Thursday, 4 December 2014

updates: literary endeavors -yuan changming

several things to update here:

1. i have been translating ms Zhang Xinyue's second book from chinese into english. the title is temporarily 'abundance notes' - may be changed to 'towards abundance,' 'quotations from xinyue,' or something along the line. it's composed mostly of the author's messages about her spiritual theory and practice known as 'Abundance' posted on her (chinese) weixin or microblogsite. actually, i have just finished my first draft, and will finalize it by the end of this month. my PP Press will publish it bilingually early next year.

2. i am still waiting to translate another 12 testimonials and add them to ms Zhang Xinyue's first book Create Abundance as she wishes. so the publication process of this book has been delayed. since we plan to publish all Zhang's books bilingually, it will take longer to prepare the proofs before finding a well-established printer to do the job.

3. because of my deteriorating health (mainly the eye, the neck and the heart problems, and now knee problems as well), i have to use my computer/work time in the most possible efficient way. in other words, i am considering reducing Poetry Pacific from a quarterly publication into a biannual one next year. also, preoccupied as i am with my translation work in addition to editing/writing, i do not have any time or energy for any other project for my PP Press for the time being.

[archived]: Reflective Poems by Yuan Changming ©


Changming Yuan

Directory of Directions

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                   

Like Birds, Like Humans

All doors are man-made
Even those in hell and heaven

Behind every door
Is either a home
Or a prison cell
More often both
Than neither

The only living space without a door
Is a nest or the sky
Both for birds
Neither for man

Within This Open Bottle

Every bee dies
While charging towards light

All flies survive
And even thrive
By fleeing into darkness

What, what if the bottle rotates?


Gray is heaven
Gray is hell
Gray are human buildings
Even grayer are human beings
From behind all this ash gray
Flies a big bird
Feathered with black humor
Right onto the white stage of history

To Seek Bright Light I Close My Eyes Tight
            (for Dylan Thomas)

Looking around, I only see darkness in sight
All is thick shadow beyond thick shadow
To seek bright light I close my eyes tight

In each dream I have dreamed at midnight
I follow my heart, and closely my heart I follow
The darkest nightmare contains rays of light

Striving, I strive forward with all my might
Against the high flow, the flow that I well know
Looking around, I only see darkness in sight

Right at this site where the time is right
I let go my dream drifting away like a morning glow
Looking around, I only see darkness in sight

Inside, more inside is a door shining bright
I fumble my way slow as if a rough raft to row
To seek bright light I close my eyes tight

Men and women, come down from heated height
Dont you hear the song from soul to soul echo
Looking around, I only see darkness in sight
To seek bright light I close my eyes tight             

Self-Meditating: A Puti Poem

Sitting under a tall pipal
On a vast stretch of prairies
Where you transform your entire selfhood
Into the little marigold in front of you
Then, the running stream water
The gliding bird
The drifting cloud
The morning light
The summer sky
Where you are
The universe
Where the universe
Is you

Puti Poems (1): Mind-Clearing Mudra

Stand straight
Stand still
Eye to eye
To a pipal or oak tree
Communicate with it
In the mother tongue of love
And imagine
Opening every door and window of your heart
Irrigating every cell of your liver with dewdrops
Bringing your vision from the horizon afar
Slowly and progressively
Back to your inner being
Above a lotus flower
Pure, fresh, crystal

Puti Poems (2): Dewdrop Mudra

On the open stage of her mind
She finds herself standing alone
High above a crystal lotus flower
Where she bends down gracefully
To collect a dewdrop
From its most tender petal
Like a drop of elixir from heaven
Which she can use
To soothe, to purify
Every part of her body
Every corner of her heart
Only if she likes

Puti Poems (3): Flower-Picking Mudra

With all your tenderness
Bend down gradually
And reach out your left arm
To pick up your favorite flower
From the inner garden
Behind the fence of your thought
And bring up the flower
Close up to your face
Where you can see its bold brilliance
Melting into a pool of fragrance
Where you and the flower
Become one and the same 

