Thursday, 14 January 2016

9th Time Nominated for Pushcart:changming

as i was browsing randomly around lunchtime, i happened to notice that one of my 'y' poems originally published in cincinnati review has been nominated for the 2015 pushcart prize by the magazine ('notes for a new year': since 26 feb 2014, this is the first time to win such nomination, and by a nationally influential magazine! although i have been nominated 9 times thus far for the prize, i do not think i would be lucky enough to win the actual prize. no matter what, i enjoy what i am doing.

among the 10 'y' titled poems which have all been published online or in print, two have won me pushcart nominations, two have been featured by two internationally well-known magazines, and one included in best canadian poetry (2014). here are my pushcart nomination records::

Pushcart Nominations: 

1. "Chansons of a Chinaman," nominated by my first poetry book publisher Leaf Garden Press for a Pushcart Prize for 2009. [link::].
2. "S. E. W. N," nominated by Blue Fifth Review for a Pushcart Prize for 2009. []. Also, originally published by BFR, my poem "Last Single Sale" was selected for inclusion in Best New Poems Online;
3. "Word Collage: A Democratic Poem," nominated by Carcinogenic Poetry (Virgogray Press) for a Puschcart prize for 2010. [link::];
4. "SAWS: A Seasonal Poem," nominated by Wilderness House Literary Review for a Pushcart prize for 2011. [link::];
5. "Kinship: for Yuan Hongqi." nominated by Mobius, the Poetry Magazine for a Pushcart Prize for 2012 [link::];
6. “Red,” nominated by Yellow Medicine Review [] for a Pushcart Prize for 2013;
7. "Y," nominated by Sleet Magazine for a Pushcart Prize for 2013 [link::];
8. "Natural Confrontations," nominated by The Binnacles for a Pushcart Prize for 2013 [link::];
9. “Y,” nominated by Cincinnati Review for a Pushcart Prize for 2015 [link: “Notes for a New Year:];

recently i have drafted another 'y' titled poem, a concrete one this time, but i have not been able to finalize it. i believe it will also be quite well accepted when i begin to submit next time around. 

another note: again, i have won "the 2015 extraordinary writing poem award" from cyprus-based  the sons of camus writers international journal. the poem is titled: american/modernization. several years ago, my china-themed serial poem "chinese legends modernized' won me "2012 extraordianary writing poem award" from the same magazine -- my deep gratitude goes to the journal's editor Ann J. Davidson for her appreciation and selection.

here are my 'y'-titled poems...

Y as in Yellow Comedy

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

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

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

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

Don’t panic, I yell low. 

You love ‘Y’, not because it’s the first letter
In your family name, but because it’s like
A horn, which the water buffalo in your
Native village uses to fight against injustice
Or, because it’s like a twig, where a crow
Can come down to perch, a cicada can sing
Towards the setting sun as loud as it wants to
More important, in Egyptian hieroglyphics
It stands for a real reed, something you can
Bend into a whistle or flute; in pronouncing it
You can get all the answers you need, besides
You can make it into a heart-felt catapult
And shoot at a snakehead or sparrow, as long
As it is within the range of your boyhood


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


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

is this the reason for your obsession
with the letter?


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

Y: Yellow Musings

Gold, lemon, butter, rapeseed flowers:

Pre-positioned, you function to lead
A whole column of evils as in the yellow
Peril, bastards, bellies, dogs, fish, guts
Journalism, heels, even men and pups

After words, you will become as noble
As imperial, as royal, or as Chinese
Yellow. That makes all the difference

Between a noun and an adjective
Between Chinese and English

Y: the Aptonym of Changming Yuan
        If the name is not right, the speech will carry no might – Confucius

Changing or charming
My given name is so often
Misspelt (as my family name
Which is sometimes mispronounced
Intentionally or otherwise)
That the language has definitely
Failed me in this foreign tongue, just
As Confucius warned me
As early as two thousand years ago

Unlike Fairbank
The tremendously rich banker
Unlike Cherish Hart
The particularly famous cardiologist
Unlike Jack Armstrong
Probably the greatest baseball player
Unlike Laura, my loyal lawyer
Or Dennis, your dandy dentist

