Tuesday, 4 November 2014

[archived]: Trioscape by Yuan Changming Yuan ©


 Changming Yuan


Seasonscape: A Module Poem

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


Directory of Directions: A Module Poem

North: 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

South:  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

Center:            deep from the thick forest
            a birds call echoes
            from ring to ring         
            within each tree
hardly perceivable
            before it suddenly
            dies off into the closet
            of a noisy human mind

West:   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

East:    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                  

My Crow

As an ancient Chinese saying goes
Crows everywhere are equally black
But this one in the backyard of my heart
Is as white as a summer cloud
I have fed him with fog and frost
Until his feathers, his flesh
His calls and even his spirit
All turned into white like winter washed

My crows wings will never melt
Even when flying close to the sun

South China Cicada

no human ear has ever heard of you
      cloistering yourself deep in the soil
silently sucking all sounds from roots
      for more than thirteen years in a row
      until high up on a summer painted twig
you slough off your earthly self
            pouring all your being in a single song
            before the sun sets for the yellow leaf

Bow and Arrow
For a whole decade of
Delays and detours
You have failed after all
To find the golden bow
Yet you still hold this arrow
Close to your heart
Ready to draw it
As straight as a day dream
At the setting summer sun

Fossil Fish
not every fish can
    transform into a fossil
not every fossil
    can be found fulfilled
yet unfortunately favored
    by the formidable fate
i am a fossil
that used to be a fish

to avoid being drowned
    in my own blue dreams
i swam, swum, and swimming
with the weeping wind
            against the sweeping waves
until at a hot moment of spot
    i became fossilized

my skeleton is my story

My Crow, My Other Life

Every morning, even before I open
My eyes, the little doors of the cage
My crow cannot wait to flutter out
Into the light-washed heavens
Striking its transparent wings into beating

Every night, even after I put
The cage back inside my cozy house
The bird still glides close to the moon
With its wings feathered with spirits
Forgetting to return home

Sometimes I wonder why
Day after day, night after night
It refuses to settle softly in its cage
Like a domesticated parrot

Were I it, would I?

Or you, once the cage broken
Would the bird return
Coo itself into sleep, dreaming

Of celestial freedom?

Name Changing

Confucius once said
If the name is not right
Language will carry no might
So my father created my name
By rearranging the sun and moon
Vertically and horizontally
To equip it with all
The forces of yin and yang
Dispersed in the universe

Since I became subject
To a totally different grammar
All people have complained
Or made fun of my name
So harsh and awkward
They conspire to seduce me
To adopt a familiar one
Like Michael in the powerful speech

But to retain the subtle balances
In the wild wild world I wander
To hold my fathers sunbeam
With my mothers moonlight
I fiercely refuse to change it
Even though I often feel lost
When the sounds I hear
Do not sound like my name at all

Dancing with Crane
I show her how to move her steps
But shes much too timid
Worse still, she cannot coordinate with my movements
Although she dances with me, to an unheard melody
Its her own music shes dancing to

She likes the way I hold her
Even lets me kiss her shoulder from time to time
so richly white and velvety
But she always keeps me at bills length
Each time I come closer
She backs off with a glaring scream

What have I done so wrong?
What is in her mind?
Jumping off the stage
She shows her best, which is a scarlet crest
Like plum petals blown onto the wall of west
I beg her to return
So she did, but only to depart from me again

Outside the spotlight
She begins to beat her wide wings against my blue wishes
Her eyes sparkling, as if saying to me
I have my neck and legs
Both too thin and too long to be your partner here
In this cage-like hall
Worse still, shes much too timid

Sowing After “Digging”
Above an empty sheet of paper
      With lines like the thin ridges
In an open fallow field
My snug pen squats
      As if waiting in ambush
Below my window, my fathers shaking shadow
      Is shrinking slowly but surely
Into a focus constantly adjusted
      By the noon sun of spring 
As he scatters some strange seeds
      Over the soil like salted brown rice
He has been preparing since last winter

By god, the old man enjoys sowing
Even more than his old man

My grandfather died at the age of 29
            In a hilly village in central china
He had cast every drop of his soiled sweat
      Onto a field not belonging to himself
It is said that he reaped little in autumn
Nor did he really care about reaping

Like a bridegroom planting his plump sperm deep
      In his brides virgin field on a mid-summer night
I am now sowing, with my pen


In my line of people, especially on my father’s side
There never seems to have been ample blood
Running within the arteries behind our Chinese chests
No matter how warm-hearted we actually are