Puti Poems (4): Infinity Mudra

Stretching my hands
Along the horizon
And beyond all boundaries
I try to hold the entire universe
In my two arms
Slowly rising
Like the ocean
And gather all the energy
The spirit
The light
And the inspirations
From the very infinite

Puti Poems (5): Sky-Reaching Mudra

Like a universal dam broken
Vast bodies of heavenly light
Burst, bursting out
Pouring right onto my body
Splashing into myriads of inspirations
Falling, penetrating my inflated selfhood
Cleansing each cell of my brain
My chest, my belly
every corner of my inner being
filling in my whole body
as it gets thicker and thicker
Until all my cells and senses
Dissolve into nothingness
Under the lightfall

Puti Poems (6): Round-Reaching Mudra

As her arms keep moving
Around an invisible sun
In front of her belly
From the smallest circle to the biggest
From the biggest circle to the smallest
In alternative directions
She finds her body of celestial light
Breaking into ever thinner and smaller pieces
Like cloud shreds
Flowing, drifting around
Vanishing into the sky
Vanishing into heaven

Puti Poems (7): Authentic Fire Mudra

Purest energy
Purest spirit
Keeps burning
Inside her womb
Like a bold and brilliant ball
Like an inner sun
Its light evaporating her entire body
Into a thin mist of light
Slowly vanishing into the heavens  
Although its shape still remains
Around her tiny spot of consciousness

With her palms put together against her naval
She witnesses her own soul
Spiraling, dancing
Between the fire and the light

Puti Poems (8): A-Mi-Te Mudra

Palms against each other
Fingers pointing to your central forehead
Keep yourself upright
And from under your lowest vertebrae
Drive out of a gourd-shaped mouth
These heavily voiced syllables:
As well as all the negativity
Within your body
And every evil spirit
Trying to possess your fate
As a wide curtain of light
Reddish and yellowish
Shoot up high to the sky
From behind your lower back

Rebirth: Another Puti Poem

Let the seed of fire rise
Above your inner horizon
Like the most glaring summer sun 

Let the ball burn brilliantly
Burning out every cell within your body
And shooting its light through your skin

Then, let the light from heaven fall
Filling in each blank within your shape
Until all the energy starts melting together

To rebuild your entire selfhood

Temporarily Floating

I am the little creature
He put on his hook
To be kissed or swallowed
By an unknown fish

Many trout are swimming around
I have no idea which one of them
He intends to take out of the stream
The only thing I hear is His laughter
Echoing along the tightened line

Being a Balloon

i could be high up in the smiling sky
sailing with all the blue leisure i like
until the sun blows me onto the other shore
    although i can never fly like a powered eagle

but tightly tied to a twisted spring twig
budding with a whole cluster of green dreams
i can only hope to burst not too soon
    unless the rope is cut or the twig broken

The Calm Clam

with a bow-wow mouth
   as big as my bald body
      both lips thin and hard
         carved in full eloquence
with my tongue grown right
   out of my heart and soul
i am surely meant
   to be a voice empowered
      for all around me
         either silt or sediments
      shining dull and dark
         with soiled secrets

i often imagine myself
   like a free seagull
      singing at the top tip
         of a tall coral tree
as myriads of grains
      of yellowish sand
   are panned or sifted out
         from the wild waves
            galloping ahead

yet color-blind and tone-deaf
   i am deeply oppressed
      under the heavy water
where sharks and squids
   keep yelling towards the sky
      above my blue musings
as i withhold my tongue
   waiting for a sunny spell
      to translate my loud pain
            into a muted pearl

Icarus, I

I could never really fly
But into the air I often jump high
When the moonlight dyes the whole night
With all the glimmering tranquility

It seemed a perfectly natural thing to do:
I took a deep breath
Then bent my knees
And jumped again
Before I fell onto the ground

From above tree tops or lake waters
I willed myself to rise like a hot air balloon
As I strove to prove with every demonstration
That it was not a dream

And, each time, I wondered
Even if it was all but a dream
Why did it never melt
After the sunbeam set in?

