Friday, 7 February 2014

[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan © - 1/2013

Topic Sentences: There Are Snowflakes

that look blue
and never fall down
in the winter beyond the horizon  

sometimes, the lighter the snow
the heavier the notes for the singer

other times, the closer the flakes
the farther the thought for the hunter


more courageous
than an animal hunter
trying to kill an innocent dear
one hundred yards away, or even farther
with a powerful rifle, you hide yourself
waiting still under a thorny bush
for an entire sullen summer afternoon, just
to shoot a fleeting thought, like a jaguar
with the camera propped up behind your mind
its shutter no bigger than your pen tip

friday: 8 december 2012

above a bushy valley
i rose, without a body
under a sky shining blue
with moonlight, all muted
it is definitely not my imagination, rather

it is my consciousness gathering together
at a transparent, shapeless spot of time, gliding
like a bird along the bank covered with reeds
drifting around until it entered, invisibly of course
a three-storied house walled with dark glass
almost half planted in a big pit, where i met
a group of children, playing hide-and-seek with them
then i retreated through the back window like a smoke
flowing into the air, vanishing into another universe

a vision neither wakeful  nor dreamy
is this ultimate meditation?


hung high
            on a pole head
     as a single piece
you are a recognized flag

bound low
            around a stick end
    as a bundle
you are called a mop

in essence, you are nothing more
            or less than artificial fabric
    originally meant to keep a lonely body warm
or cover human privacy
                        shameful or otherwise

water of life

            sweet is
the spring water, and
            are the mountain dews

but flowing through our hearts
            is a fluid 
as salty as seawater
            like sweat, like tears


with my oriental eyes
            black and white
i try to capture the entire world
      with a yellowish camera
hidden between yin and yang

my inner film is more colorful
    than the picture itself

the chinese painter and the viewer

between your brush tip
            and mountain top
you seek eternity in the blank
            while i am lost
    among thick patches of ink 

my crow

after so many years
            the white crow
    i had been keeping as a pet
            finally flew away
without a single moment
                        of hesitation
through the back window
            blown open
by a gust of wild wind
                        last night

into the storm of
            black snowflakes
    falling down
            right from heaven 


            is a cross-shaded space
where two walls
    two streets
    two lanes, two views
    two pairs of lips
    two naked souls
            meet each other
face to face
                  or comforting


            looming between light
and shadow, flowing between skin
                        and soul

is a shale of shale
    of consciousness
            all bursting spiritual energy

pure, inexhaustible
ready to be explored


            yea, yeah, yes, with your
yellowish skin, you enjoy
      meditating within the shape of
a wishbone, inside the broken wing
            of an oriental bird strayed, or
in a larger sense, you look like
    the surfacing tail of a pacific whale
            who yells low, but whose voice reaches afar
far beyond a whole continent, to a remote village
    near the yellow river, where you used to sunbathe
            rice stems, reed leaves, cotton skeletons
with a fork made of a single horn-shaped twig
            when you were a barefooted country boy
                        on the other side of this new world

is this the reason for your obsession with the letter?

perpetual motion in f major

like a little
            diaphanous cloud
      drifting around, along the borderline
                        between sea and sky
my consciousness, evaporated
      from the swamps of my mind
keeps floating in the sky, never falling down
            even on a humid summer afternoon


i was using my little spear   
you were using your mighty jaw
            and prey was the prize of our pride

i missed mine, you missed yours
but neither of us could stop
            within the range of another range

like a satellite far beyond, far above
                                    along its orbit


                        my destination was preset
you will receive a parcel
            by express.  It turns out

all too expressly, and
the sender was my parents
        who had wrapped themselves
                        inside already

the past

            like a shadow
your past follows you
      everywhere, ever silently
remaining visible whenever
                        you walk in light

the deeper the sun sets, the more
                        enduring your past becomes
      unless you get lost
            in a starless night

the moving spirit

                        the bird is flying
so high in the sky, its wings
            become as blue as heaven
      its belly grey
                        as a cloud

the blue bird
      vanishes soon into heaven
but the grey forgets
                        it is part

            of a presence
embedded in the scene

then nothing could occupy
            that space, and
      remain there forever


above the vast prairies
            a little subject
leads a compound predicate
                        flying behind
like a flock of wild geese, through attributives
      and adverbials, all drifting around
            along the horizon, where an unknown object
                                    is gliding
in parallel to an appositive
      as if to join the vanishing point
of a foreign language, where
            all syntactic elements pass by swiftly

[the information age]

far beyond the dark mountains
deep in the virgin rain forest
there is not a single human being
not even a sheltered animal
except piranhas, sun bears

and an email message recently caught
on the web of a shiny spider...