As in the case of my father, who used to
Accuse me of being an ill-hearted teenager
My heart muscle is imbalanced
As one side is less infused with blood
Than the other, thus causing palpitation
Short breath, and a strong sense of
Tightness, heaviness or tiredness about life

To diagnose my cardiovascular defection
Neither an echo nor a stress test is needed
For I am keenly aware of my own doomed
Arteries that have been clotted  
With too many syllables
Voiced or voiceless 
And to make all these sounds flow out of my heart
Is already stressful enough

Nevertheless, I will keep pumping out these words
All so blood-soaked

Me & Them

First, they looked but without seeing
So, I began to yell in a yellow voice

Then, they listened but without hearing
So, I cooked according to a Chinese recipe

Still, they smelt but without tasting
So, I melt myself into spring water

Finally, they touched but without feeling
So, I began to tattoo words on my own heart

Single Last Sale

You’ve long since sold out
Both your sweat and blood
Now you try to sell your heart
Though nobody wants it

Some say the blood is not red enough
Others find the chambers too narrow
Still others think the coronary arteries
Stained with too many feelings

You peddle around, chanting aloud
From street to street
With your heart still fresh
Beating like a frog in your hands

You hope to sell it for a glass of water
Just to cool down your burning voice
So you do not have to sell your soul
Like all other hawkers in the market
Well satiated, but hardly heart-felt

Day & 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

Just as the shadow beyond the light
Is fictional, and fictional is
The word on the paper or screen
So is this hand also fictional
That writes from the heart of the night?

All the feelings swarmed together
What I meditated, flows
I wonder if this life of mine
Is posthumous before the birth
Of a refracted metaphor?

Light vs Shadow

Was it the shadow?
Was it the shadow beyond?
Was it the shadow beyond the shadow?
Still fell the thick night,
When the heart blocked the light.

Yes, it is light!
It is light within!
It is light within light!
Loud sweeps the morning glow,
Where the mind has no shadow.

Butterfly Being: Zhuangzi Revisited

Neither a human
Dreaming of being a butterfly
Nor a butterfly
Dreaming of being a human
But simply a moth egg 
Attached firmly
To a yellowish leave
Within the human mind

Or perhaps the other way around
Am I?

Running short of bulbs
I planted some root words instead
Along the fence
In the backyard of my mind

All winter
They seemed dreaming under the frozen soil

When the last dews fly away
You will see certain three-colored tulips
Blooming aloud
Towards the early summer sun

White Calls
How many times
Have you lain in thick darkness
Imagining a white crow
That you wish to see
Or rather to be

Not until the other morning
Did you hear a wild bird crying
Like a persistent knock
At the door of your heart

Beyond your curtained window
Beyond your curtained dream
It was a crow hammering all its white yaws
Right into your soul
Resonating with your truer selfhood

The Worn Worm

This is a transparent creature
      Gnawing at the tiny roots
Of my withering senses
Before it becomes a chrysalis
      Buried deep in my hearts soil

Then it tries to climb out
      Sucking all the fresh dews
Held long in my staring eyes
Before it begins to beat
      Its blue wings against the frog

Then it will fly away
On a cloudless day

I kissed your morning
With mine, and held
Your night closely with mine too

Between your spring and autumn
I lay my summer
Deep in winter

From your January through February
To your March, I wrap your April and May
With my June and July

Within your August
I use my September or October
To caress both your November and December

And right from your moment
I suck my whole year

Wintry Vision

Two little crows
Popping up
From nowhere 
Try to
Establish themselves:
Two truths
On the skeletal tree top
Yawing fiercely
Towards the sky, the wind, the buildings
The fields and the entire afternoon
All so fluffy white
In jade-toned snow

The Crow and the Butterfly

you like the crows in your backyard
other birds are much less plain
but they fly too high
or too far for your heart
stranded here

you envy the butterfly in your frontyard
The most beautiful
thought also most lonely
As the spring sets
under her floral wings

            -- when it looks in a mirror, what color does it have?

changing your skin color
with light
or emotion

they know it for sure

but isnt it
their eyes
with their minds
their hearts
their tongues
longer even than yours

we are actually colorless
arent we?                               

