Saturday, 31 December 2016

changming: unpoetic experience updated

mostly poetry-related, my literary endeavours have been so unpoetic that from now on i would call them 'unpoetic experience' instead::

1. as 2016 is coming to an end, i find i have made few 'poetic breakthroughs' over the past year, perhaps except that i was nominated for the best of the net for the first time. fortunately, i have been able to write no less poetry though not to my best standard. tired of making subs, i have had much less work accepted in recent months than in my best years. in november, i got 11 acceptances, and 14 this month.

as a rule, i do not submit my individual poems or collection manuscripts to any online or traditional magazines/publishers that entail a monetary cost (be it in the form of a reading/submission fee or postage), nor do i participate in poetry contests of any kind. resulting from this idiosyncracy of mine, my poetic work is perforce unable to reach more editors/readers than i hope to. this is not because i am 'cheap' as a poetry writer, but because my poems are too 'dear'.

2. most frustrating about poetry submission and publication is the hateful fact that sometimes my work is accepted by what i consider a well established poetry outlet, but never really appears because of the un-professionalism or simply rudeness of the editors/publishers. i have privately compiled a black list for such magazines, to which i am wondering if i should now finally add glasgow review, tresspass, and wasafiri... quite noticeably, many of them are british! is this a coincidence? from a single drop of water, you can see the whole spectrum of sunlight: that's partly why the British have been falling apart?

3. in early january this year, i felt happy when i received an acceptance message saying that my chapbook ms titled my crows was to be published later this year by the publisher/editor of barometric pressures;  however, after i made my third query about its status, i did not get any response from her. instead, i got a chain email notifying the receiver that all her chapbook publication projects have been cancelled, to my great disappointment.

reflecting upon such experiences, i have come to see too much editorial un-professionalism and rudeness in the contemporary literary arena that an author has to deal with.

noticing too many poetry authors who have too many collections/chapbooks to sell or even to receive the slightest readerly attention, i see little meaning in trying to get poetry books published other than to list the titles in a bio note. such being the case, i would not submit any more poetry mss to any publishers even without having to pay a symbolic reading fee, although i have enough poems for at least 10 full-length collections, or at least another 20 for chapbooks . alas, as a poetry author, i was born simply too late or too early.

4. after much ado, the printing job for the six different sino-foreign editions of create abundance is completed successfully. everything is now ready for delivery, but the author's representative says they are unable to pay according to the payment schedule. that sandwiches me in an extremely awkward way: while the printer is demanding me to pay immediately according to our agreement, the payer says they do not have the money yet. the author's agency and i always cooperate with each other in good faith, and do not even need to sign a contract as they suggest. i hope they will not break my trust in addition to so much frustration imposed on me already. they have agreed to pay in mid-jan, and i am waiting anxiously for them to honor their words.

no matter what, for the whole year of 2016, one of my most important literary achievements is that in the first half of the year i organised and coordinated the best possible translation of create abundance from chinese into 6 different foreign languages, while in the second half i have managed to publish the six sino-foreign editions of the book and print 10,000 copies for each. this is definitely my most significant achievement as a publisher thus far.

5. after doing some research work, i realise that a typical well-established online literary magazine has 3,000 - 5,000 pageviews per month on the average; our Poetry Pacific falls exactly under this category, but for the past few months there have been some fascinating developments here: in july, our pageveiws reached a record high of 10,218, more than our usual high of 8,000; in november PP's pageviews reached a new record high of 11,995; and in this month, a third record high of 19,535 like the dow jones index. i do not know how to interpret these statistics, but i do want to keep the following statistics for record::

the ten top countries of pageviewing audience in december 2016 alone:
United States
United Kingdom
5 Nov 2016
5 Nov 2016, 1 comment
5 Nov 2016, 4 comments
5 Aug 2014


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

changming's literary dilemma/indolence

since returning at the end of may from our medical trip to beijing where Allen had a 'minimally invasive' surgical operation on his discs, i have not been able to write as frequently as in the past few years; and few of my recent poems are as satisfactory to myself as before, though i have actually written as much poetry as in previous months. for instance, on october 16 alone, i wrote 12 pieces.

i have a profound fear that i might run out of inspirations anytime, and this fear has been haunting me ever since i begun to publish poetry in english in mid-2005. fortunately, thus far i have managed to keep my Muse alive in my heart. however, i have become so tired of having to make submissions and living with such a large number of rejections or ignorings that i no longer feel like sending my work out there. without making a great determined effort, i would have stopped making poetry subs completely. yes, as a poetry scribbler, the most hateful thing to do is to go out of my way to reach editors/readers. shall i keep forcing myself to send my work out? is it really so important to get things published? i often wonder.

in june, the number of my poetry acceptances has for the first time decreased to fewer than 12, the lowest number i had come down for the previous 5 years at least; in fact, i got only 4 acceptances in june (i made no poetry subs in may), 14 in july, 6 in august, 7 in september,  and 10 in october.

to my  own disappointment, there has been no poetic 'breakthrough' of any kind this year since i happened to know cincinnati review's nomination of my poem 'y' for the 2015 pushcart prize in early january; the only (and the most) encouraging news is an email received on september 30 from a new online magazine drunk monkeys, which informed me that they had nominated my short poem 'with more than being' for best of the net 2016.- this is the first time for me to be a best of the net nominee.

it seems true that without constant encouragement from readers (in the form of an editorial acceptance), i might lose interest in poetry writing once and for all. given this, i am in a dilemma: i enjoy, and am still capable of, writing poetry, but i deeply hate making submissions.

sending poems out simply to get recognition, what a great nuisance or necessary evil it is!

because of my eye problem, i have had to stay away with my computer as much as possible, and sometimes simply keep it shut down for several days in a run. i have been thinking of changing Poetry Pacific from a biannual publication to an annual one next year, or in 2018 at latest. also, as my eye problem gets worse, it has prevented me from making poetry subs, checking publication records, and doing other similar things online in recent years; as a result, i have trouble with editors from time to time and apologize to them for having sent them a 'previously published' piece or failing to notify them of a poem accepted by a different magazine already.

yes, computers offer me great convenience, but have also caused me many health problems in addition to frustrations.

Monday, 19 September 2016

FeatureFriday: Interview with Yuan

(another brief) interview with Editor Grace Black of Ink in Thirds at::


#FeatureFriday – Changming Yuan

Take a break, get inspired, and learn a bit more about Changming Yuan. Here is our twist on an interview.

A quote that inspires you:

The meaning of life, if any at all, is to create a meaning for it. -Changming Yuan

Your writing process described as a song:
My writing process is like one of hatching birds: it takes the right temperature and the right time. Most important, if the egg is not right, it can never become a bird.

You’re a writer so tell us with your words why you write. But please don’t bore us:

I write; therefore, I am.

For me, writing is the most natural and, therefore, most enjoyable thing to do. I never care about any literary theory or trend; nor does any author have a particular influence on me; nor do I even care about readerly interest. While the most boring and even hateful thing to do about writing is to make submissions or try to get my poems published, literary reputation is just a matter of luck in most cases.

What is a recent story or poem you’ve had published elsewhere that we should read?

Drafted in my high school friend Li Weigang’s extra apartment in Beijing, “After HyunJung Passed Her Prenatal Screening Test” is the poem I have most recently published (in a new online magazine) Raising Mothers.  As its title clearly suggests, the piece was composed as a future gift to my first grandchild Kate, to be born on 11 November 2016, Canada’s Remembrance Day. I wrote this poem, as in the cases of all other pieces that I have ever written (and published) in English or Chinese, simply because I could not help yielding to my urge to create a meaning for a particular experience, be it a thought or sensation.