[point of view]

no, no, no
no more do i want to be
a chinaman, brown-visioned
with all my yellowish
outlooks, yellowish sentiments

nor do I intend to be
a red-skinned big-foot
with my ancestors' vast land
all occupied by foreign devils

nor a rising black star
with evil pale-faced memories
nor a big white boss
with all his politically correct dollars

rather, I prefer to be a tiny rock
sitting still at a hilltop, on the roadside
watching, observing, or even
whistling when there is a wind blowing hard


with a stem cell newly pecked out
of the largest wishbone of
a keatsian nightingale

you have developed a brand new bird
whose wings are feathered
with voiced strips, all parallel
to the sound waves of
a humpback whale, calling aloud
from the heart of the pacific

[broken spirits]

fluttering, like little
black birds, they are shredded
shadows swept away silently

from the bright spot
on the tall human stage

[harmony between man and nature]

never have I achieved anything with a shape
through sheer luck, be it a couple of sons
a bunch of houses, or a whole shelf of poetry
so, I am finally unlucky enough
to buy a hundred-million-worth lottery
with a single found loonie, eh?

[the paradox about dr L]

high is my profession, even
higher is my office, and the very
highest is my income, though

my family name is low
my medical art is lower
and my mind is the lowest

[confession of a family doctor]

oh my lord, no longer do I remember
the exact wording of my oath
(that may well contain
the phrase 'relieve suffering')
but I am still keenly aware of
my ever high-sounding profession
which I had to lie to enter in the first place:
I volunteered at nursing homes and
community centers, not because
I really had a loving heart. but because
I needed that to be impressive
on my resume, on my application
to the prestigious medical school

now often do I claim to cure everything
though nothing in reality, I pretend to be
nice, polite and caring, thought tired of all that
I never put my patients' health before profits
not because I fear to be black listed
but because I think I deserve more than I gain

let the patient get sick, better bleed
so I can give pills or send them
to hospitals, where my partners can
get at him, with knives or more pills

[song of the past]

neither do I know from whom
I learned this simple song
nor do I recall the lyrics
but I do remember its melody

whenever I hum it in my heart
every note rings perfectly right
however, each time I try to sing it aloud
the song sounds different at my mouth
as if the utterances were pumped out
of the tongue-tight throat of a bull frog

yes, both the words and notes have faded
but the descant still remains familiar
to the inner ears of my boyhood

[the sun lost]

hiking alone, along
an untrodden mountain ridge
I picked up a lost sun
hoping to find its master

above twilight, I shorted aloud
towards the valley that lies far below
where my echo falls to deaf ears
where nobody seems to care
about this doomed fallen sun

[chinglish signs]

postcard mono plize [postcard store]
mobile phone electrizing [battery charge]
the road const ructino, please round to go [construction / detour]
adult care, condom, sexcare [sex shop]
please be well seated and always make yourself safe [buckle up]
please don't make confused noise when chanting [no noise during recitals]
excution in progress [construction ahead]
slip and fall down carefully [wet / slippery]
do drunken driving [no drinking and drive]


rusty, worn out with years
your socket does not welcome
my plug as before

otherwise, there would be
a total breakdown
instead of a short circuit

[meditating in marpole]

you hear him listening to the song
of another universe...
discordant ecstasy as you visualize
before he wakes up

to the flowering of lilac
in his front yard
after the hibernation


with her young and pretty reflections
she wipes the mirror at least ten times a day

but how come you never look at your self
in a mirror – is it too old and dusty?


