soils
At the depth of Antarctic
Anywhere but a civilized centre
Of population and pollution
These pioneer plants grow robust
In the most unassuming manner
Like a tide of faded gossamer
Conquering and colonizing
All earthly surfaces
While living peacefully
In a loving relationship
Between fungi and algae
Never discernable
To the naked human eye


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


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
Lingering
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




Orange

The swirling light of a setting sun
Turns every pip of summer
Into a halfmoon-shaped dreamer

Dreaming
About a full and golden wheel
Keep running towards another season

Wrapped within the rind are ten fleshy carpels
Ten thousand juicy associations


Still Chrysanthemum

You are always amazed
Why chrysanthemums bloom
Without feeling
At their spots of growth
While they are identified by color
White, yellow, pink, red, orange, blue, purple
Tender-textured
Petals powdered
With the coolest rays
Of the mid-autumn moon

You are stricken by their very graciousness
Each hiding behind its jade-veined fingers
Yet each refusing to budge against the chiseling frost
Still and proud


Bamboo

With your hair-like roots
Holding the earth so tightly
You stand straight
Even during a summer storm

Thin as your body
You keep an open mind
For all secrets of growth
Between your heart-ringed joints

Despite your slim leaves
You are full of spirits
Ever so clean
Ever so green


Wild Wild West Wind

you deep breath
            of last spring
        long held in summer
now letting out against light
        your most hidden fears
                    of fall
as if to raise
        a silent name call
or blowing away
    all the withered words
            (including mine)
        from every tree
            non-evergreen
    to a distant wasteland
            frozen forever
            with winter together



Snow White

So white
Swirlingly and spirallingly white
Billions of butterflies
Beating their wings white
The sky
The land
The wind so high
Blowing the whole hard afternoon
Into scraps of confetti white
So softly and tenderly white
Even the spirits of night
The dark
The darker
The darkest corners of human minds
All become so deafening white

Except a crow in flight beyond this worldly sight



Elegy of Snow

once upon a time
christmas used to be all in white
although the winter was colder
and more or less longer

snow has long disappeared from here
since it melted into seawater
of tears and sweat
both so thickly salty

instead of piling chubby snowmen
and playing snow fights with our children
now we recall summer clouds, reed flowers
bursting cotton or rolling dandelions

they are no less fluffy or white than the snow
but in here we have white christmas no more



Pine Tree

Sitting on a boulder
Like Thousand-Hand Thousand-Eye Guanyin
You reach out all your deeply tanned arms
Pointing all your evergreen fingers up to the sky
Not to take in moisture from the surrounding mists
But to give out the freshest air you could

With eyes held in as many hands
You are witnessing the sounds of the world
Still, in spirited stillness



The Last Snowflake of Last Winter

Fell as if a whole century ago
To the heart of all hardened shadows
But it has never melted there
With the least lukewarm dream
Even when summer is arriving

Is it simply because it is white as wish
Rather than red as blood
Or because its name is not writ in water?


Canadian Winter

unlike the proud Prometheus
you stole from an unknown paradise
the white seeds of pure peace
sowing them tender and graceful
with softly solid stillness

in a dry and dreaming land
are you blessings bountiful from high above
or just muted wishes deep in our hearts?



Horticulture

With its whim-bladed diaphanous scissors
The west wind arrives simply too early
Trimming the edges of late summer
Pruning the few overgrown branches
Of frenzy afternoons, like an artful hairstylist
Eager to enhance her patron’s charisma

Next year, when the season returns
It will grow greener, with stronger boughs
More tender buds, like the lilac tree
Trembling with muted laugher
In the front yard of my mind                    


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



At Yoho’s Natural Bridge

among the mighty massive roars
full of wild wonders and deep awe
    i come to worship this bridge-like rock
    carved with icy chisels of glacier water
            powerfully pounding
            constantly cutting
           
a masterpiece out of the primitive
    with no sense of design or purpose
    nor intended expression of any feelings
    nor embodiment of scientific principles
            totally ignorant of my humble presence
            under my feet is a wooden bridge
    simple, but solid as a superb set
            of symmetries, a perfect human artifact
    where i stop and then step down
            to overhear God's whispers
                                                                                          


Confession of a Cat

like a pile of compressed fog
caught on a twig at the mountainwaist
the cat hunches on the sofa's shoulder
where i see the whole house of life
genetically domesticated behind the doors
that most hateful human invention

yes, i am a bimental being
as my feline friend has revealed
i can readily detect the moods
of my human family members
often switching my personality
with my drifting kittenhood
as i tease or avoid them behind doors
who know i enjoy solitary stalking
and respect my rented privacy
but none of them was born in the year of my day
since my ancestor was cheated shamefully
out of a ridiculous race in chinese zodiac

the inside doors are ajar or unlocked
but the one facing the free spirits of nature
is always tightly closed, separating me
from my other self born to prefer
to stroll in the wild than sit in the house
once i sneak out of the threshold
i will never give a backward glance
yet I will keep my grooming habit
by using my long tongue to clean the dirtiest
and most private parts of my authentic being
somewhere in the wildness