Truncated Truths (1): My Crow

Each crow you have seen
Has a quasi white soul
That used to dwell in the body
Of one of your closest ancestors
He comes down all the way just to tell you
His little secret, the way he has flown out
Of darkness, the fact both his body and heart
Are filled with shadows, the truth about
Being a dissident, that unwanted color

Hidden in your own heart is there also a crow
As black as his spirits and feathers

Truncated Truths (2): Butterfly

From the dullest corner of his heart
Flapping out a giant butterfly
Three-legged, tailless
Flying straight toward the rising sun
Its shadow slowly measuring
Every inch of the ground route
The highway of human souls
Like a cadaver dog trying hard
To find the decomposed body
Of a murdered history


How anyone
Is seen
So murky--
A pond of water
In a storm
Only sunlight might
Polish into a mirror
A light’s long line
Or one fellow light
From Longfellow                        

Inner Drought*
In this lower mainland, rain is the order
Of the day: while the drizzle moisturizes
Dreams and drama alike, storms have filled
Every crack and crevice with seasonal juice

But deep in your body has been a drought
Persisting ever since your birth, no plant
Grows green enough, no bird comes to perch
On a bough, all pipes and rivulets dry

Oh, for a rich rain to moisten and irrigate your
Inner fields, your cells, your nerves, your hopes
I would sacrifice my fatherhood, provided you
Could take a shower in the open, with your spine
Stemming straight like a strong young tree

*My 15- year-old son Allen has had a disc problem since 2008, which has resulted, according to traditional Chinese medicine, from the internal ‘dryness’ he was born with.


Relax your body inside out
Stand in front of the tree
And pour out all your love
From the pool of your heart
Through your energy-focused eyes
To each and every leaf of it
As it pumps all its green spirits
Into your entire inner being
Through its strong but unseen roots
Like a passionate couple
Making love wildly
Under a broad rainbow

Time the Present Time

you are indefinitely vaster
            than all the oceans converged together
                where i can never hope to hold
            even a single drop in my  hand
    except happening to have a touch
            of the tailtip of a unknown fish
                        swimming swiftly by

The Confucian Knowledge

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

Outer Spaces

the landscape is wildly wide
is thin-colored

conceptions loom above the skyline
impulses swirl near the hills

no wind of feeling is blowing
as the spirit sails on the sea

in the limbo
the whole outside is held
right at the tip of my mind’s tongue

Senses Subscribed

we seldom see what we look at
when we look at what we see

do you always hear what you listen to
as you try to listen to what you hear?

were I to live under water again
i would only smell of fish forever

most tasty would be worthy words
even more so are juicy conceptions

master god is snapping a rest
his apprentices are busy today

Deep in the Mountain

hand in hand with a fluffy fog
walking alone along an un-trodden trail
    is a rare luxurious thing to do in life
i cannot help hopping, jumping, singing
    shouting and wallowing in the grass
with sunbeams peeping through the clouds
as nature turns me into a wanton
            full of wild wonder and deep awe
            forgetting where is my home at all 

i try to find some secrets about the mountain
but it seems never to stop changing
    from a bald hump to a shadowy castle
indeed, no one can see its true face
            because it may have none to start with
            or because i am too deep in its arms

On a Rainy Sunday

While the whole world runs amuck
in its thin and pale dreams
I keep watching in dark stillness
Afraid to awake and shock the dreamers 
To a shameful death

There Are No Delicacies

There are no hard delicacies in me
Like the chips in a computer
Though I have numerous nerves
All integrated like the circuits
In a cpu or gpu

Don’t hook me up just yet
There are too many emotional data in me
To be digitalized into your software
Though there are plenty of spaces
For processing or programming

Three Trees

Into the backyard
      Of my humble heart
I transplanted three nameless trees
      One blossoms in spring
          And bears fruit in summer
      One wrestles with winds and rains
          On each less bright day
But the third does nothing
      Except standing idly there
            Up towards a distant star


today, let me suspend
all my senses
      in the warm and cozy
glow of the morning
      huddling up my whole being
just as I used to
      in my mother’s womb

The Clay Tripod

Close to the bank of the Yangtze River
Sits an unearthed tripod
That has embraced
Spring water
Burning incense
Sesame oil
Rice wine
And opium
The tripod is none other than you 
But what is the tripod?