you keep dreaming during the day
with your inner antennas
reaching high into another universe
as if to receive signals
from gods and ghosts
who have fallen into the same channel

it's kind of like watching tv


father smuggled himself
into usa
like a trafficker

son was invited
to the country
as an investment immigrant

was too nervous
to declare his net worth

father made the money by selling drugs
son washes it white with stinking stocks

[thought hunting]

stalking behind it
i sneaked into the thick forest
where it suddenly vanished
i did not know when, even whether
it would reappear at all

lying long in ambush
at the heart of silences
i became increasingly aware
the jungle has no prey in the first place
except hunting per se

[reflecting afar from canada]

far beyond the horizon
in the ricefield of my soul
amid green leaves
reach out ears, full ears 
of golden verse

pick up a pen
reap the midsummer
of your fatherland, together
with your native folks
and store it in the barn
of your mothertongue


As if right from heaven
A snowy fledgeling seagull
charges down
Trying to peck up the entire ocean
With its bold beak
As the tsunami raises
Myriads of its fists
In sweeping protection 
Against earth’s agitation
In foamy darkness
Where on the beach
No one seems to be
Standing, watching


you'd better keep
your partner
an arm's length

otherwise, you would be scorned
like a cheap potato
or hated
like a tyranny

[tender night]

in the darkness
a tulip bloomed alone
at the front yard of
my poem, in the shape
of blood-stained throat

it began to smile
with all its tenderness
behind the budding lyrics
of early april

this is perhaps why
night has become
even tenderer
since keats's time

[thought surfing]

as if on a huge herd
of water buffaloes
stampeding, surging
against the horizon, he
kept surfing towards
the rising sun, lightly
on a bluish idea
more naked
than his body and soul

[vice versa]

yin works towards yang and vice versa
men desire to fuck women and vice versa
consciousness dwells with body and vice versa
phenomenon embraces essence and vice versa
when price goes up, demand goes down and vice versa

man creates god but not usually vice versa
most people slave for money but not usually vice versa
thought controls technology but not usually vice versa
dogs bite humans but not usually vice versa


you are as straight
as a beam of sunlight
she is as curvy
as the surface of earth
when you intersect her like a meteorite
hitting our planet, another species could
die out, or come into being
around the touching point


yum-yum, you seem to
have become addicted
to this alphabet, nothing but a plain letter
though it may sometimes get you high
high with your skin-colour
as yellowish as the bank of the Yangtze River
as young as a Yankee heart
while its sound can lead you
to the truth you are seeking, its shape
can grow into a huge yggdrasil
where your soul can perch
cawing towards the setting sun


from glaciers
of the arctic syntax
words keep melting, trickling
into a stream, constantly
trying to express themselves
through the ebbs
in a lake, or a river
as they flow down the valley
to join the sea

[heavy traffic]

as words collide against one another
violently, they get both the drivers
and passengers injured or killed
even the pedestrians will get
stained with blood
as if during the rush hour

[saturday evening]

no matter how, or
how far
you throw it away
over the ridge
into the water
your mind will get it back to you
like a well trained dog
as loyal as playful
as ever


this is not anger
but with my yellowish chest
keeps expanding a new space
until another big bang
forms a whole new cosmos

right then, my blood and flesh
will become constellations
of new stars and planets
while my soul fulfils all the spaces
in the universal blast


every one of us has a little fantasy
that has turned our heart
into a nasty nest, where there is
a fledgeling crow
keeps flapping its wings
against the morning fog
hoping to fly up high
towards the rising sun
someday, somehow

[at the harbor]

all boats have returned
some with full loads of sardines
others with shrimps
still others with more or less
jellyfish, baby sharks, sea urchins
except the only one that I have been waiting for
is still not seen, like an island
as if forever anchored
at the edge of the continental shelf
though not far
beyond the horizon

[h's heart]

not unlike a lost cat
her heart is ready to stalk
behind the walking shadow
of the first angler it happens to see
on an empty street
who always has
a few leftover baits
in his fishy basket
while returning home

[die there, or liver forever]

like the little bee
caught within
the sticky tree sap, whose corpse
preserved the bacteria, surviving
to be revived
millions of years later
as the sap fossilized
becoming a piece of amber

your inspiration was
isolated, enclosed
in the body
of a poem, the instant
you lifted your broken pen
hoping it would be
discovered by someone
like the amber