Twitter: @changmingyuan

Friday, 1 July 2016

[archived]: yuan's poetry © - 2015


Jingzhou Pepper
            Grown in my native place, the ancient Chu Kingdom, where Mao Zedong and Qu Yuan were born and raised, the Jingzhou Pepper is the most tasteful pepper in the whole world.

Too fat
Too skinny
But perfectly in a unique shape

Each is
Just hot enough
To make you
A poetic revolutionary like Mao Zedong
Or a revolutionary poet like Qu Yuan


Hold the sun firmly
Right above your inner landscape
And there will be no shadow
Shaking around
Let alone darkness
That may engulf your selfhood
Inside out

Unless it shakes itself with a wind
Like a young tree at the noon time


Pick up the mirror
Lost in your bog of consciousness

Clean it really well
With your inner fingers

And you will see through
All faces and facets

Until you attain a clear vision
Of your original selfhood
Your entire universe

Last Visit to My Native Village

So, my closest classmate Zhu Zhuogui
Finally died of his old disease
My best work/playmate Siyan
Killed himself with a fat bottle of dichlorvos
Even my first girlfriend Zhou Yeqiong
Is somehow dead; now I find myself
A total stranger amidst my own fellow villagers
And their direct offspring
While the calls of frogs and cicadas
The odor of water buffalo shit
The taste of zahujiao (fried rice with shredded chili)
The tenderness of cotton flowers
And nodding ears in the rice field
Are all as familiar as last century

Getting Newly Old (2)

If only I had known pain was to bug me
From head to toe, day and night
Sometimes gnawing at my insides
Other times torturing my bones and muscles 
I would have tried harder to stay young

So young that I can sleep, sit, eat
Walk, run, jump with all the ease
I used to take for granted

Now, to age is to ache at each stage

Fish and Bird


The height
Is but a distance
You can cover between heaven and hell
Or beyond your own inner space

The depth you can swim to
Is no more than another height
You have achieved
Within the coasts of the outer ocean

Divided Soul

Also, my soul has split into two halves:
One still remaining
Within my body
The other flying afar
Like a satellite of our world

While both are singing aloud
Within an immortal entanglement


So long as you have ample blood
Filling in your cells, your heart
Will never fade
Within your fine structure

A rosy inner being:
Each sarcotesta is inflated
With juicy passion  

Fish at the Moonset

To get some fresh air
Or to escape from dark pressure
That’s not the question
But you must jump high
With all your strengths
Against the horizon

For an early morning glow
Or an ethereal realm
Even though for a single moment

Fallen Leaf

Shaking off all the dust
You have accumulated over the season

Flapping your wings against twilight
At the border of night

Like a butterfly coming down to
Kiss the land
As if to listen to
The heartbeat of the earth
Only once in a lifetime


Whenever I feel more lonely
Than I can bear alone
I would invite a group of good words
To have an afternoon tea with me

One would entertain us with a joke
Another account for its pasts
And a third challenge each of us
With an inspiring line

By the time they leave me
I have become closely connected
With this busy world

Visiting Hongqi’s Tomb

I really hate doing this, Dad
But each time I return to my native village
I have to find all my hard way
Between thorny cane columns
Through cotton fields
To your bare tomb, where to burn
Incense (miraculously into a lotus-flower shape
As I did last summer), fake money, firecrackers
(Which surprised me with a disc herniation this autumn)
Kowtow (my younger bro did this on my behalf), and say
Prayers as expected of every traditional Chinese son

I know you did care much about all this quasi-buddhist
Rituals, for I can see your ghost standing afar between
Two puti twigs, watching me in otherworldly silence

So does Mom, who would say, in a laughing voice
Son, I know how you would remember me after I die


Sitting on a park bench
You saw a lost crow as lonely
As you were, whose dark shadow
Was fading into twilight, bit by bit

Like your soul
Shredded into pieces
Now drifting along the skyline of
Vancouver West


Between two high notes
The song gives a crack
Long enough
To allow me to enter
Like a fish jumping back
Into the night water

Both the fish and I leave no
Trace behind us, and the world
Remains undisturbed as we swim
Deeper and deeper in blue silence

Upon my return, I find the music
Still going on, while the fish has
Disappeared into the unknown

Between Wake and Dream

As if to dispel
All the shadows
Of darkness, the white crow
I have kept for years and years
Finally flew out of the closet of my heart
Just when I began to dream last night

New Start

Beginning from tomorrow
My country will have a new leader
Who promised to lower the taxes

Beginning from tomorrow
Another year of the rooster will start
And so all those born in this year are
Supposed to enjoy a better luck

Beginning from tomorrow
Allen’s internship is ready to go
George will become the father of an
Unborn baby, and I will see a different doctor

Another Snowfall

Like the legendary Nuwa
Mending the sky with five-colored pebbles

More like Jingwei trying to
Fill in the East Sea with twigs and stones

The little crow hidden behind the thin lines
Of my poetry cannot wait to fly out
Ready to peck at every
Dark spot on the ground
Simply to make a perfectly white winter

While I am trying to listen to the green noises
Of spring far behind the west wind

2015, 8, 19 [Wednesday]

Boyhood Buoys (7): How My Light Was Saved  

Every summer, I would be jailed within our straw-thatched cottage
for two weeks, while other fourth- or fifth-graders nake-swam in ponds
monkey-climbed trees, or frog-jumped around the rice fields in the village

both eyes sealed with sticky secretions, I lived in total blindness
day and night, receiving neither treatment by any fellow villager
nor any care from adults in my large fostering household. Years later
I learned it was infection that resulted from eating too much homemade
pepper sauce, often the only dish we had to go with our make-do meals

I never understood why I had to suffer from such hurting blindness
even though I have only one eye actually functioning well in my life
yet I do know it was this hidden fear about eventual loss of vision
That has made me all the more sensitive to light, as well as darkness

Boyhood Buoys (8): Firewood Gathering

While town folks used electricity in every conceivable
Way, we did not have enough firewood even for cooking
So, I went out with a short scythe, against summer heat
Or winter chills, each time farther away from home
To cut whatever wild plants I could find after school

Once, I cut my own left hand so deep that I
Became horrified as blood gushed out of
My small palm. Of course, the wound
Healed soon enough, but ever since then
I have had a curved middle finger (because of
Bad bandage), a finger that prevented me from
Learning swordsmanship to follow the steps
Of Li Po, a legendary knight and the king of poetry

Boyhood Buoys (9): First Originative Simile

Before each breakfast, in grade five, I would get up
In haste, with a pair of quasi-chopsticks and a pair
Of half-opened eyes, going from cottage to cottage
In the whole village to collect chicken shit, like lost
Gold or silver coins, into a broken basket, something
I could contribute to our commune as fertilizer for

My fostering family. Occasionally, I was lucky
Enough to find a pile of goat or water-buffalo shit

So inspired by these findings that I once could not
Help using it to refer to the anti-revolutionary
Elements in our village when I wrote compositions
In school. Though this simile turned out a big
Laugh stock for the whole school, it was the first
Image I have ever added to our red literary canon

Boyhood Buoys (10): Local Celebrity

By playing Hu Chuankuei, a vulgar and stupid
Military commander in a popular Peking opera
I became more famous than our villager head:
Folks even from neighboring villages could readily
Recognize me and would intimate my voice
Indeed, while other boys in grade seven or eight
Had not enough to eat in their own homes, I could
Earn a couple of extra meals outside our school