The Unseen

Most ignore such things
As dirt, rock or trees
That make up the collective pronoun
The pronoun is all

Before you open your eyes
All is there
And there you may perceive
Your whole world in them

Out of their shapes
Their colors, their textures
Their statues

You construct an open garden
To concentrate upon
That patch of nature
Never confined to the human mind  

Secret Spirit

for years I sought light in darkness
with my eyes open wide as my mouth
I called, I sang, I prayed, I pleaded
for rays that might come down from above

now I seek darkness in light instead
with my ears closed tight as my eyes
yet I cannot find a shred of my soul's
shadow, even in a midnight dream

If U Can’t See Me, I Can’t See U
            (sign at the back of a truck)

Outside the picture, if you can’t see me, I can’t see you
Under a pile of words, if you can’t see me, I can’t see you
Behind a big truck, if you can’t see me, I can’t see you
That is, since I drive in front of you
If you want to pass but can’t see me in
My driver’s seat, or in my front rear mirror, you are
In my blind spot, so don’t follow me too closely, don’t
Try to pass me, but stay calm behind my shadow
Otherwise you would kiss my big ass in a bloody way
And so, when you communicate
Wait and make sure you see the right person first –
That’s for your own safety, pal
When you are cursing, singing, dancing, playing or fighting
It’s best to have the real person in view:
If she can’t kiss you, you can’t kiss her
If you can’t put up with me, I can’t put up with you
If fame can’t grow out of you, you can’t grow out of fame
If money can’t find you, you can’t find money
If the politician can’t trust you really, you really can’t trust the politician
Look, what I point out is, if you can’t see me, I can’t see you
Whether it is in a book, at a cemetery, on a plane, or behind a truck
Drive safe, you asshole.

Drawing the Dragon 

There was a contest
For the most faithful representation
Of loong
(Or the Chinese dragon)

In England

An inflated Satan 
Or was it Sua proper
Came to squat among
The letters

Then stroke by stroke, again
It rose right
Each slate of white


The Mouse, A Mouse

if the little mouse became
as boundless as the sky as it wishes

the sky would become
as free as a cloud

the cloud
as powerful as a wind

and if the wind became
as unshakable as a wall

the wall would become
as penetrating as a mouse

and the little mouse
a mouse                   


To escape from the tyrannical logic
    Of your mother tongue
You wandered, wandering
        Through earths length and breadth
    Subjecting your old self to another syntax
A whole set of grammatical rules
        Strangely new to your lips and tips
    To expand the map of your mind
        Far beyond your home and haven
Yet in the meantime it becomes colonized
        By all the puzzling paradoxes
    Of this chosen language, for example:
        Quicksand can be very slow
        Boxing rings are in fact square
        And a guinea pig is neither a pig
        Nor is it from Guinea
                Like you or me

Yellow Comedy

Using my yellow tail
I yellow-swam
From the Yellow River
As a yeast of the yellow peril
Against the yellow alert
In yellow journalism

With a yellow hammer
And a yellow sheet
I yielded to the yellow metal
At a yellow spot
¼ million yards away from Yellowknife

People call me yellow jack
Some hailed me as a yellow dog
When I yelped on my yellow legs
To flee from the yellow flu

Speaking Yerkish* like a yellow warbler
I have composed many yellow pages
For a yeasty yellow book
To be published by the yellow press

Don’t panic, I yell low.

* An artificial language developed for experimental communication between humans and chimpanzees.

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

Word Collage: A Politically Correct 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

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

In No Sense, In A Sense

You are
in ascent;

I am to have
inner scent;

She is already
in a cent;

Aren’t we all 

Light vs Shadow

Was it the shadow?
Was it the shadow beyond?
Was it the shadow beyond the shadow?
Still fell the thick night,
When the heart blocked the light.

Yes, it is light!
It is light within!
It is light within light!
Loud sweeps the morning glow,
Where the mind has no shadow.

An Apocrypha of A
As the first born to the Semitic family
A was originally a picture of an alef or ox, the
Agricultural energy that was rotated twice until
Alpha loomed up in the Greek psychoscape even before
Adam became the chosen father of all Europeans close to
Athens, where Apollo had acupunctured wisdom and knowledge into
Aristotle, the intellectual ancestor of modern man, who inspired
Alexander to make the first effort of globalization, which did not reach East
Asia, the land of Ah Qs, the largest hotel for
All travelers until centuries later, but it is
Atomic bombs that will blow up all our pasts and send us through
America to a higher civilization, where the drop of an
Apple is to enable us to fly to the other side of the universe
Along the cosmic string as
Africa, the heart of human darkness
Awaits for Buddha, Jesus, Allah or
An other unknown author to come and rotate for the third time
A scarlet letter of

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

The Banishment of First Person Singular

always capitalized
    seldom in lower case
        the only pro-form of my entire being
            coded in my chosen language
impressive indeed

pronounced with a sole loud vowel
    spelt in a powerful personal letter
        without differentiating the sex
            or even an actual human antecedent
unavoidable and irremovable

you are equally assumed in a sentence
        either by a murmuring illiterate voice
            or by a widely published phd pen

alas, if only the syntax could
        hide or spare my humble self

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

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

Another Impasse

Writing from Vancouver West
To my former friends in China
I always feel hesitant
Whether to or not to use
The first person singular pronoun
As in I do not really think so!