[humans & nuclei]

just like two nuclei
moving closer together
whose mutual electrostatic potential energy
becomes larger, more positive
yin and yang always try
to reach a higher balance
as they join each other
at a shaded corner
in a rented room
on an open range, even
in a whole universe


listen, listening to
the snowflakes falling heavily
from an unknown sky, to the tulips
blooming close to a fallen fence, to
the sunlight dancing swirly on
the lakewater, to the shadows
invading a brand new territory under
the moon, to the thunders rolling around
in a spring dream, again, you will hear
not only the melody of the season
but also the whispers from the other world
so strictly parallel
to yours, and mine


walking around
around the corner of a back lane
I used to carry my yellowish identity
as carefully as if it were a big piece
of glass, through which I could see
others or myself, only if I chose
to do so, but on a hasty afternoon
I tripped down, and
smashed it into hundreds of
small and sharp pieces; since then
my shredded selfhood has become a big
public nuisance, a traffic hazard
as it glistens glaringly under the sun, cutting
tires or human feet, from time to time


seeing the strange belts
like little mouth masks
hung on bamboo poles
I often wondered:
what kind of clothing was that
so funny looking
in front of almost every straw-thatched cottage
but you boys don't bother about that
until one of my aunts told me
on a showering afternoon

it was only until I began dating
with a girl in a major city, so close
to beijing many years later
did I get to know them 
to be no other than menstrual rags

(a taboo of human blood?)

although they actually looked
more like shrunken flags
than thick masks

that's all I remembered about my boyhood
my native village, my motherland


coal, ebony, charcoal
crow, graphite, lactrodectus
chinese hair, african skin …
what do they all have
in common? - they are not
a color; rather, they are an absence of light
which becomes weaker and weaker
as stars keep moving farther and father
away from us

filled with light
within their dark shapes
they are quiet, but cool
and profound


as rich as old as the soil
from the qingzhang plateau
as long as endless as the water
from the huanghe river
as appealing as common as rapeseed
as smooth as ripe as banana skin
as noble as shiny as gold
as full as tender as egg yolk, and indeed

does this color suggest any peril
in or by nature?


is, needless to say
the most powerful civilization; built
with the two pupils
of a caucasian blonde
between sea and sky, where
it has been permeating, where
it has prevailed

but until where? 


this is the most affordable color
since everyone can readily
get it by shedding blood upon gold
by staging a revolution
along the Yellow River, by smashing
rapeseed into roses, or simply
by chewing a chili heart
with mango flesh


out of thick clouds
like mountains of inflated cotton
high above spring fog, much
lighter than the snow of last year
a biblical dove flies, soaring around
as if unable to find a place
to perch on land, where reed flowers
grow tall in the fields of salt, where
ivories float around
in rivers of milk

while no pale surface is taking in any light
all colors gather into a blank filled with flour
slaked lime, or aging hair just to reflect
a whole living civilization


with the same word root as 'grass' and 'grow'
you are the only living color in the entire universe

most nutritious to the human vision, you possess
both the noblest pine tree and cheapest grass

along the trail through the forest of olive
your treading upon the season sounds like jade...


isn't it the most mediocre color
between black and white
that is engulfing every paved road
every naked building, even
every human soul
like ashes to ashes?


you have degraded yourself
from the royal to the common
just as yang red has faded
into yin blue
like gray
between black and white   

[far vs near]

When I set off at dawn
On a morning lost long ago
Heaven seemed way too far
Far beyond the road’s end
Even farther than my boyish dream

Now so very tired, tired of
Travelling alone all the time
On this less trodden trail
I have finally found heaven
As close as the tree on the roadside

[fare-well, darling: to h]

On that evening, as our titanic
Finally began to sink, how I desperately
Combed our whole boat
To find you the only lifebuoy aboard!