Universe Netting

How the nets of this universe
Mend themselves
It is impossible to say
Or if you say to see
That this is what you have
Said. Few crevices in the closet
Of an open mind
Where you rarely see what you say to look at
Though broken
There are nets
Above all

Out of Memoriam

in a quiet corner
a squirrel jumped up
onto the thickest tree in the backyard
of my heart

it’s up there no more, but its movements
remain visible among the leaves
the tenderly broken branches
still holding its weight

Immaturity vs Immortality

If you know there is no air
Thus no wind, no weathering effect
On the moon, you would probably
Also want to take a walk
And leave your footprints there
Forever undisturbed

But as an earthy creature you can
Never untie the chains of gravity

Unless you find
How much more desirable to shout
To yell, to sing, to curse here on earth
Where sound waves can eventually
Reach the shore and beat the ear drums

A voice to be heard
An immature life under the moon

Much Ado about a Painting

He meant to hung the painting on the wall
But the wall refused to hold the nails firm

So he began to look for some wood pieces
Only to find them all too big as wedges

Then he tried to search for his axe
Which turned out simply too blunt

Desperate, he comb-sought the whole garage
Until he located his long-lost sharpening stone

By the time he gathered all he needed
He had completely forgotten
What he wanted to do at the outset

The Story of a Sycamore

out of countless rains, winds, frogs and frosts
you finally managed to grow up, tall and straight
until on a dull day you were desperately recruited

hiding you head and limbs, you continue standing
your naked shoulders always supporting something
with all your breadths but without any hope
of lying down even for a single private moment

now they need you no more: go back home
as you are tired of standing alone: totally exhausted

but after you leave your long standing post
you have no life left to grow the tiniest bud
nor do you feel any less tired when lying down 


scraps of confetti
unread like poems
now dyed with silences
wet and white
falling softly
on frozen facets
trying to find places
in the noisy cyberspace
to perch among the twigs
of mtv, soaps
or rock 'n' roll

but you are wiped aside
as people drive nonstop
forward or backward

White Spirits  

under a winter sky
someone asks high:
Why not deliver a colorful snowfall?
And a trillion butterflies dance nearby

As if not in a fairy tale


What kind
Of mirror
Do I have
In my mind
That has
A reflection
Looking in
At a shadow
That has a mirror
Looking in
At the reflection
That shows
Anyone but myself
When I look in
At it

Chasing Something Absent

beyond the shadow
you are the presence
of a shadow
that is
rarely the reality
whenever you are
you are not what is present

where you stand
you join the light
and never
the light disperses
to fill in the moments
when your spirit is absent

few others have the impulses
for standing
but you stand
to chase something absent


You have lost the
That has no

Frame without it
And that frame

Has come off from
The lens right
In front of

Your eyes which
Will have a 
Frame within it

Inner Tides

In the daily modification of
The alternate rise and fall
Of my inner tide, the sun has
Much less impact on the waters
Than the moon, though
It is so much greater in mass

Unlike those high celestial bodies
You can never cause a flood or ebb tide
But sometimes like onshore winds
Other times like offshore storms
You push the waters up and up
Against the rocky coast of my soul

Harsh Harmony

The night is tender
The moonlight more tender
And the water the most tender
            But the mind is tough

The wall is hard
The nail harder
And the hammer hardest
            But the hand is soft

The Portrait of a Young Mountain

when I first see you
you are nothing more or less
than a muted mountain
      massive, mighty and monumental
a solid thesis statement
made by mother nature

then you seem to grow
      slimmer or slenderer
than your true shape
as I try to translate
both your body and spirit
      into an antithesis of artwork
with my brushes and palette

to authenticate your whole being
i look at you once again
      and find you no darker or brighter
than what you exactly were:
      a muted mountain

a simple synthesis
of you and me

At Dusk in Dundarave Park, West Van

Strolling along
The overly trodden seaside walk
I find myself lost amidst human shapes
Constantly shifting
Into and out of one another
As they appear and disappear
Larger or smaller in size
Striving to linger one day, one month
Or even one year longer