However, when I went to the county town to attend
Senior high, my acting career came to a sudden end
Not because of my mother’s intervention (for fear that
My acting was making me into a vulgar and stupid
Student), but because of the trend gone with the wind

It was then that I learned all the lessons about being
A celebrity on the stage, or a nonentity under it

Searching among Trees

In a forest beyond the boundary of mind
I try to find a tree neither too tall, nor
Too twisted, but what I did see is a

Tree thickly bushy, and uniquely straight
With every leaf glistening like a scar
In the sun, a tree I long to date with

Even to marry
After I divorce my fated pasts

History Reviewed (9): The East Acronym

Dried leaves. Lu Yu.
Black. Green. Oolong.
The destruction of an
Entire shipment from
East India Company
At Boston Harbour.
Robert Fortune. And
The first and second
Opium War…

Boiled together with little
Withered leaves are thefts
Crimes, revolutions, invasions
As well as the subjugation of
Two oldest, largest civilizations

Some Butterflies Never Fly

Their wings are gracefully colored
With patterns just as beautiful as any

But they can never fly out of your
Dream, my heart, or her inner space

Like an invisible chrysalis, even if
They can move high up and down 

Between time and space, even if they
Can move close enough around our souls

They can never flap their wings
And fly into the human vision


Everything on earth falls straight to the ground
Including the Newtonian apple, even the tiniest
Bodies visiting from an unknown outer space

Except thought, the only perceivable construct
That can fly around, upwards and, if powerful
Enough, beyond the earthly atmosphere. Indeed

It will refuse to go along any pre-ordained orbit
But keep moving towards the heart or the boundary
Of the universe, until it penetrates all dark matter

And settles down somewhere for another Big bang

Situational Irony Redefined

Each time you notice honors piled  
Upon another unknown author, you
Just cannot help finding it ironical:
Yes, your very writing presents itself
As a bitter irony: while all the unworthy
Authors become worthier, your worth
Of words is treated as worthless waste

Sometimes you even believe your own
Existence as a human being is nothing
But really a walking shadow, a bloated
Joke beside those whose mediocrisms
Are the only warranty of loud fame and
Shiny honor in this nice and cold land, eh?


The parrot that has been imitating
Me in my inner house has finally

Flown away, but its mimicking voice
Does not necessarily reflect my opinion

Nor does it have any idea about being
As politically correct as you and me


While nobody has ever been to heaven (or hell)
I can readily go to Yaleugooli, an inner island
More charming than Maui and Palawan combined
With a beech more sensational than El Nido or
Lopes Mendes; in particular, a cave more majestic
Than Sơn Đoòng, where I cannot only get myself
Totally lost in seeing countless wonders of nature
But also take a respite as long as I like; an other
Eden where I can enjoy being one and the same with
Hyperion (from North California?) as my soulmate
Or live an immortal life like the Metasequoia King
Near my native village in central China, if ever I
I so choose when I feel disturbed by earthly winds
Or suffer from insomnia in the heart of winter night

Yes, I’ve been to Yaleugook, more than a thousand times
While they could only wish to enter heaven after they die

Departing: For Liu Yu

Ever since my father’s departure, I have found it
Unbearable to see my beloved mother. Indeed
I cannot stand even to think of her while she cooks
My favourite dishes in the kitchen of my newer
House in Vancouver West, or smiles at my son and
Chats with me over my boyish nastiness at the border
Of my dream. Indeed, I feel both my body and
Soul tightened, my voice choked with sorrow
And pain, each time this evil thought props up at the
Backyard of my heart: with my father gone forever
My mother is now living a posthumous life among us
As her ageing and fragile life is fading at the edge
Of our wishes and prayers. Mom, are you still there?

2015, 7, 28. [Tuesday]

The Sorrow of a Lifetime

You have long since found
Every part of speech
Even every word
Readily available
To describe love
Between men and women

But for all the drafting efforts
You made last century
You are still unable
To write a single
Sentence about it

Let alone putting
Some words together
In a meaningful stanza  

Natural Attachment

All the white clouds have set
Off on their way to heaven
Except this dark one still busy

Dropping its wet burden
Like transparent anchors
Down to the hell of earth

Myriads of silver wires
In thin and long bundles
As if to angle a fossil fish

Rain Cloud

With myriads of silk-lines
Tying the land so tightly
The cloud cannot drift
Away from the territory
Even in the strongest storm

Nor can you tear it off
From your droughted soul

Every Star Is Blinking

Beyond the deadland
Every heart is beating

Near the chest; leaves
Are fluttering. Listen

At this antlike moment, your
Inner voice is breaking too

Ode to Trees

You must have
A pair of eyes
Once thrilled
By a fashion show
To behold one tree
After another, or
A whole forest

Each wearing
The most fitting
Garment of
The season, its
Standing posture
Full of charm and
Grace. The leaves
All so similar

And the roots, its
Other better half is
Reaching down farther
Under the ground

Its trunk and twigs
Bend but never
Break. Each so
Unique, so full
Of feminine beauty

The Unheard Descant

More heart-pounding than the rockiest
Rock-n-roll, weightier than the heaviest
Metal music, and far more ever-lasting
Than the Ninth Symphony is this melody
That no human ear can hear, like the call
Of a pacific whale able to reach beyond
A whole continent. The burning utterance
Of a sun in another parallel universe
The melody that has never been heard
Nor will it ever become detectible to
Any human artifact; the song that is
Buried deep in the valley of a voice
The song that can be perceived
Only with the fingers of your heart  

Prison Camp

no, there is no
barbed wire; no

neither stockade
nor watch tower
which are both
unnecessary: this

is a real jungle
on an unmapped  
island, where
every untrodden
trail of escape
leads to death only
quick and direct

but if you toil
hard enough
(with your pen
or bare hands)
you might perhaps
survive or succeed

Pattern Drill

(Like thinking)

Into line
Left turn
Right turn
Mark time

Never stand at ease
Or be dismissed
From the present moment

Unless by your own higher self

Pattern Drill

Into line
Left turn
Right turn
Mark time

Stand at ease
Now, dismissed
From the present moment

From your outer selfhood
 (As in meditation)

Pair Bond

In the heyday of the Song dynasty
Lin used to have two renowned
Soulmates: one is a Chinese plum
Tree, the other a yellow crane

Living far beyond Mount Lonely
I have but only one, an albatross
Not because of its widest wings or

Because of its large size and flying
Power, but because of its loyalty
That lasts until death departs the pair

Yes, married to a bird for better or for worse
My innerself can fly far and high like the Peng
From Zhuanzi’s sky, never having to worry it will
Follow my wife to pursue her girlish romanticisms

You Have a Dream

You will be sad to depart from us tomorrow
At an antlike moment in the smallest space
Where you will become used to singing aloud
With a throat wider than your belly, the song

Of a frog with only one tone and one pitch
A song about your dream flowing with leeches
In a ricefield. Yes, you will have a loud dream!
You will dream of humans who will no longer

Try to catch you, skin you off, barbecue you
Or eat you alive as they do with their own
Species; you will dream of jumping
As high as summer stars, and as rapid

As winter winds. You will dream of
Equality, equilibrium and equanimity
Yes, thank his Song, thank God Almighty
From human catch you will be free at last!

2015, 7,9 [Thursday]

Boyhood Buoys (1): Village Fashion

For the whole school year of the seventh grade
I kept dreaming of a new pair of tennis shoes

White-rimmed, blue-covered, that all boys
From rich families in towns and cities

Were said to be wearing, even when some of
Them were sleeping at night. At least three times

A day, I would imagine myself goose-walking
In them until one morning I noticed the pretty girl

Living next door to us in the village came to
School much later than usual. While every other

Boy burst into a loud unanimous wow
I proudly whispered to my best pal:

You know, her foster mother shares
Exactly the same family name with me!