Time and time again, they have
Unnecessarily reminded me of 
The biggest difference in language
Between the east and the west:
“There in English you always
Spell your favourite word I
In big bold italic upper case, however
Here we have really rarely
Employed the word even in poetry”

In their writing practice (probably too long)
They either drop the pronoun or replace it
With many an impersonal thing like:
The present writer, the writing subject
The unlearned, the uncouth one
The old person/body, the little human/one
The trivial/insignificant/unmentionable
The president/manager/[          ] proper
The person per se, or more precisely:
[Your] inferior, [your] subordinate
[Your] stupid husband/brother/son
[Your] foolish wife/sister/daughter
[Your] humble [          ], or less humbly:
As [your] father/mentor/lord…

Instead of standing up for an unmasked person
I should try to remain hidden like a taboo
In Chinese

Still Life

Blue blue, gray gray, green green
Fair fair, square square, light light

On a Rainy Day

You open, I
Close, or I
Open, you
Close, either
Your umbrella
Or mine

To keep
Both ourselves
Dry from
This cold
Rain, we
Have to
The one
And the same
Umbrella, if
We must
Hand in hand

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

Collage of Voices

...did you
did you sight that
            last night
a miraculous mirage
    of sounds without bounds:
mishmash, hodgepodge-
      jingling, jangling
            tingling, tangling
chitchat, ticktack
      clink clank, claptrap
            riprap, syrupchirrup
hubble-bubble, hocus-pocus
like a symphony of cacophony
      a cantata by the dead
all woven into a fine line of the mind
            or a colored call
                        did you hear that?

The Cosmic Music

With your hearts ear can you clearly hear
The sound from an unknown planet far beyond our galaxy
A few tender grasses whose deafening snoring has awakened a whole new world
Where the souls of our relatives are traveling all in a hurry
As if to attend a spring gathering?

The Way Forward

Tick, ticktack, ticktock
A cloudy sound persists around
      Looming lonely in the lightless park

Waiting, wandering or hesitating
As so many of us have ceased
      Groping our ways out of dark

Hey, no more path appears ahead
Someone kindly reminds the blind man
      Thanks, but your warning is really off the mark

Tick, ticktack, ticktock
His seeing rod rhyming with the unseen clock
      Behind his faded footsteps follows a fresh path

Chanson of a Chinaman*

ching chong, coolie
chink, shina, chonky
so was i called a dragon of barbarity
a born rogue holding laws of truth in deformity
because i ate rats, dogs, slugs and snakes
i began with anything but genes of true humanity

ching chong, coolie
chink, shina, chonky
so am i made a dead enemy of civility
a growing grotesque against the white reality
because i hate freedom as much as human rights
though i have the right to remain a human entity

ching chong, coolie
chink, shina, chonky
so will i be seen a species of non-conformity
a satan inflated beyond the borders of christianity
as long as im pig-eyed, crow-haired, the farthest other
i must be treated as a real demon only

* A parody on A Chanson for Canton, published in Punch (London: April 10, 1858), which offers a telling historical example illustrative of the deeply-rooted and long-held western tendency to demonize China as the farthest Other. 
Fragile, Archaic China

They listen to you
Which china are you talking about?
They wondered

Which china are you talking about?
You certainly know
If you please… one accosted you
Which china on the rise? He demanded

You are referring to the ‘sleeping giant’ in the east
The fattening hog to be slaughtered and divided
The country with an elephant’s body
But a chick’s heart

All china out of fashion, he commented
Shrugging his non-colored shoulders
But which china? He persisted
Really antic stuff? China made in Jingde Town?
You really like china?
Blue china? Ming china?
Or perhaps Song china?

You coughed in good will
You realize something
China is interesting to see
Only for its long history

Lexical Tourism
            (after Bill Holm’s ‘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
From these lexical spots
Can you clearly sightsee how they live?