Here and now
Within one of the bodies
A poem is taking shape, so is
A vision within another, so is
An evil plan within a third, so is
A bitter memory
A yearning
A bubble of consciousness

While I stop to stand still
Watching the vast sea view
Which is nothing but a view of the sea

To the Homeless

neither the first fallen
from the overcrowded tree
as spring's sole prophet
nor the last against night
hanging on like a soldier
bayoneting with the whole winter
you are nothing more or less
than an introvert leaf
stalking in summer's shadow

face faded, body forlorn
you are a lonely being, being alone
wandering around in a whirlwind
rolling over the bumpy roof
passing by the wet threshold
or sleeping beside the road sign
you never care when to disappear
or where you have come from
except your dreams frosted
in a forged fog

before the unseeing eyes
betwixt the city's pitiful noises
you seem a sad withered soul
dyed with heavy dusk
waiting to witness
the ever hardening of autumn
but right now who knows
deep in you unwalled heart
you are flirting with the freedom
found only in a permanent house?

The Cherry Flower

Finally, on this Marpole street
She manages to fall
Exactly on his shoulder
After a prolonged season

But a sudden gust of summer wind
Blows her away from him 
Onto the spring-carpeted sidewalk

Only to be trodden there
By a stranger’s foot
Like a dejected flower   

To Dear Michael

beyond this bold and cold beach
i desire to design a sunshine island
where we will no longer be sandwiched
by yesterday’s fashionable dream
and tomorrow’s virtual reality
rather, we can walk freely around
with all our leisure and pleasure
gathering our fragmented childhoods
raising a dozen geese or ducklings
growing several rows of cabbage
and watching the little curious cloud
drifting close to the distant borderline
between the sea and sky both bluish

The Clothes from Heaven

Clad with the heavens’ brilliant cloth
Weaved with golden and silver light
The blue and the dim and the dark embroidery
Of heart and soul and the half-heart,
My dreams hang there with the morning glows
While my soul remains stark naked
In the shadow of last night here on earth:
I am standing right in front of you;
Do not stare because your eyes might hurt.


I had a conversation with a potted pine tree
Put precisely at the center of a corner
Among some dwarfed plants
Crowded in an ornamented house
Full of solid walls and railings

Like its twigs and even roots
All its protests were pinched and pruned
With the scissors of human art
It was mad, it was sad
Preferring to be growing in on a wild hilltop

From this pine tree deformed in a pot
I heard the muted cry of every soiled woe
Every suppressed life on earth

The Wild Gooses Will

Those who know me not
Find me a kite tied to the skyline
Those who know me well
See in me a true sunshine chaser

I have never traveled high
As the reputed American bald eagle
Nor am I attached to the ground
Like the pigeons on Tiananmen Square

Plumed with the feathers of disappointment
My wings of hope may melt like Pegasus
Yet following my heart along the horizon
I have never lagged behind my shadow

Let me keep flying all the way to my death
Despite the cold clouds watching in silence

After The Bulb Burned Out

Through the dark tunnel of the hallway
I fumbled my way humbly to the door

Back home again
I found everything
Just so much brighter
Even my old shoes
Dusted with thick shadows
At the closet of my heart

No More Hanging On

so long have I longe
to give up all my earthy concerns
like an enlightened Buddhist monk
i am ready to climb up to
the peak of an unknown mountain
where I can build a plain hut
with fallen leaves and branches
where I can feel nothing
but the fresh songs of the forest
where I can hear
the budding of wild chrysanthemums
where I can taste the green wind
caressing the bubbling stream
where I can watch the sweetness of bamboos
shooting from the rocky vale
where I can smell the heavy breath
of tall pine trees and unknown bushes

will earth stop rotating round the sun
because of my humble interruptions?