Boyhood Buoys (2): Secret Tryst

I never understand the taboo of my village school
But all boys avoided speaking to girls, and vice versa

Nevertheless, whenever I felt the real urge to
See my girl in private, I would hum aloud while

Walking out of our classroom, and in the evening
She and I would meet behind a low sand ridge in the

Dried riverbed. Watching the summer stars in
Innocent silence, we would sit for a while deep in

Each other’s arms until we departed in equal silence
Even without hitting upon the idea of a real kiss

Her name was Chen Yeqiong, a tall, slim and pretty
Fellow villager, with a birthmark above her right lips

That’s when we were in grade eight; that’s as early
As half a century ago, on the other side of the world

Boyhood Buoys (3): The Most Memorable Science Class

We didn’t know how or why, but we came to be
Convinced that swallowing a fresh snake gall
Would give us a more insightful pair of eyes

So, after catching a three-feet long grass snake
We skinned it off carefully, and cooked a big
Pot of soup with its old chicken-like meat

(O boy, how delicious it tastes! But my mom
Dare not go to the kitchen for a whole week)

The next morning, I blew enough air into the
Slough, made it into a vivid staff dragon, went
To school early and put it in the top-open desk

Closest to the podium. When the lid is raided,
The fully wound dragon threw the whole class
Into shriek. That’s our only field science class

Boyhood Buoys (4): Frogmeat Sale

To earn a couple of yuan to buy some
Kerosene oil for our lamp in the house
I followed my neighbor, an older boy
To catch frogs in the middle of night

It was always a sure thing to do: where-
Ever we heard a frog sing, we would
Stealthily approach it, illuminate it
With torchlight, and pick it up with

All the ease we could enjoy. Sometimes
I did feel sorry for the frog: its eyes were
Shining bright under the summer stars
But why did it fail to escape from danger?

Early next morning, we would skin our catch
And went to the nearest town, shouting aloud
‘Fresh frog meat !’ like the frogs singing at the
Top of their voice, after dusk, in the rice fields

Top Ten Quotes and Sayings?

The first wealth is wealth
The second place is just the first place loser
The third world is not a reality but an ideology
The fourth dimension to any landscape is memory
The fifth member of my band is my non-profit work
The sixth sense is at the core of our experience
The seventh day of action would be filled by God’s boredom
(The eighth wonder of the world is you name it)
The ninth symphony will remain, although everything will pass and the world will perish
The tenth amendment said its powers are explicitly given in the Constitution

Trees in My Garden

My words - the young fir balsams like a place
Where houses all are churches and have spikes

Bu the olives hey were not blind to Him,
The little gray leaves were kind to Him

All stately set with spare bracelet rope,
The Fir-Tree stood and sailed and sailed

O white pear,
Your flower-tufts,
Thick on the branch
Brings summer and ripe fruits
In the people’s hearts

The cherry trees bend over and over shedding,
On the old road when all that passed are dead

Then I went to my pretty rose tree,
To tend her by day and by night

There stands the awesome Upas Tree
Lone watchman of a lifeless land

The oak tree:
Not interested
In cherry blossoms

Aspen Tree, your leaves glance white into dark,
My mother’s hair was never white

The girt woak tree that’s in the dell!
There’s no tree I do lover so well

A bottle tree bloometh in Winkyway land –
Heigh-ho for a bottle, I say!

Have you ever heard of the Sugar-Plum Tree?
‘T is a marvel of great renown!

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
Is hung with bloom along the bough

And the lime-tree, lovely and tall, every leaf silent
Hardly looses even a last breath of perfume


All the gates
And imprison
Every species
Including human visitors

To free

The open wildness
From being



Rather than a queen
Bathed in my own tears
While worshipped
Before glass walls

I would be
A tiny shrimp
At the bottom
Of the food chain

Even to be
Eaten alive

While swimming

Boyhood Buoys (5): Waterbuffalo-Boy

How I envied Doggie when his little hunchbacked
Father was appointed the caretaker of the tallest
Water buffalo in our communist commune:

Every day, after school, he would ride her
For his father, plodding along from one
Grass spot to another. While I had to dig

All kinds of obscure plants for our ever-stunted
Pig and collect chicken shit from every household
For the collective, he could take a sightseeing

Ride around the whole village (and even enjoy
Fucking the handsome creature with his arm
And fist as he liked), until one day, I tried to bribe

Him into allowing me to play my flute on her
Moving back and thus fulfill this idyllic dream
But he barked back with a broken voice: No way!


Insert a fir twig
Deep, deeper
Into the slit on your heart

And you are sure to grow
To be an evergreen personality:

Strong, straight, nobly tall
And uniquely handsome


You might have stayed up
All night, clicking at every link
To your daydream, searching
For a soulmate in the cyberspace

You might have enjoyed an early dose
Of original sin between sleep and wake
Before packing up all your seasonal greetings
With your luggage to catch the first plane

Or sitting up in meditation
With every sensory cell
Widely open to receive
Blue dews from nirvana

But you did not. Rather, you have just
Had another long fit of insomnia and
Now in this antlike moment, you are
Imagining a lucky morning glow

That is darting along the horizon

Boyhood Buoys (6): Deeper Than the First Cut

With a lower-than-the-average performance
For every class, you never gave a damn
To Mr Zhou (the most senior teacher
In your village school) when he announced
You were far less smart than your mom

But after reading some sample passages
From A-graded compositions, Mr Zhou
Began to cut deeper as he continued to
Ridicule the way a slow student coined
Awkward idioms and, worse still, compared
Local anti-revolutionary elements to piles
Of cap-like shit of water buffalos

How can you laugh together with others!
He pointed his finger like a snake head
Right at my nose while the whole class
Guffawed: Don’t you remember you’re
The very inventor of this disgusting simile?

Life & Meaning

There is
No meaning

To anybody
Or anything
There is
In the first place

Except this
Only creation
Out of our own

Inner being

2015,6,5 [Friday]

Don’t Miss Me, Son, Ever After I Die

Don’t miss me, Son, ever after I die
For as a son I know how you will sigh
With mixed feelings when you recall
The spot where I showed you the first sugar cane
The moment when I took you to DLG Elementary
The first time we hiked in Cypress Mt Park
The first sightseeing tour we had (to Zhangjiajie)
The cozy restaurant where we ate in Beijing
The short poem I bribed you to write in grade ten
The lectures I gave you about the dynamic
Rebalancing of yin and yang… No, don’t

Don’t miss me, Son, not ever after I die
For I know how you will be getting high
With sadness that can engulf and suffocate 
Your entire inner being when you recollect
The broken pieces of my image, but think
More about your son, about how you two
Can enjoy being together at each supper time
Eating dumplings, talking aloud, joking
And laughing while you are still well and alive

Don’t, just don’t miss me after I die, Son
But keep thinking about your own son’s son
While all of you are so very much well alive

Birds of Disparate Feathers: A Confucian Call

Come, come, you peng
From the Zhuangzian northern darkness
You swan from the Horacean meadows
You pheasant from under Li Bo’s cold moon
You oriole from Dufu’s green willow
You dove from the Dantean inferno
You phoenix from Shakespeare’s urn
You swallow from the Goethe oak or
The Nerudan dense blue air, you cuckoo
From the Wordsworthian vale, you albatross
From the Coleridgean fog, you nightingale
From the Keatsian plum tree, you skylark
Form the Shalleyean heaven, you owl
From under the Baudelairen overhanging years
You unnamed creature from the Pushkinian alien lands
You raven from near Poe’s chamber door
You parrot from the Tagorean topmost twig
And you crows from among my cawing words
Come, all of you, more than 100 kinds of
Birds from every time spot or spot moment