But when I returned empty-handed
I saw you struggling fiercely
In the water of cold night
Already far beyond my reach

[With the ring hidden beside your arm]

[at the vancouver harbor]

Fully loaded with feelings, some
 thoughts are approaching, slowly
Other waiting at a close range
And still others sneaking away gracefully
From the seashore
All like bulky barges

Except a few whims
Looking so deplorably
Small in figure, but keep
creating fierce foamy waves
On the windless evening, as they
Shuttled around
Like tugboats

[the bird in the English bay]

Sometimes, you prefer to swim alone
In the blue, where
You have the whole ocean
Beneath your wings
Other times, you enjoy gliding
On the blue, where you
Have all the sky
Above you head;
Occasionally, you dive
Long and deep,
As if into your own thought
Where you seem to be trying
To catch a fish, or a wave foam
More as a game than for a meal

You never care about my loneliness
As I struggled
To share your joy of solitude


Here is the persistent pursuit of a bone chip
Hung right above the nose of the ravenous
Dog as it runs amuck, as well as another

Pursuit of an exotic seed by the west wind
That keeps blowing to catch , to throw it
Into the voiceless reality, and another pursuit

Of an innocent deer trying to gain an inch
Of freedom from the claws of an African lion
Or the pursuit of the sun by the legendary Kuafu

Who ran all the way along the Yellow River
To the very edge of the world, for a reason
No one has ever been able to tell, even today

And here’s another pursuit of a thin whim
shuttling around like a crazy owl in the jungle
A pursuit of a shapeless cloud in a forgotten sky

And another pursuit of quasi happiness you yearn to
Embed into the frame of a painting like Munch’s Scream
The pursuit that can be transmitted onto a colored screen

Like yin always trying to join yang, or vice versa
In a parallel universe, the pursuit of metaphors
Behind the thought, now more persistent than ever


You are really haunted by this letter
Yes, since it contains all the secrets of
Your selfhood: your name begins with it
You carry y-chromosome; you wear
Y-pants; both your skin and heart are
Yellowish; your best poem is titled
Y; you seldom seek the balance between
Yin and yang; you never want to be a
Yankee, but you yearn to remain as
Young as your poet son; in particular
You love the way it is pronounced, so
Youthfully, as a word rather than a letter to
Yell out the human reasons; above all
Your soul is a seed blown from afar, always
Y-shaped when breaking the earth to greet spring


More like a roman mace aimed
Right at a human head
Than like a chinese brushpen
Dripping black ink when held straight up
You were born with joy, but has grown
To be the vaguest bang in today’s world:
Without a written explanation, or a
Tangible situation, no one knows if you
signal warning, surprise, anger, hatred
Happiness, love? yes, or no?

Indeed, no one can tell when the emotion is
The strongest, when the mark stands
Totally on its own, or beside another letter


Supposedly, a lightning flash
Striking from right to left
Or a lower-cased q as in question
Trying to stand up on an o
But can it be a crescent moon
Broken by darkness, a smashed star
Falling from the summer sky
Or a hook never able to catch
A lost soul that hopes to
Find an answer voiced
From a human mouth?


A lapse of the mind
An omission in the human utterance
A gathering of feeling

All dotted

[a modest proposal]

Always towards the sun, and
Keep flying like a satellite
Your heart will leave far behind
Not only the shadow of your soul
But all the darkness of this world
Although your body may still be straddled
On the beach of night

My Photo

Tightly embedded
Within a metal frame
Is my poor soul
Sitting high 
Against the wall
Like a stuffed owl

I know how I will spend days and nights
Of my posthumous life there
Watching my children walking
Into their little living room
Or out of it

Manipulating the Time

If on a Sunday afternoon
You really have nothing
Better to do, try this:
Fold every quarter of an hour
Into an airplane, a rocket
With the front page
Of new york times
Or china daily, and set it off
Far into the twilight before
Headlines begin to fade, complaining
About being bent, the same old stories
Crying out of pain, and all the innocent
Words falling apart, like children
Bombed by a killer monster flying by

In the Reading Room

You try to explode your self
Into myriads of pieces, adhering to
All the books on the shelves
With your flesh and blood
To cover the printed meaning
Of life, between or beyond
The words, if any at all 