Indeed, we have long
Forgotten the true name of
God, so our language is
Bound to go nowhere
Except a few rare
Cases for or
against aptonym 

Y for Yowl

Yipping, yelping, yapping
Yelling, yukking yoicking
Yawping, yackety-yakking
Yammering, yodeling, yahooing 

Yup, yummy, between and beyond

Yin/yang, yetis/yuppies


Y10: Be 

You had been before

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

Be-come, which is being

Saying Yes

Yeah! Ya! Yup! Yebo!
Okay! Sure! Excellent!
No problem! That’s it!
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

Yes! Aye! Uh-huh!
Certainly! Of cuz!
That’s more like it!
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

All right! Great!
Absolutely! You can say that again!
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!

All’s right with the world!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

january updates: yuan's lit endeavors

1. in november 2015, my poems were accepted by only six journals - first time fewer than 12 since 2009, but last month, i got 21 acceptances after reassuming normal poetry subs. somewhat statistically haunted, i have developed a habit to submit my poetry to different online or in-print journals.

2. some other habits about my poetry submissions: every month, i would make 300 or so 'blanket' or mass submission; i submit only to those journals that do not charge any reading/handling fees - i hate the idea to pay for someone to look at my work; also, i submit only to those accepting subs online or via email; as a rule, i usually avoid sending more work to a journal once it accepts or publishes my work;

3. as editor of Poetry Pacific, i notice that once i publish a poet, he/she would keep sending work for every issue for my e.journal, but partly to publish more poets,  i usually try to avoid publishing a particular poet on a continuous basis (in every issue of PP). this was meant to be a secret 'house rule,' but  i will add it to PP's guidelines after receiving a serious complaint a few weeks ago;

4. yesterday morning, my partner in china informed me that he had received the first payment from the author/representative for the third large project we joint take: my Poetry Pacific Press is to publish the first chinese-french edition of ms Zhang Xinyue's Create Abundance. though still hardbound and printed in shenzhen, this book is much shorter (about 230 pages), and has only 20,000 copies (half to be delivered to paris, half to vancouver). like before, i do almost everything: editing, proofreading, initial typesetting, having it printed in china and exported/delivered to international destinations.

simply because my french knowledge is not enough, i am experiencing a great headache with the french translator of the book, who is by no means cooperative: although i have been waiting for two weeks, she just keeps ignoring my frequent requests to provide me with her true name, her brief bio-note, and the french versions of the book title, subtitle, dedication, table of contents and other words on the 'cover' pages. it's only a 30-min or no more than one-hour job, but she must be so unprofessional and uncooperative, while both i and the printer have finished whatever we can do except her response.

this bilingual (french-chinese) edition will be released in march or april 2016.

5. with many a health problem, esp with a bad disc herniation with persistent sciatic pain, i have lost my mobility, and thus will have to return to china towards the end of april for treatment, either in beijing or in shenzhen. i will go with my younger son, who has had a bad disc problem for more than 7 years already. this is perhaps a family curse, which has made us suffer both physiologically and financially. we have been spending such huge amounts of time and money on the problem. canadian doctors are among the lousiest ones i have ever known; they are simply helpless.

Friday, 1 January 2016

[archived]: Poems by Changming Yuan © - 2/2014


Valueless:  The Myth of Fair Price

Everything, everybody
Used to
    And still may have
A value; only
Only each has depreciated
Into a price
That keeps fluctuating
Against no value


Between white and black
There is gray; between
Good and bad, mediocre
Between wake and sleep
Daydreaming, between
Left and right, center
Between love and hatred
Indifference, but between
True and false, between
Light and shadow, between
Yang and yin, there is
Nothing, nobody
Neither time nor space
Except a vague concept
About limbo  

The Blind

Blind as he is, he always
Holds the light high
Above his head, both
    To illuminate the way

For others and, perhaps  
    Equally important, to avoid
Being run down
By those rushing amuck