Come, with your light but strong skeletons
Come, with your hard but toothless beaks
Come, with your colored feathers, and flap your wings
Against Su dongpo’s painting brush strokes

Come, all you free spirits of nature
Let’s join one another and flock together
High, higher up towards mabakoola

For Example

The sun never set within the British territories
The yingzheng of Qin burned all the bamboo books
And buried all the Confucianists alive; the other
Partner-quantum is intricately entangled somewhere
On the other side of the world; the aliens are
Travelling in and out of the hollowed moon
The American super-soldier fucked every
Female in the village; the mers is plaguing
The old soul right now; Greece’s debt became
A huge crisis for all Europe; as many as
Eighty million Chinese males can never hope
To find their own sexual partners; the ants
Invade your house in June and October every
Year; certain words grouped together can
Win a fame forever; it’s never explained
Why the main character came to town, while
An ant is trying to push a water droplet home …

Rock vs Waves

Hard, cold, firm
As apathetic as time itself
You hold your position
Against countless attacks of surging billows
That keep pounding your naked chest day and night
Like fate knocking at the Beethoven’s door

You will never give up your effort
Or you would collapse into sand


You hate winds all your life, you hate them
Even more than you do trends or fashions
That come and go like unbearable nuisances
Constantly disturbing your thinking
And writing in peace, but now you have

Finally become used to, and deeply found of
The breathing of nature, the only movement
That can carry on and spread your spirit as far
As widely, even long after you die

Yes, thanks to the winds, your ideas are
Greening in a foreign desert

Intimacy vs Independence

Like two neighboring willows
You are so mutually independent
That you would never bother
To think of each other
On a sunny day

But during a storm you would
Hug each other tightly, while  

A snowfall makes you connected
Smoothly as a whole
Yes, body and soul

Neutralization Reaction

When an acid feeling
Is mixed with
An alkaline whim


When bitter experiences
Are infused with

Wisdom crystalizes
Within the water of life

Most Basic Calculations

Personality      plus environment
Is fortune  

The blue sky    minus low clouds
Makes the season

Footprints        times detours
Lead to the gateway

Love    divided by self           
Equals happiness 


hung never too high
from the frictionless pivot of nature
fate is a weight
that keeps swinging
from yin to yang
or the other way half around  

between day and night  
between ups and downs  

How I Miss You, Dad: For Yuan Hongqi

It is true, Dad, I never even liked you
When you were still alive last century

But ever since your last departure
Once and forever, how often
Have I missed you, how often
Have I been choked
With fitful sadness
Like this
Like this moment
That keeps surging against my inner beach

Then, afar from old china
another summer storm is arising 
Another autumn mist is permeating around


Hold it in your hand
And your intimacy will
Make it melt
Into self-oblivion

Catch it like a bird, or
Throw it towards the sun
And it will fly into the sky
Vanishing in total self-loss


With the cage tightening, and
Despite my wounded wings
I am still free to try 
Trying harder to fly

Flying up so high
Higher than the sky

Beyond this universe  
Locked inside out

In the Cyberspace

A mouse is clicking near each screen
The entire world is flooded
Again, with bytes
Fully coded with whims
And words

Which is my digitalized being?
Where can my spirit settle down?

Without an ark
My innerself is getting drowned


As I meditate under the morning glow
All my scattered proto consciousness
Gathers together
Piece by piece
At the bottom of a black hole
To represent itself
Like a mounted arrow
Ready to shoot
At the setting sun

2015, 5, 27 [weds]

History Reviewed (3): When Modern Western
Civilization Penetrated Qing China…

Sh… the foreign devils are coming
They are entering our village, quietly

They are planting tall phone poles and
Spreading wires everywhere to steal
All the innocent consciousness
From every boy and girl; they are using
Small dark boxes to catch the soul of
Each living creature, even that of a crow
And cow. Just fancy, how they are eager
To drink wine brewed out of menses, while
Meeting each other in a cross-guarded
Bungalow; how they are fond of wearing white
And watching human corpses in a hospital
Where they make them into wax figures

O Heaven! The western devils are really coming
To our village, with all kinds of foreign monsters  

Is That All You Have to Say?

I am sorry to have killed
You family by accident
I apologize that I have to
Declare bankruptcy; I, I
Very much regret having
Escaped from our wedding
Ceremony; I repent for setting
Your dream house on fire
I owe you an apology for losing
All your hard-saved money
In the stock market; really

I am sorry that my apologies
Are quite cheap whereas  
Your suffering may be a bit
Too costly. Yes, I am sorry

Just Another Microphone Gaffe

After my election, I have more flexibility
To deal with liars like Netanyahu on a
Daily basis, to put up with the hair of that
Bigoted woman, to show my admiration
Of Moshe for raping ten employees of
His office, to crucify all the major league
Assholes and cabinet bastards, to outlaw
Russian forever, to get rid of our debts
By killing all Chinese on earth and
Even more important perhaps, to learn
The lessons about when the microphone is
On, and when it is off like right now

Go to hell, all you fucking idiot voters


I have already stopped
But it is my shadow
That is still moving
As if it has a farther
Destination to reach

So, don’t even try to
Hold it back within
Your shape, but just
Let it keep going, going

Until the sun sets further
Down, or until it joins
The sun on the other
Side of this turning world

WIFE: Another Etymological Poem

Nothing will keep you committed
In either direction, up or down

As if suspended in the mid-air

The fortune book we have never consulted
Clearly states: ‘un-appropriate’ because our
Eight birth-characters don’t quite go along

Un-appropriate it is, yet I took you as
My wife, darling, though you have hurt
My feelings more often than the book predicts

Rather, I took commitment for wife. The English spelling
Contains ‘if’ between w and e. Or w   e
Are separated by an ‘if’ in the blank

Committed wife. I hold you, I still do

Say Something, Anything

I wonder what I can
Say: Is the microphone live?
Are you all there?
Perhaps none of you are
Actually listening?
Perhaps it is high time?
Definitely, I should
Never swear, but try to
Sound polite and humorous
Or even politically correct?

I apologize for my aphasia
My loss of voice

Inner Winter: To Allen

While the summer sun is shining
Through the whole universe, it fails
To penetrate your yellowish skin to
Dispel the harsh season within your
Body. Yes, just as the Chinese doctor says

Ever since you caught a cold at the age
Of eight, the coldness has occupied
Your inner being, especially your spine
Where it has frozen the balanced flow of
Your qi and blood, thus making your disks bulge
Or herniate. That’s why you must raise the sun

Above the horizon; raise it high, Son, higher with
Each persistent try against your inner sky
To soften all the coldness within your base chakra
To make the whole winter melt completely until all
Your meridians become soft, warm, resilient


All that glitters may be as gorgeous as gold
For example: the tears bursting out of an
Old cow’s eye, the skylights seen under
A flying airbus, the fishes trying to jump out
Of the nightly currents, the little palm-mirror
Taken from a girl’s schoolbag, the foiled
Head of Buddha in an unknown temple
The baby teeth kept beside the pillow of
Your child, the waves surging against
Autumn coasts, the ice that is floating
Along spring, as well as the naked words
Rolling and wallowing like brown bears
In the stream of a running consciousness

In fact, all that glitters is glossier than gold


The other day I was thinking about the
Immortality of God, Nature and Man’s
Artifact (like Buddha’s teachings, and
Newton’s discovery of gravity) when
I noticed another apple being eaten
By a lost child, the apple that was dropped
Onto the pavement from a broken bag
The one that was to inspire the eater’s
Playmate to eventually make a robot
Able to change the direction of our
Mother earth’s movement, and even
The way the human mind works, yes
The same old rotten apple that reminds of
The stinking corpse of a poor guy
Which led a prince to become Buddha
Once upon a long long time ago

Bottom Line

Now you have fully fulfilled
Your wish to be richer than
Bill Gates, more powerful
Than Xi Jingping, better
Known than Jesus, sexier than
David Beckham or more
Beautiful than Nina Dobrev
Have a home bigger than Antilia
A fleet of Lamborghinis
Ten thousand concubines
Or husbands … and/or
What else do you wish to be
To do or to have? Yes, after all
Your dreams come true, you
Will hope to do the same as
You can right now: go and
Give the world a genuine smile

Don’t’ you? Can’t you?