Be that as it may

You shall
She can
They ought to
We’d better
It must
He would rather
One has to, or
I will
Still stand to speak


rather than screaming
at the top of your voice
on a broken bridge
like Munch, you prefer to
take a shower under
the electrofall deep
at the valley, somewhere
in the cyberspace, as if hypnotized 
while you become baptized


with a big bang, the stage of the world
comes to the spotlight, where a shepherd
lay down for his sheep first, and
then all actors and actresses
flooded in, shuffling
between their exits and entrances
as religions, arts and science grow
from the same tree; where
souls are washed away
from the dust of human life; where
the crumbs of words fell down
from the feast of the mind, screen pages
are filled with breathings of the heart; and
every movement of the cursor
leads a fish biting at the hook

within this vast scene, we try to look at ourselves
beyond the entire picture


as hope grows like the twinning vine
she becomes as snug as a bug in a rug

when they compare thee to a mid-summer day
you feel happier than a tornado in a trailer park

while the highest goodness resembles water
your lines look similar to chinese chopsticks


white hair longer
than the yellow river
warm tears higher
than a tsunami
li bai grins as broadly
as the universe itself
while his words echo loud, louder
than the summer thunder, as if
to emulate an erupting volcano
to challenge God’s warning


with the sea smiling widely
with every wrinkle open
towards the morning sun, the trees balletting
in the storm of summer, the birds
chatting aloud, indeed, all is well
as God is taking a nap, dreaming
about becoming a human
both in form and in mind, where
nature imposes itself as a wild urchin
and the whole cosmos is expanding
from a past concept into its present body

that’s how we approach the world in our own terms
first, and last



give me the floor
lend me your ears
donkeys and elephants
as a pen for the press
is much mightier than a sword
from waterloo, it’s high time not
to spill out all your life in Hollywood
and march towards the white house
on the red carpet
by the sweat of your brow
while the kettle is still boiling

this is the best tip for
all crowns


Oxymoron: Love Is A 

faith unfaithful that keeps you
falsely true to yourself, like
yinyang seen through with
mournful wisdom, at the very moment of
violent relaxation, while the
guest host stands
alone in a crowd, presenting herself in
dark night, among the
sounds of silence, to give a speech about this
sweet agony as a necessary process in
virtual reality: yes, we all
agree to disagree that
we love humanity, but loathe persons; isn’t that
American culture?


You Need Night

Yes, you do need night
When darkness engulfs half
Of the world, and makes you pause

For you need a stable universe of time
To reflect on light that guides you
Through the unseen, as through your thought

Surely, in this black and heavy stillness
You can see the brilliant colours
Above the entire season, you may even dream

Here you can dissolve into a big whole
Like yin and yang, to nail your souls into
Each other’s flesh, to gain strength

Yes, you simply need night
For you need this unique reality of our world
To pause, to recover, to discover

Information Explosion

You dived into the screen
swam towards a title
With the cursor
And ran into a crowd
Of lonely words
Trying to jump
Out of the virtual reality
Where you forgot to remind them
The local network is temporarily
Disconnected, broken down



As I flopped about, not unlike a foolish fish
Thrown into a coffin, I noticed my western neighbor
Begin to move his belongings out of his dwelling
With masks and costumes of foreign gods as well
As native ghosts all left in a nightmarish mess

Then, behind my dilapidated garage, I heard
The old skeletal couple giggling secretly, saying
How delicious the grey matter they had just
Sucked from the brains of newborns, and how
Too salty some celebrities’ semen and menstruation

Wondering why everyone seemed to be moving now
I found my eastern neighbor jump wildly, busy setting fire
On their new monster house, apparently to burn or
Destroy all the aliens, robots, hygenas, wolves of war
They had been keeping as pets, which often ran astray

In the dead heart of a stormy night, I have no idea
About where I can locate my soul for some rest


Yard Sale

A whole box of human hearts, each
Still beating fresh like skinned toads

Two rows of shiny skeletons of unknown gods
All fingers longer than legs, toes bigger than skulls

Three sets of knives, blades extremely blunt
With evil spirits and devilish impulses

Four giant alarm clocks, making thunderous noises
Waking up all dead from as many directions

Five bottles of wine filled with soaked souls
As colouful as the rainbow above the styx

Can I just have the reddist heart please?
Sure, it’s free

Autumnal Change

With its fluttering chilly fingers
The west wind plucked out every leaf
Living or dead, from the growth
Of the passing summer, while flowers
Remained there in the open
Not in shape, but in spirit
As the season put a fashionable hairstyle
On top of every tree
All so trendy

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