            (For Jane Kenyon)

You could have been killed
In that accident in 1997
But you did not. You could
Have lost every hard-earned loonie
When the big bubble burst
But you did not. You could
Have failed to realize your boyhood dream
To have your poetry published
But you did not. You could also
Have had to stay in the bed
Unable to eat or piss for three weeks
After the surgery last time
But you did not.

This morning you could have broken
Your newly old legs or arms
On the icy road as you jogged
But you did not. One day
You know, you might become
Much less fortunate somehow

But you will not, because you believe
you have always been lucky

when I am scheduled to die I shall stop dreaming and play
with a brown bear that lolls and wallows in a stream
and I shall climb onto a tall pine tree in the zoo
and roar loudly like the lion king towards the rolling autumn sky
I shall sit and help myself to a pile of fatty foods
With my mouth wide open and make all the eating noises I can
Jaywalking, trespassing and even running a little red light

You can give up your names and masks
And throw away all your clothes and manners
And stop caring about whatever others say or do to you

But we worry about our bills and savings
And concern ourselves with what is going on
Within sight or beyond our living rooms

Perhaps you can put a bit of everything on rehearsal now
And refuse to do whatever you would rather not want to
Since you are scheduled to die shortly, anyway

Relief and Belief

When one leaf begins to tremble
The whole willow may remain still;

When one poplar tries to shake
The whole forest will stay calm;

When one forest cannot help agitating
There must be something arising, like a storm.

In the Hall

I danced an hour with Discontent
She turned around me a hundred times
But made me none the happier
For all the sweet smiles on her face

I danced a minute with Content
And ne’er a single move made she
But oh, all the blessings I can gain
Even when she looks sullen

Like a Lamp
in Vancouver west
from time to time
you just cannot help yelling, yearning
for your fathers humming
you fumble into musical halls
in pursuit of tunes
soft/hard utterances 

you need this feeling

you need this contact
with origin
guiding your heart
like a lamp
along a forlorn road


On the beach of your mind
You have been using
Every grain of sand
To build a castle
Or even a whole city

While you could have kept it as is
Where gulls stalk and stroll
Leaving their footprints there
Before the waves erase them again


Within an unseen cavern
Flies around his own mind
Blindly as a bat
All by itself

Flittering through the dark air
It dropped when hitting against a wall
Its left wing melted long before
As it flew towards the light

The other wing big and wide
It keeps gliding in one direction
So is he also turning round
As if in a broken circle

And flies, flying, day and night
Up and down in an unseen world
Until a new wing grows out
Leading him to the open sky

Within the Rain Zone

On the local screens, one beside another
It shows low clouds drifting like fog
That can be seen on the walls of highrises

Here the rain downpours as if all the tabs
In the heavens have been turned on
Curtains of beads, giving us more privacy
More freedom, more serenity

And what can we do? Let us remain indoors
Listening to the raindrops beating together with our hearts
Watching our entire neighborhood cleansed, taking on
A fresh look, while just five streets east, to us
Is never far enough, a place of sound and fury
A vanity fair all too familiar to our old selves

Here our children playing with us, innocent and full of joy
A new surrounding where we are still strangers
A corner where there are neither friends nor frenzy
Where we can always sit at a distance, observing

Every I Have a Triple Me

There is one me
As I am
A second
As I see myself
And a third
As I am seen

Between Me and Mirror

Looking right in the mirror
I find
No human reflection
Not even my shadow
Though the room rented
Is full of morning glows
Except the presence of absence

Where I am
I am
What is blocked
However I turn
The mirror absorbs my entire being
I long to take a closer look
At my truer self
But all I could see there
Is a blank space only

Me & Sand

On the beach of life
I am a grain of sand
Too light to build a castle
On my tiny senses
Too heavy to fly high
With the west wind
Too stubborn to flow afar
Along the currents

Yet how I long to be
Solid in body
Liquid in heart 
And gaseous in spirit
Like a true grain of sand