LIFE: an Etymological Poem

To live a happy life, you do
Need to know it is nothing but 

A ‘lie’ hidden among the letters
If you take out ‘f’ as in failure

Or, it would lead you everywhere once
You become aware of ‘if’ at the center

Yes, you should try to be resilient
As lively as an elf for yourself

That is, when you play with the word
And forget ‘i’ behind the letter ‘l’

The Secret of Death

Every human fears death, because
No one has resurrected to assure us

Dying is the most pleasurable experience
A human can hope to have; indeed

Everyone is de-created equal
Only once and for a single moment

To feel the beauty of your soul flying
From within the little nest of your mind
To the vast treetop far beyond Eden

2015, 4, 22

Green Betrayal

You wish to be a Douglas fir
Tall, straight, almost immortal
But you stand like a Peking willow
Prone to cankers, full of twisted twigs

Worse still, you are not so resistant
As the authentic willow that can bend gracefully
Shake off all its unwanted leaves in autumn
When there is a wind blowing even from nowhere

No matter how much sunshine you receive
During the summer, you have nothing but scars
To show off against winter storms
The scars that you can never shake off

Lifestyle of a Bird

Instead of pecking around on the ground
For grain or gold to satisfy your hunger
You keep flying all day long, trying
To fetch feathers stuck in muddy history
Twigs far beyond Adam’s continent, and
Rice stems from summer fields, with which
You long to build a permanent nest
High on the top of the tallest Douglas fir
Where you can live closest to heaven

But you may be shot down by a hunter
When flapping towards divinity


Above the water
The swan looks so elegant
Pure and noble

Beneath the surface
Its feet are paddling hard
Like an ugly duck

But invisible as they are
You can also imagine them
Like the wings of a white eagle

The wings that are flapping
Fiercely against currents
Ready to fly into the depth of season

Three Souls

Everyone has only one soul
But I have three:

One was shot down like a wild goose
When I was trying to fly to heaven
Another dug out like an earthworm
As I was driven into the underworld

The third is still swimming freely
In my inner ocean, where I fear
It might be caught within a fishing net


The reader has closed the book
But his attention is still drifting
Along the lines, where you find yourself
A typo that few eyes can discern
Even the viewer uses a magnifier
A mistake that can never be
Properly rectified, though it could still
Be understood in the context

Beyond the Mountain

Between me and spring
Lies a whole range of hills

Up above is a bird attracted by the
Landscape of both sides

For every circle it flies
There are new leaves turning green

And crawling along the twigs
Too busy absorbing sunlight and dews

Standing, We Are United 

on the only rock found in this waste land
let's arise, arise high against the sky
by standing on the shoulders of each other
not only to re-find the same and one
language we used to speak in Babel
not only to see further than Wang Zhihuan 
after he climbed to another storey, or
than Newton on the shoulders of giants 
but to use our own bodies as a totem pole
in honour of the tens of millions of civilians 
slaughtered in Nanjing, murdered in Auschwitz
and killed in numerous villages and towns
from eastern China to western Europe

hey, do you see the spectre drifting around
right above Yasukuni Shrine as Abe and 
his followers pay tribute to the war criminals?


This is the gray area

Between black and white
Between war and peace
Between legal and illegal
Between light and shadow
Between yin and yang
Between life and death
Between sleep and wake  
Between you and me

Where we can clearly see each other’s
Soul, but will never meet in person

The Eagle

The eagle is carved
In deep relief of
The marble; the marble
Is perching quietly
Under its wings, both
Squatting heavily
On my whims 

The eagle murmurs
To me: Give me
A patch of sky, and
I can fly really high
Be it even a spot
Of painted space


Walking along the river
I see spring newly arriving
On the other side, where flowers
Laugh loudly, birds
Play with joy; in good nature
I respond with a smile
As if an other self is greeting
Me in sincere respect

So I keep walking along
And smiling, until I come to
The estuary, where I still
Cannot find a bridge, except
Waters widening, blocking me
From the season that overwhelms
The other bank with green


Not everyone can
Be white washed

Yes, every white
Has been washed

But one who can
Not be washed

Is not white
Even within the wall


You shouldn’t day-
Dream all the time

Sometimes you can
Dream about the day

But other times you
Must run in the wild

Jumping or stumbling
Simply to day the dream

Grocery List

1 big jug of organic meditation
2 rolls of recycled equanimity
3 pounds of fresh offline
4 bundles of neighborhood meetings
5 boxes of local visits
6 bottle of genuine walk in nature
7 loafs of raw self-examination


Soft Medium: A Wishful Whim

If, if everyone could
Use love instead of money
As the only medium
Of exchange, who would
Choose to declare bankruptcy
Or rob an old lady right after
She withdraws her hard-saved
Cash? Who would jump
From a tower or bridge
Because of his recent losses
In the stock market? Who would
Go to bed hungry in the heart of
Darkness? Who would rent her body
To a male animal? Who would try to
Accumulate riches at the cost of
His conscience or character?
In particular, who would
Trade his soul with the devil?

Indeed, who would refuse
To exchange love for love?

The Human-headed Bird
            (An ancient artifact displayed in Jinzhou Museum)

That human-headed bird
Flapping its wings against
Foreign visitations must have been
Either possessed by the spirit of
My previous life
Or winged by the body of
My next being; otherwise
It would never bother to
Look up at me

As it flies into the same legend
About the yellow crane
All its feathers fall down
On my sandy mind, like meteorites
With all their secrets hardened
From an other universe

Autumn Evening

Sky and sea are zipped closed
By a flock of migratory birds

Beyond the groves of maple trees
The blood of the season gets dry

Dusk becomes deadly stagnant, as 
The skyline is trimmed by darkness  

In the Lot

One Lincoln appears to be moving
Two crows are dancing around

Several leaves are rolling along
Nothing has really settled down

Is there a place for you? For whom
Are those spaces reserved anyway?  

The fallen cone misses its post high up
There, though it is not far from the roots

You have to wait, probably for nothing
While your engine keeps running. Many

Prints of worn-out tires. A big sign board
Prohibits unauthorized vehicles like yours

I am tired of being always on the run
But where on earth can I park my car?

Learning About

No two trees share 
The same shape; each
Keeps trying hard to
Restore its unique
Figure. That’s growing
Out of a trunk, similar
Almost exactly
As thick as all the
Branches combined

This is the secrete of nature
About the sublime
About the subtle

Best Regards

He was playing the game
At the Fraser River Park
Or you are told. He
Sprained his ankle
While running after the dog
To balance his body and soul  

Why not unleash his inner pet?