The Dove

never does the dove remember his ancestor
      who once by chance brought back a fresh twig
thus saving an aged man after a universal flood
nor is the dove aware he is the white flying creature
     the subject painted with piety and prayers
devoted to a great but difficult human cause
as we admire or worship his invented virtues
he is busy cooing or beaking on the ground
      no larger or smaller than another common pigeon
      sometimes even like an unknowing wanton
who cannot help fighting with his playmate
over a blue spot tinged with human blood



Song of Salmons

deep in ever deafening waters
of the pacific never really pacific
you speak a highly salty dialogue
too unique to be readily translatable

painted with shiny eloquence
your language has no tattooed taboos
under every spot of your silver skin
is hidden a richly pink secret

within your little body half of a meter
spurts out a strength of three thousand kilo
you keep swimming in bluish solitudes
against the waves of an entire ocean

your heroic journey back to your birth stream
is nothing less than a pilgrim to immortality
along your single long line writ in water
you have striven, for a tiny egg of after-life



Primavera

Now another ice age is coming
Everyone knows how and why



Snail and Grass

Snail:   without this big mountain
on my humble back
i could also travel
with grace and glory

Grass:  you manage to stand up
            each time after you are
            trodden down under a dirty
            and heavy human foot



Winds

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



At the Top of Grouse Mountain  

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
Farther 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?



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


In the English Bay

the waves surging towards the seashore
not unlike my spirits

the seashore embracing the waves
not unlike your arms

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


Night Quiet


in the distance are heard some lonely footsteps
wandering beyond the boundary of wild dreams

a dehydrated lamp suffering alone from insomnia
listens attentively to crickets’ calls outside the walls

the moonlight crunches under the shoes of fall
birch leaves trembling violently like thin thoughts

only still life can still bear such solitude…



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


Day vs Night

The day has no ears
The heart but a myriad
The noises glare
Where life’s grievance begins

The night has no eyes
The mind but a myriad
The shadows collide
When your spirit bites at the light




Table of Contents
1.      Seasonsacape
2.      Beyond the Blue
3.      Sun Setting above the Sea
4.      Ritual
5.      Sea View
6.      Nightscape
7.      Spring Scenery
8.      Tree and Flower
9.      Crow in the Sunlight
10.    Mushroom
11.    Summer Scenery
12.    At Sunrise in Summer
13.    Corn
14.    Sunflower
15.    Autumn Scenery
16.    Stream Moonset in Autumn
17.    Pumpkins
18.    Dandelion
19.    In the Twilight
20.    Sorghum
21.    Poppies
22.    Winter Scenery: The Black Bird
23.    Winter Sleep
24.    Wintry Willow
25.    Ode to Huyang Tree
26.    At Zhangjiajie, A UNESCO Designated Nature Park
27.    Sightseeing at the Harrison Lake
28.    Confucian Gentility: Floral Haiku
29.    Animal Virtue
30.    The Cycle of a Life
31.    The Season
32.    Sea Snapshots: Four Haiku
33.    Sounds of the Ocean
34.    Dialectic Diary (1)
35.    Dialectic Diary (2)
36.    At the Bubbling Beach
37.    Above the Water
38.    Spring Sunlight
39.    In Stanley Park
40.    On Osler Street, Vancouver West
41.    Appointment
42.    Hasty come, Hasty Go
43.    Rain Clouds
44.    Mid-Autumn Moon
45.    Withered Twig
46.    The Revelations of Lichens
47.    Those Gliding Geese
48.    Autumn Rain
49.    Orange
50.    Still Chrysanthemum
51.    Bamboo
52.    Wild Wild West Wind
53.    Snow White
54.    Elegy of Snow
55.    Pine Tree
56.    The Last Snowflake of Last Winter
57.    Canadian Winter
58.    Horticulture
59.    Here at the Sea Shore
60.    At Yoho’s Natural Bridge
61.    Confession of a Cat
62.    The Dove
63.    Song of Salmons
64.    Primavera
65.    Snail and Grass
66.    Winds
67.    At the Top of Grouse Moutain
68.    On the Honghu Lake
69.    In the English Bay
70.    Night Quiet
71.    Night of Sky

72.    Day vs Night

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