In total darkness

Civilian Profiling: the Serial Terminator

A Caucasian man
Relatively young
Fond of wearing blue jeans
Driving a big-powered car
Who looks clean, attractive
Especially to pretty young girls
But has just undergone
Some pressure recently

His next target will be
A female chick of Chinese origin

Dialectics of Daylight

Be aware
Of the shadow behind you
When you embrace
The sunlight

Face the shade
Bravely, for the sunlight
Is shining right
On your back


If I were Arnold Matthew
I would be a master of arts
Rather than an air marshal
Using all the americia
And advenomedulins
In the air mass
To create a minor
By telling annomartyrum

I would sing a song in the American Morning
Through amptitude modulation
About my Asian manhood
At every attometre of time
In Anno Mundi

But I am not
Not at least before noon

Darkness vs Light

In deed
You had the darkest
Moment of
Last night

But you are all
The sunshine there is
This morning


All I want is
To smuggle a letter
Looking like ‘I’
Into the word
To get a whole world


Never are those ants-like creatures
Crawling to joint it – under low bushes
Across trails, at cracks, where
It occasionally dwells. All the tiny
Minds go up through the words like
Dust rising above trees, as the wind
Keeps blowing, and the ladder reaches
Higher against the Babel Tower
Disciples across the whole world 
Gather to approach Menfucius
And Menfucus approaches Confucius
And Confucius approaches Laozi, who
Is still trying hard, harder than Socrates
To find Tao above yin and yang


There are contradictions of
Contradictions, such as spears
Aimed at shields, death
Challenged by lives, and
Rights trying to right wrongs
Haves de-possessing havenots
Tranquilities opposing noises
There are also forces of yin
Confronting those of yang
Petals blocking thorns
Fantasies breaking into realities
Raindrops penetrating stones, words
Debunking letters, hatred
Mixed with love. In a word
There are opposites and
Dichotomies between which
There is one, one that embraces 
Both or neither

Circle:  A Geometric Poem

Rolling down from primitive mountains
Were stones, fruits, berries, trunks, together
With other roughly round shapes
To lakes, rivers, ponds, and pools where
Rain drops make disks as regularly round
As the sun, the moon and stars, until
The first wheel began to rotate
Like our planet – that was
More than eighty centuries ago

Ever since we have been moving
Up and down, faster and faster
With all others running
Outside our closed curve

Triangle: Another Geometric Poem

Always with
Three points in logic thinking
Three sides to choose in a battle 
Three corners to hide like a rabbit
We observe
We think
We fight

No matter whether they are equal or not

Square: Another Geometric Poem

Only when
At least two sides
Are equal
Can squares gather
In the same square

To support, or
To oppose
Something, somebody
Squarely in despair

7 August 2014

The Meditation Master Takes a Nap

As he began to cross his legs on each other, his mind
Was wandering nowhere between here and there; he
Withdrew his vision from the skyline of the city
To the cool fire burning in his belly; listening
To the whistling and whishing of traffic, he heard only
His own pulse. With the breeze came the odor of garlic
But he held his breath, while leaving all his inner doors
And windows ajar, letting his sensations travel freely
He believed in Qi, which was circulating with his blood
And his feeling and his thought. The light dimmed
A baby crow was flapping by. He found himself totally
Lost in a temple among puti trees within his yellowish
Skin. That was all the harmony of yin and yang he knows.

Your Cup

Whatever contains h2o, the origin of life, could
Be contained in it, always ready for another fill

Whether it is bubbling with heat, or
Chilled with sandy juice, it can hold

Any fluid with all the calmness that will push down
Impurities into the bottom as unwanted sediments

Most tolerant, and most receptive: green tea
Black coffee, red wine, fresh blood, sour milk

You are jealous of it, a container ready to hold even
The heaviest water, and would love to be more like it

In spirit, as you take it to your lips, closer to your heart
Like these words that are trying to contain your spirit

On Another Rainy Day

Good morning, this is a TD bank message…
Dear Customer, your paypal account has
Been restricted… Dear Friend, I have funds
To transfer to you… Dear Sir/Madam, our
Company needs a representative… Dear
Subscriber, your [supposedly smart
Phone] bill is ready… Another girl near
You likes you, why not take a look at…

