Monday, 2 June 2014

[archived]: Language Poems-2 by Changming Yuan ©

12 feb 2014-  the following poems have mostly been published online or in print since 2005. 

Word Vogue: Another Politically Correct Poem
            According to Global Language Monitoring (2009), the following words have appeared most frequently on flat and e/media over the past decade.

Global warming, with
9/11, before
Obama, through
Bailout, for
Evacuees, from
Derivatives, via
Google, behind
Surge, against
Chinglish, till

English Kanata

Living in the buttes and parklands
With the chutes running through the muskeg
Where Douglas fir and Sitka spruce dwarf
Manitoba maple and tamarack
Among kinnikinnick, saskatoon and soapallallie

We keep fool hens, siwash ducks
Turkey vultures and whiskey jacks
But not really caribous, pecans
Siffleurs or Massassauga rattlers

We eat cisco, inconnu, kokanee, ouananiche
Or oollichan together with timbits

Under the guidance of a bush pilot
Along the blue line
We sometimes ride a chuck wagon
On a grid or asphalt road

When we have a tea party on our veranda
We always prefer to sit on a chesterfield

We have coined tons of loonies and toonies
To pay our premiers and suitcase farmers alike

It matters not if we dwell in a flat or apartment
If we play with a pack or deck of cards
Not even if we take a holiday or vacation

But we do care about how our MLAs
Face off with one another
Even over a puck

The Words: A Parallel Poem

The words I have captured are wild
You warned me they would fly
But I really wanted to give a try
Taming them into birds nice and mild

Within the edges of this blank page
They long to return to the open wood
But I enclose them with delicate mood
Even if they might die as if in a cage

Coarse Language: A Four-Letter Poem

They fart, they fick, they feck, they foak
They piss, they pish, they puss, they poop
They darn, they dump, they dick, they dyke
--Can’t they ever live with more love than fuck?   

Private Enjoyment

each night
I retreat to my bed
taking off all the clothes
from my body and soul
and, always, a cluster of consonants
elbow into my mind
murmuring voicelessly
and burying me deep
into my pillow
filled with vowels

You, Or

            of the crew
          will preview
         or inter-view
                 the new
                of a dew
            on the yew

The Fat Fabulous

easy-going, they
gab; they
grin; they
giggle; they
guffaw; they
gossip; they
gyrate; they
goof off; they
galumph; gooey



Allen in Wonderland


Home: A Logo Poem


The Confucian Knowledge: A Parallel Poem

Only you know, you only know, you know only
When you know that you know
When you know that you know not
You need to know when you know not that you know
You know that you know not when you know not
Or you know not that you know not when you know not

Modern Mandarin-Speaker: Another Parallel Poem

The Chinaman you are
Is not what I heard
Though your speech is still single-syllabled

The Chinaman you are
Speaks a different mandarin now
Changed over time
Like pidgin

Making utterances
Bubbling and boisterous
That might hide
Your local accent

The Chinaman you are
Is not what I hear
Speaks with the same old pronunciation
But a new intonation

Incomplete Imperatives

While the sun is sleeping
While the hope is being prolonged
While the winter is not really arriving yet
While the egg remains hatched
While the vapor stays in the air
While the grass grows
While the fish swims in the water
While the house stands firm
While the cherry tree blossoms
While the iron is still hot

If Omitted

Had yesterday lasted a month longer
Were the earth flattened today, or
Should the mind become separated
From the body tomorrow…

Word Collage: A Democratic Poem
            According to a poll conducted worldwide in 2008, these are the 50 “most beautiful English words

Mother of Passion, Smile
In love for eternality and fantastic destiny
At freedom or liberty
With tranquility or peace
In blossoms and sunshine
On the sweetheart gorgeous
To cherish enthusiasm, hope and grace
Under rainbow blue
Like sunflowers twinkling in serendipity
With bliss and lullabies
Beyond the sophisticated renaissance, cute and cozy
Under butterflies from the galaxy
At this hilarious moment beyond extravaganza
Against aqua sentiment
In a cosmopolitan bubble
Above pumpkins, bananas and lollipops
As bumblebees giggle
About paradoxes and delicacies
Despite the peek-a-boo behind an umbrella
Beside a kangaroo