Beyond the park
Is a boat darting 
Towards the open sea

Looking afar
Looking forward

Yesterday’s Newspaper

Like a small leaf
Rolling along
From curb to curb
Beside or behind
Each running wheel
You have become
Heavy, even heavier
Than the headline
Of the front page

Once the wind stops, you
Will get stuck right here
Among all the forlorn
Pieces of history


What a surreal living
You replied as you passed
By. Sitting still, you
Are a juggler; running
Amuck, you are a dreamer  

Now, you are
Roaming all over
The mountains and seas
Of this world, just to locate
One single word

Your Song

To sing a single song well, hopefully as
Aloud as a pacific whale, whose call can
Reach far beyond a continent, you have used
All the strengths of your life, but tone-deaf
And never able to carry a tune, you sound
Like an old donkey that has lost its voice
So prosaic and, indeed, so monotonous
No human ears would turn to you; even if
Your throat gets choked with blood, there
Is no echo from the heart of the valley

A Rented Place Is No Home to Your Soul

Everyone has an innerself that actually needs
No housing, be it a well-located apartment
Or a luxurious mansion, for which you have
To toil and moil to pay off the mortgage
And constantly to paint, to furnish, or to
Renovate it as you would do for your outerself

But it does require you to design and construct
A dwelling somewhere or anywhere, on a treetop
Beside a streamlet, under a boulder, or beyond
The horizon, where you can ease your entire inner
Being into anything or nothing, where you can
Uplift your own spirit and your farthest relative
As if in a sociological quantum entanglement

Last Words to HL

I am, as I have always been, really sorry, darling
For all that you have had to go through simply
To remain my wife. While I love you, treasure
You, you have seldom cared about me, especially
Since we got married. Indeed, you have been trying
Very hard to be a reasonably dutiful spouse, yet
You never touch me, respect me, but treat me no more
Or no less than a money-making machine, ready
To leave me when you find me hopelessly too poor
Making love from time to time with someone else
Right in the kitchen of your heart, I know all that

I know all this has been very hard for you, darling
But now you are becoming truly free, free from me
Free from any restrictions, Chinese or foreign, you
Can do whatever you want with your heart or body
To pursue your girlish romanticism or fantacies
The moment I breathe out this last syllable of mine

Be well, darling, I know you will forget me soon and
Have many more years to live. And I am sorry, darling
Really, I am deeply sorry to have kept you for so long

Contributing to Society

Some nake-donate their riches
Others volunteer their time and effort
Still others have been trying to accumulate
Good dharma or good deeds, but for you
And me, it is all as simple as this:
Just be happy, for a hearty smile is
The best gift you can give to this world


A professional trained smile
May look fresher, last longer
Than a plastic or silk flower
But without fragrance
Without life, it can never
Soften a human heart

Plant the seed of happiness well
In the garden of your sub-consciousness
Water it, fertilize it, take care of it
And it will bloom into smiles
Even in the depth of a wintry night


e.Poching: Nine Questions

1/ Prologue
Are we still humans
As we have always been? Indeed
For the past half century, we have
Changed so much more and faster
Than in the past ten thousand years
That our cultural genes are undertaking a mutation
Which is transforming every one of us into an ihooyeau
If not a yahoo, even though we remain in the perfect human shape
So, are we really humans like our fathers or grandfathers?

Word’s Worth: A Universal Motto

If by life you were deceived
Don’t cry because the sun has gone out of your life
Don’t hesitate to be or not to be
But just stick to the road less travelled by
Even if no one who knows language knows what you suffer
For every human was born to serve a meaningful purpose

Indeed, you don’t lack strength; you lack will only
So, rage, rage against the raging of the winter
And spring will not be far behind

Quantum Entanglement: A Revolution in Sociology

Once you uplift your spirit
And find your pathway to a high realm
Even every cellular memory of yours will
Become elevated within your skin

And so will your offspring and relatives
Ascend into a superior state of being
Be it ten thousand miles away
At the very edge of your world, just

Like all the meshes of a fishing net
Becoming open when the headrope is pulled out

How a Dream Comes True: a Frontal Poem

If you model your inner being
On your wish, it would create itself
By repeating a simple process
In an ever ongoing feedback loop
Until this infinitely complex pattern
Grows so self-similar across different
Scales that your whole life becomes
An all-dimensional manifestation of what
You have dreamed to be or not to be

Shortcut to Happiness

You never have to die
To go to heaven
Nor do you need to rely
On any religious rituals

All you should do
Is just to climb
Into the wicket of
An inner balloon; then

Light the burner
Drop off the ballast weights
One after another
As you rise, keep rising

Until you reach high
High into a time spot
Where you become the universe
And the universe becomes you


No naked eyes can see it, not
Even God’s, but its arms have
Reached every human space
With its innumerable and
Transparent suction cups
Each flat like a blinking screen
Sucking in every word
Until the whole civilization
Is blackholed once and for all

That’s when the digital
Technology goes to history 
Like parchments or oracles

Spatial Irony

In a large living room that has long been vacant
Is left behind a mini answering machine
Crowded with so many messages that
            It has no more space even
For a single syllable…Hi!

Karma Meeting

I don’t know your name
Nor will I get any idea about
Your age, your family, your work
Your daily routine or idiosyncrasy
(Which is irrelevant anyway)
But I always remember the muted music
Of your breath, the compressed smell of your spirit
Especially your blooming serenity and elegance   

Alas how can I ever forget you did not even
Bother to take a look at me, although for this
Very meeting, all the three trillion cells
In my body have been beseeching
So many stars in the parallel universe
For the past five hundred years
To arrange for us to see each other, although only  
Once in a lifetime

While myriads of raindrops beat against our drums alike
Towards another summer evening  

gongxifacai: An Idiomatic Chinese Calendar

Rats abandon a sinking ship
Cows have no business in horseplay
Tigers die and leave their skins
If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one

Noble dragons don’t’ have friends
Snakes follow the way of serpents
A horse may stumble though he has four legs
A goat owned by two people sleeps outside

The higher a monkey climbs, the more he shows his behind
Rooster today, feather duster tomorrow
Dogs that bark much don’t bite
A pig’s tail will never make a good arrow


Disconnect all your devices
And you will liberate your senses

Disconnect all your senses
And you will boast free spirits

Disconnect all your spirits
And you will become a Buddha

2015, 01, 20


Nobody likes insomnia, but I do
Indeed, for a night or two, even several
In a run, when there is no wifely
Disturbance, I would love to count
Ants against all the stars in my
Mind, to practice meditation with
My entire inner being, to hypnotize
My conscious self by evoking a streamlet
Of blue water from heaven and letting it
Infuse every cell in my body from top to toe
Second by second, to wrack my brain hard
For the wording of a line like this one, or more
Enjoyably, to visualize going alone
To an African forest, where I constantly wish
To go and die like a white elephant, until I become
Too relaxed or too exhausted
To remain awake

Word Politician

Granting everyone makes about
5,000 choices on the average
Every day, as they say
Who makes most choices?

Definitely, it is neither a prisoner
Nor a president, but a fiction author
Who would choose thousands of more
Words than others as a decision-maker

So, you know which profession
Is most powerful in this real world?

Freedom of Speech

Fart must be an f- art
Otherwise, it would not have been
So strictly censored
In every human setting

Oh, (as you often wish)
For a society where
Everyone can fart anytime, anywhere
In any way as a truly free artist likes!


I fart at least 15 times a day
Which means I have been farting
More than 200,000 times

Though no less an enjoyable
Thing for a human to do
Than eating, farting has made me
More than a burping cow
Whose belching clouds
Of methane into the atmosphere
Have contributed so much to
The greenhouse effect

Keeping this in mind
How much larger a space are you going to pollute
Or, rather, how much more are you going to add
To global warming?