Inner Lake

In the valley of her heart
Lies a walleyes–filled lake
Its waters folded with murmurs
From every stream 
Flowing afar or nearby

Only on a windless midnight
When the water becomes still enough
Can she look inwards
And see the reflections of
Trees, bushes, grasses, rocks
Hills loom in the moon light
All surrounding her soul


In the heart of every selfhood
Is there a tiny seed of antiself
That keeps growing unnoticeably
Until it is big, big enough
To become one and the same
With your entire being inside out
Like a drop of condensed color
Dyeing all the water
In a diaphanous jug

Each time an antiself gains a growth  
Your previous selfhood gets thinner
Lighter, larger, yet more colorful
Like yin seeking to become
Totally mixed up with yang
In an ever renewed balance

Dialectic Dialogue (1)

the bell rings aloud
though no wind is blowing

the bird flies afar
though it remains still

the sky is filled up
though there are no stars or clouds

the sound is heard
though it lacks a voice

no human is coming
though roads are everywhere

nothing is disappearing
into this present absence

Changming Yuan
                                                                                                8033 Osler Street
                                                                                                Vancouver, BC
                                                                                                Canada V6P 4E3                                                                                                          
Dialectical Dialogue (2)

the intensity of the night
grows into a dream
that rises like a cloud
drifting above the skyline

the emptiness of the day
shrinks into a tiny mouth
that blows like a whistle
forgotten in a drawer

isnt that morning glow
all made from such bright paradoxes
hatched in the dark?


When a deer was born
The sunlight thrilled the whole forest
When the idea looms
What view? A volcanic island

Will be the newly-formed
Mirage. With a morning glow
Trying to land
beyond the mindscape

Table of Contents
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
31.    Clairvoyance
32.    To Seek Bright Light I Close My Eyes Tight
33.    Self Meditating: A Puti Poem
34.    Puti Poems (1): Mind-Clearing Mudra
35.    Puti Poems (2): Dewdrop Mudra
36.    Puti Poems (3): Flower-Picking Mudra
37.    Puti Poems (4): Infinity Mudra
38.    Puti Poems (5): Sky-Reaching Mudra
39.    Puti Poems (6): Round-Reaching Mudra
40.    Puti Poems (7): Authentic Fire Mudra
41.    Puti Poems (8): A-Mi-Te Mudra
42.    Rebirth: Another Puti Poem
43.    Temporarily Floating
44.    Being a Balloon
45.    The Calm Clam
46.    Icarus, I
47.    Truncated Truths (1): Crow
48.    Truncated Truths (2): Butterfly
49.    Murky
50.    Inner Drought
51.    Convection
52.    Time Present Time
53.    The Confucian Knowledge
54.    Outer Spaces
55.    Senses Subscribed
56.    Deep in the Mountain
57.    On a Rainy Sunday
58.    There Are No Delicacies
59.    Three Trees
60.    Outset
61.    The Clay Tripod
62.    Universe Netting
63.    Out of Memoriam
64.    Immaturity vs Immortality
65.    Much Ado about a Paiting
66.    The Story of a Sycamore
67.    Snowflakes
68.    White Spirits
69.    Introspective
70.    Chasing Something Absent
71.    Lens
72.    Inner Tides
73.    Harsh Harmony
74.    The Portrait of a Young Mountain
75.    At Dust in Dundarave Park, West Vancouver
76.    To the Homeless
77.    The Cherry Flower
78.    To Dear Michael
79.    The Clothes from Heaven
80.    Bonsai
81.    The Wild Goose’s Will
82.    After the Bulb Burned Out
83.    No More Hanging On
84.    Thanksgiving
85.    Reminding
86.    Relief and Belief
87.    In the Hall
88.    Like a Lamp
89.    Mindsetting
90.    Progressing
91.    Within the Rain Zone
92.    Every I Have a Triple Me
93.    Between Me and the Mirror
94.    Me and Sand
95.    Inner Lake
96.    Antimatter
97.    Dialectic Dialogue (1)
98.    Dialectic Dialogue (2)
99.    Unsure