Lexical Tourism
            (after Bill Holms The Icelandic Language)

You do not speak that language
Neither have you been to their country
But within the territory of our English vocabulary
You can easily find who they are:
            They enjoy playing mahjong in a casino
            They are afraid of typhoon
            They kowtow to show their respect
            They fight with kungfu skills
            They believe in fengshui
            And now they have their own taikongnauts
Visiting these lexical spots
You will witness the way they work and play

Gerunds vs Infinitives

I remember forgetting singing this song
I remember to forget to sing this song

Stop regretting telling her your story
Stop to regret to tell her your story

Misplaced Modifiers

You bartered a beautiful ball for your baby with a big basket
You will plead your pal tonight not to play with the panther
You have helped him to hum the hymn to heave heaven
You walked with your warbler, always weeping and whining
You did not dart into the darn because you were doomed

If grammar serves you right when the ambiguity is completed with a phrase
You will stop as long as she finds the adverb before he places the adjective

Voices: Active vs Passive

To say
Loves a woman
Is not to say
A woman is loved
By everyman

Real Or Unreal Conditionals

As if the chrysanthemum leaf were more tender than the petal
As if the china cat were being chased by a cloned mouse
As if money became something like air or sunlight
As if god were to come to rescue your name or fame in particular at the end of the world
As if the knob could tune up love or wisdom
As if the sounds were more brilliant than cherry blossoms
As if the butterflies had never seen a flower
As if the sun were to rise every other month from the north
As if language and art were not modern behavior
As if I had really found the way to become a god after my death
As if you were all to live to 800 years
As if all the worlds water began to drain away from our planet tomorrow
As if consciousness evolved into the only form of intelligent beings

Spelling Test

Happy is the baby who picks and plays with a plain bottle among all the fancy toys

The dog is successful when it finds the bone it wants to chew

If we love animals, they will love plants in return

When mice begin to enjoy playing with cats, there will be peace

Children are healthy as long as they are eating, running and giggling

QUX: Waltz of Alphabet 

[A]bide one [B]arrow
[C]art another [D]ear
[E]late in the [F]air
[G]love the [H]owl
[I]deal with the [J]ail
[K]ill to [L]earn
[M]arch the [N]arc
[O]pen a [P]lay
[R]ice for the [S]crawl
[T]angle the [V]ale
[W]rite about the [Z]one

Sell Liberation of Words Worth

Although with a broken pen soul
I am not writing tear ably or pointlessly
on the new clear issue for the magazine
run by a non-prophet society
set up on the basis of its members lie ability
To me, an operation would not secure but mean
a sentence to the peace in that infected area
As a banana author, I may lack a peel
but it is rarely better to turn left than to be all right
To avoid a rest, Ive de sided to go fast on a weak day
then I will call my sun to rice in the mourning
after he falls in love at the first site
In deed, if we give the act an inch
it would become a ruler. Just like a life guard
I hope to keep all the buoys in line
With a film-like memory yet to be developed
I try to keep my head above the water
as I swim for word, yet I have no interest in the bank
Unlike a lawyer who may be debarred or a model
to be deposed, Ill never become a poet to be decomposed
nor do I allow my train of thaw derailed; rather
I will commit sue side by continuing
to write worse or move in verse

Diphthongal Quartet
(for children and others)

hi the guy, dye the tie
I to my eye cry and lie
Why to vie and sigh in the rye?