While each syllable you have uttered since you got
Up this morning is recorded somehow, every key
You are hitting, and every move you are making
Is analyzed in a pattern by someone, somewhere…

The Best Password

At least, your id should contain
A capitalized letter as imposing as ‘I’
A number hopefully luckier than ‘7’
A punctuation mark looking like a hook
A sign such as & or $, and
A combination of 2 personal symbols
2b or not 2b --

Sesame open, and you will
Enter the virtual world more real
Than the real world you are deserting  

Since the Big Bang

Yes, we used to be so close, actually
We shared the same heart in the first place

Then, the powerful yeast of time has
Expanded our world, distancing us
Further and farther away
Like the flaxseeds in a huge loaf
Of bread in the oven of imagination
Until we can now no longer reach, not even
See each other from a telescope

Indeed, we are stars, all equally
Bright, though we might pour into different black holes
Sooner or later, in this ever-expanding cosmos


On a sunny autumn afternoon last night
A dove-like creature that seemed to have
Flown astray came down as if to perch
Between me and a stranger. To make sure it got
No harm, I reached out my hand quickly and
Caught it like my own heart I was holding when
It said something in my mother tongue. After
Setting it free, I tried to understand the words
Which I can never recall, but I know it is
A personal prophecy against this season

Tip for Achieving Immortality

You know it damn too well: You can never
Hope to maintain your posthumous metaphor  
Behind your very best poem, nor can you
Expect your capitalized name to remain
Permanently visible on the hardest tombstone
But you could tell your family to convert your
Entire being (together with all the words you
Have chosen for poetry) into fertilizer, spreading it 
Around the metasequonia you have planted deep
In this foreign soil, where you can supply
Enough nutrition to a leaf or a twig, through
Which you can take some oxygen from the air
And even hold a dewdrop on a summer morning
Watching another, and just another civilization
Unfolding itself beyond this immortal tree

Metasequonia Haiku

A newly grown leaf
Watching civilizations
Come and go in space

Still Life

One orange
Two clusters of grapes and
Three apples
Always look so fresh
Their smell overflows
The wooden frame on the wall
You know they will be rotten or dried up once used
To feed your mouth, or even your mind

Unseasonal Wind

While the wind is howling, ready
To uproot the whole neighborhood
He remains unconcerned about the orchard
Just beginning to bloom in his living room

But he fears the tallest tree will break, rolling down
To the valley in his heart

Another Seascape

A dolphin jumping high above the horizon
A gull charging down right towards a wave

A double focus of nature
But a single moment of anti-self 

Snow Revelation

Every winter we are reminded
All gaps and cracks can be filled up
All dirtiness and ugliness can be buried deep, and
All viewing difference can be harmonized into one single color

Muted in white, the land unfolds itself to show us how
To make a new start in spring


To nake-fly into tomorrow
Why not shake off
All your feathers, and let them
Fall down, like the shadows
Covering half of the world
Of last night?

3 sept 2014

At the Threshold

From the darkest moment
Of last winter to the heaviest fog
Of this summer, I fumbled all my way
To this spot, where I stood, hesitating
As I tried to pull the structure
(Actually meant to be pushed?)
And push it while might mean
To be pulled. Confused and
Confounded, I slid it, folded it
Turned it, tampered with it
Through trial and error, but still
Failed to move the blockade

Sesame, open! –
Am I facing a fake door
Or just bad design?


Each addition to your life
May make you feel positive
But is actually another cross
Where you heart will be nailed


Keep subtracting
From your selfhood, and
You will become
Less and less negative
Until you join something
Or a blank with a hyphen

Circadian Rhythm

Paralleled to the outer world
Runs another one in my heart
Where there are also a sun and
A moon rising and setting
Alternatively, but where
My spirit never goes to bed
Nor even needs to take a nap
As it keeps drawing inspirations
Round the clock from the air and
The landscape in my inner space
While all the living creatures
Dream in hardened darkness
Just outside my yellow skin

East Idioms: A Languacultural Histroy of China

As if to remind us
Of our past valiancy
Or to reveal a hidden secret
To foreign opium hawkers
My mother tongue has retained
More than 70 idioms
All closely associated
With Han Xin, the founding general
Of Han Dynasty, although we have
Progressed to be the world’s most
Pacificist (or chick-hearted?) nation


Just as anything
Multiplied by one
Is itself, anyone wearing
A mask is still oneself

So, this cross symbol stands for
The identity property of
An independent variable like me?