Media Warning

you have the right to remain silent
any sound you make here in public
can and will later or sooner be used
against you in a court of rule
even if it is nothing but a cough
a sneeze, a hiccup, or a fart
they are either clichés or noises

you also have the right to talk nonsense
any utterance you make in private
can and will be translated against you
according to the dictionary of democracy
your facial expression, your gesture
you body movement or your posture
may prove far from politically correct

you sure have the right to remain silent
unless your whole being is a word per se

Provincial Proverbs

An onion a day keeps the salesperson away
A grin a minute keeps the oak in spirit
A lie an hour keeps the chief in power
A wind a night keeps the mind light
A poem a week keeps the heart freak
A payroll a month keeps poverty at arm’s length
A trip a season keeps the dog in reason
A boss a year keeps the worker dear
A wedding a decade keeps the couple off headache
A big bang a century keeps the human world friendly

Sexual Slogans

A steak a day keeps the court away
A touch a minute keeps the body in spirit
A lie an hour keeps the chief in power
An injection a night keeps the mind light
A dinner a week keeps the heart freak
A honeymoon a month keeps the government at arms length
A trip a season keeps the dog in reason
A chef a year keeps the house dear
A wedding a decade keeps the couple off headache

The Black Bird

so little triggers

a black bird
the spot of synthesis

foiled with snow

to fly into the thick dictionary of


There is a long wait of the passengers
For the detouring and delayed bus
And the wait of the wintry grasses

The wait of the legendary lion king
Before it preys upon a real baby zebra
And the wait of the summer sun deep in the nightmare

The wait of the orchid on the window ledge
The wait of the diamond in an unknown mine
And the wait where you stop and watch

And there is a wait of this darkness
Which you are going to compress into words
A wait that is to spread out thin on the blank paper

Unlike winter stars holding their light in light-years
The wait after you finish writing
And the longer wait then

Reading behind the Words

Behind the words is there no meaning squatting
Except a bold row of cheerful cherry trees
Standing tall in front of my half-fenced house
That bloom for two weeks in a year only
Between spring and summer

Behind the words is there no emotion hidden
But a pair of little unsung yellow birds
Popping up from nowhere
One has flown far away from home
The other still learning to fly close to the nest

Behind the words is there no metaphor explored
But a black and white photo of my parents
Who are hospitalized alternately in China
For the imbalance between yin and yang
A disease both blood-related  

Politics vs Poetics

in a busy simile-like street
with masks of synecdoche and metonymy
so many metaphors are dancing wildly
that no oxymoron can elbow his way
through crowds of symbols and hyperboles
to his long lost friend paradox
trying to converse with a shy-looking allusion

after standing too long on tiptoes
between consonance and assonance
i become an internally-rhymed road plate
pointing towards the shiny euphony
with no onomatopoeia painted on my face
hardly visible beside the fast lane

Table of Contents

1.      Seasonscape
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

1.      Directory of  Directions
2.      My Crow
3.      South China Cicada
4.      Bow and Arrow
5.      Fossil Fish
6.      My Crow, My Other Life
7.      Name Changing
8.      Dancing with Crane
9.      Sowing after ‘Digging’
10.    Ischemia
11.    Me and Them
12.    Single Last Sale
13.    Day & Night
14.    Uncertainty
15.    Light vs Shadow
16.    Butterfly Being: Zhuangzi Revisited
17.    Replacing
18.    White Calls
19.    The Worn Worm
20.    Chronometry
21.    Wintry Vision
22.    The Crow and the Butterfly
23.    Chameleon
24.    The Unseen
25.    Secret Spirit
26.    If U Can’t See Me, I Can’t See U
27.    Drawing the Dragon
28.    The Mouse, A Mouse
29.    Like Birds, Like Humans
30.    Within This Open Bottle

1.      Immigration
2.      Yellow Comedy
3.      Sell Liberation of Word’s Worth
4.      Word Collage
5.      Word Vogue
6.      In No Sense, in a Sense
7.      Light vs Shadow
8.      An Apocrypha of A
9.      Spelling Test
10.    The Banishment of First Person Singular
11.    Etymology of Love
12.    Dangling Modifier
13.    Another Impasse
14.    Still Life
15.    On a Rainy Day
16.    Behest Impressed
17.    Collage of Voices
18.    The Cosmic Music
19.    The Way Forward
20.    Chanson of a Chinaman
21.    Fragile, Archaic China
22.    Lexical Tourism
23.    Media Warning
24.    Provincial Proverbs
25.    Sexual Slogans
26.    The Black Bird
27.    Awaiting
28.    Reading behind the Words
29.    English Irrationalities

30.    Politics vs Poetics

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