Veni, Vidi, Vici

You sit
You suck
You see

While they lie, they tie, they die

Dytiscus Larvae: a Dramatic Scene

One most ferocious robber in the pond
World, observes a zoologist, is a slim,
Streamlined insect called the Dytiscus larvae:
Lying in ambush on a water grass
He suddenly shoots at lightning speed
To his prey (or anything moving or smelling
Of ‘animal’ in any way, a fat tadpole, for
Instance), darts underneath it, then quickly
Jerks up his head, grabs it in his jaws
Injects his poisonous glandular secretion into it
Dissolves its entire inside into a liquid soup
And sucks as it swells up first, and then gradually
Shrinks to a limp bundle of skin until it finally falls
From his fatal kiss. Very few animals

According to the observer
Even when starved to death would attack
Let alone eat an equal-sized animal
Of their own species

But the Dytiscus does, just as man does  
Within or without a pond

            -I never trouble trouble, but it troubles me every day…

A two headed-snake, yes, it is
Sure to be very rare in your world
But extremely common in mine
Like a shadow of my shadow
Always following behind me
Whether the sun is awake or asleep
Ready to bite me with one mouth
Sizzling around with another
While its poisonous breath constantly  
Suffocates me before it is to strangle
My entire being into a slow death
As I try to get out of this snakeland


Ever since you had to make money
At the cost of your health and
Character, you have always avoided
Looking at yourself in a mirror
Because you feel too ashamed
Too disgusted to meet yourself
Face to face again, where you could find
Neither comfort nor contentment
But ugliness bubbling in every
Cauldron-like cell of yours

Now for the first time I am gathering
All my courage to date my true self
As I say aloud to myself in the mirror
‘I love you,’ I see all kinds of ups
And downs zooming in my wrinkles, and
Cannot help crying like a re-found child

Do you remember the many pains and
Hardships you have gone through
With this face? Do you see through this face
The sacred secret of Greater Love?


You don’t know why you always
Hate the wind, but you can never forget
How all the topsoil was blown off
In the big bowl, how the passenger
Train derailed, the ship toppled
The cloud dispersed
The stream distorted
The petal broken
The rock weathered
The life dried
The whole country agitated
The conception aborted…
As you come to see it as nothing less
Than the evil spirit of disturbance
An invisible seasonal spectre
That keeps drifting around
Between heaven and hell

Beauty Outside, Beast Inside
-A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste

When there is no tomorrow
The happiest place on earth, or
The last place you want to go is
At the heart of the image, where
Between love and madness lies obsession

When you care enough to send the very best
Think big, or think small, for nothing is
Impossible, just as impossible is nothing
Make believe. Save money, live better
Eat fresh. Twist the cap to refreshment and
Reach out to touch someone

When the world zigs, zag
Get N or get out. Expand you mind
Change your world. Fly the friendly sky
Share moments, share life.
Let your finger do the walking
Just do it and have it your way

If you want to impress someone
Put him on your blacklist, as it
Keeps going and going and going
And make the most of now
Because you’re worth it

See what we mean?

East Idioms Reinterpreted

1/ The Bamboo Image in His Bosom

Living in a forest of bamboos, he has
The bamboo image so fresh and vivid
In his bosom that he can draw a picture
Of it readily without having to recall it

2/ The Frog at a Well’s Bottom

Sitting still at the bottom of a well
The frog is happy to watch the patch
Of blue right above him, believing
It to be the entire sky there is up there

3/ The Qi-Man Worrying about the Sky Fallen

With nothing urgent to worry about
The man of Qi is haunted by his own
Fear that the sky above his country
Will fall down at any moment

4/ The Zheng-Man Buying His Shoes

Instead of trying new shoes with his own feet
On the market, the man of Zheng rushed home
To fetch the measurements of his feet that he 
Believed to be precise and well-taken

109-word bio]:: Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks (including Kingship [2015]), is the world's most widely published poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes English. Growing up in a remote Chinese village, Yuan began to learn English in Shanghai at the age of 19 and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada as an international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver and, since mid-2005, has had poetry appearing in 1029 literary publications across 34 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Best Canadian Poetry (2009,12,14), BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine and Threepenny Review. 

111-word bionote]:: Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks (including Kingship [2015]), is the world's most widely published poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes English. Growing up in a remote Chinese village, Yuan began to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at 19 and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada as an international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Yuan currently co-edits Poetry Pacific and runs PP Press with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. Since mid-2005, Changming has had poetry appearing in 1029 literary publications across 35 countries, including Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry (2009,12,14), BestNewPoemsOnline, Cincinnati Review  and Threepenny Review. 

1135. insomnia (2015, 1, 20)
1136. word politician
1137. freedom of speech
1138. guilt
1139. veni, vidi, vici
1140. dytiscus
1141. trouble
1142. wind-hater
1143. self-dating
1144. beauty outside
1145. east idioms –bamboo
1145. e.poching (2015, 3, 6)
1146. universal motto
1147. quantum entanglement
1148. dream come true: a frontal poem
1149. shortcut to happiness
1150. e.Octopus
1151. spatial irony
1152. karma meeting]
1153. Chinese zodiac calendar
1154. unplugging
1155. soft medium (2015, 3, 18)
1156. human-headed bird
1157. autumn eve
1158. in the lot
1159. learning about
1160. best regards
1161. yesterday’s newspaper
1162. writer
1163. your song
1164. rented place is no home
1165. last words to hl
1166. contributing to society
1167. smiling
1168. history reviews: devils (2015, 5, 27)
1169. all you have to say?
1170. microphone gaffe
1171. tendency
1172. WIFE
1173. say something, anything
1174. inner winter
1175. glittering
1176, plenum
1177. bottom line
1178. LIFE
1179. secret of death
1180. don’t miss me, son [2015, 6, 5]
1181. varied feathers
1182. for example
1183. rock vs waves
1184. reconciliation
1185. intimacy vs independence
1186. neutralization reaction
1187. basic calculation
1188. pendulum
1189. miss you dad
1190. icicles
1191. defying
1192. cyberspace
1193. spiritum
1194. bb1: village fashion [2015, 7, 9]
1195. bb2 :secret tryst
1196. bb3: science class / snake slough
1197. bb4: frog sale
1198. top 10 sayings
1199. trees in my garden
1200. zoo
1201. aquarium
1202. bb5: cow-boy
1203. grafting
1204. aubade
1205. bb6: first cut
1206. life and meaning
1207. sorrow of a lifetime [2015, 7, 28]
1208. with more than being
1209. attachment
1210. rain cloud
1211. star blinking
1212. hymn of trees
1213. unheard song
1214. prison camp
1215. mark time
1216. pair bond
1217. you have a dream
1218. bb7: fear of blindness [2015, 8, 19]
1219. bb8: firewood
1220: bb10: first simile
1221: bb10: drama acting
1222: seeking among trees
1223: tea
1224: some butterflies cannot fly
1225: gravity
1226: situational irony
1227: disclaimer
1228: yaleugooli
1229: departing
1230: jingzhou pepper [2015, 11, 16]
1231: equanimity
1232: reflection
1233: last visit to my native place
1234: getting newly old 2
1235: fish and bird
1236: divided soul
1237: pomegranate
1238: fish at moonset
1239: fallen leaf
1240: socializing
1241: visiting yhq’s tomb
1243: dusk
1244: cracking
1245: between wake and dream
1246: new start
1247: another snowfall