Show or throw, a crow is no foe
No foe would go so very low
Flow the toe or owe a blow

How to tow, how to vow
Allow the bow for a pow-wow
Now to cow in order to row

Bake a cake, make a flake
Brake the snake for wakes sake
Take the ache off the fake lake

Harmony of Homonyms

Assent of ads adds to the ascent
Blue buses blew busses
Chaste councils chased counsels
Dyed days died in daze
Earls elicit illicit URLs
Fazed fays faze phased
Guys in guise graphed to graft
Hairy Harry heals heels
Idols idle in idyle
Jugglers jammed in jambed jugulars
Knights knock at the nocks of nights
Leased lyers are least liars
Mind mined in mist missed
Nice gneiss on nickers knickers
Overdo once ones overdue
Past profits passed prophets
Quays quoined with coined cays
Ryes rise with rows of rose
Sighted symbols are symbols cited
Tales about trust are tails trussed
Urns earned have no use for ewes
Violed verse versus vale vialed in veil
Weeks whiled are wild weaks
Xi sighs with psi in size
Yoke your yore in yolk
Zealous Zellers zooms in zooms

Etymology of Love

It is perfectly easy:
All you need to do is
To separate be
From the intended act
Or take out the first letter
From the glove
[on your personality]
or simply press
and thus cover
the g [spot with
Your whole being


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

Behest Impressed

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

These Few Words

In hundreds of languages
Over thousands of years
Under millions of circumstances
By billions of human beings
And for trillions of times
These few simple words
Have been repeated
Still on the mouth
At finger tips
Or with heart beats
Even though they have become meaningless
Pale and feeble
More tasteless than thin water

Dangling Modifiers

to write your dead past
into a living essay
this chapter should be read
with your eyes and mind
both widely open

by perusing or pursuing 
such perfectly bound books
all the essential rules
can easily be learned
about their sophisticated syntaxes

taking notes with all her attention
the idiomatic usages
of her adopting language
will be mastered well
over a small spot of time

heavily loaded with grammar
his whole being is
an isolated adverbial
often meant to modify
the wrong logical subject

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

[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 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 stump; 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 roaring


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

            (A little tip for all crowns.)

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 now 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

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?

The Jiujielity of Liknonomics

Together with fengqing
Damas use all
Kinds of guanxi to
Go and look, never
Afraid of chengguan
Or shuanggui as they
Explore every geilivable
Dollar issued by chinemerica, like
People mountain, people sea
Between them: we two who and who?

Yes, no money no talk!

Omniscient Viewpoint

Every human can emulate God
By creating a world or reality
Of his own will, where he can
In words as well as in graphs
See whatever is going on within
Or without the body of a mind
The senses between or beyond
The psychoscapes in the world
Where he knows as much about
How the dying is feeling, as how
This God may find worshippers

Subject: a Hyper-Grammatical Poem

Never appearing after a pre-position
Seldom does it follow the predicate
But always remaining as the very focus
The topic of each single sentence, you can
Be a noun like America, a pronoun like Him
Even a verb led by ‘to’ or followed by ‘ing’
Even a whole clause introduced by ‘that’
Or a wh- word, except a modifier like an adverb
An adjective, not to mention any other empty
Word that lacks a meaning in its own right

While in Chinese any word can be the subject
Any subject can be omitted, here in English
We have to keep it, surely and squarely
To demonstrate our democracy, the rule of law 

Object: A Hyper-Grammatical Poem

Direct or indirect
It must be
Within the grasp
Of the senses
To complete the meaning
Of a sentence
To reach something with a shape
To strike at a moment of space
To count like an abstraction in math
That never exists at any time or space

Predicate: A Hyper-Grammatical Poem

You have to take the form of an action
Static or dynamic
Predicting what the subject does
Or portraying how it is
Within a tense, a mood
Or a voice
Like the human heart that beats
Against every pumping of bloody feelings 

Y10: Be

You had been before

You were, and since then
You have been, although
You could, you might, you would or
You should have been, now
You are, and shortly
You are going, to be or not to be, of course
You can, you may, you will be, but if
You must be
You are to

Be-come, which is being


Although without either usage problems
Or grammatical errors, your life
Is a long-winded sentence, rambling
Along, with too much redundancy

So, if you keep editing it, you will find
It is actually not a sentence
Not even a phrase, but a singular
Proper noun, which is capitalized
But holds no meaning on its own

Until one day, your death will add an adjective

To this noun, often misspelt, mispronounced 

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