Let feelings be the denominator
And negativities be the divider
If the number remains the same
As you would like to fake or make
Then, the larger the denominator
The larger the fractional value

Letting the Cat out of the Bag: Most Useful English Idioms

Yes, Elvis has left the building
And you may be glad to see the back of
A hot potato
Jumping on the bandwagon
But once in a blue moon
You will hear it on the grapevine
Rather than straight from the horse’s mouth
Which is a far cry
From the best thing since sliced bread
Something you can see eye to eye
While cutting the mustard
By drawing all the best of both worlds
To make a long story short

Now if you feel a bit under the weather
Do not burn the midnight oil
Or sit on the fence
But just give it the benefit of doubt
And then hit the sack
Even in this heat of the moment

History Reviewed: the Secret of Mongolian Empire

As killing Mongolians swept
Both China and Russia
Form East Asia to West Europe
They moved swiftly on an animal
No bigger than a stubborn donkey
A 4-legged creature so holy to them
They had dozens of ways to refer to it
(like bor, har, khongor, or tsagaan)
Indirectly as we address our emperors
Kings, queens as your majesty, but they
Were never impious enough
To invent a proper noun or
To give it a proper name

No, unlike the car that has carried the white peril
Even to Mars, the horse had no name in the heart
Of yellow peril

History Reviewed: the Secret of Inca Empire

The whole empire was tied
Together with a colored rope
A line where the sun’s children
Hang their simple metaphors side
By side with their wordless poetry

Generative Grammar: an Idiot’s Idiom

Just as it is an ill wind
That blows nobody any good
It is equally a foul act
That serves no player a fair purpose
An ugly rose that brings no thorn any news
About spring; a stupid trap
That lets no crow fall into the cage, or
An incompetent president
That wins no nation any real prize;

Breaking Out

During the yard time 3 days ago
My inner self finally managed to flee
From the prison heavily guarded
With the high walls of my yellowish
Skin and electrical wires
Made of my id nerve endings

However, once free wandering
In the endless desert nearby, I
Felt like a gold fish jumping out of
The glass water jug: shall I return
To my cell and continue my chained life
Or die a free death in the wild open?


All summer’s starlight
Inlaid into a huge circle
Shines over each dream 

Like a magnet plate
Attracting all earthly vowels
To sing autumn loud 

As large as the sun
You keep the world wide awake
For a cool season


granting Darwin was right
it did take as long as one million years
before apes became what we are, gradually
and passively, with the help of our environment
however, with our own intelligence
and technology, we are going
to evolve into iHooyeaus suddenly and
actively, in a matter of just one generation
or two, a new species that will consume
lunar energy instead of sun-based foods
each living in a unique virtual
reality, where multiplication is achieved
sexlessly via logic rather than through
love, where each individual lifetime is
expended within a tiny chip

so, are you happy to be the last humans
or the earliest iHooyeaus?

Manifesting Truth

Sit still
Close your eyes
But open your mind as widely as you can, and
Embrace all the spaces there are in the universe
Visualizing the indefinite width like a horizontal axis
Between the two extreme poles within your inner world; then
Let your heart grow, growing taller than
The highest star until it achieves a breakthrough
In time, perceiving the indefinite height up there as the
Vertical axis of your current life; finally
Cut the meeting point of the two axes and
Use your wisdom as a searchlight illuminating
Every sector by changing its angle, until you see
Everything as it is
Every human as he is

Manifesting Good

Okay, let us adjust our frequencies, and
Tune into that of Jesus, Buddha, Allah
(Or any other unknown holy being)
Let us connect ourselves to His energy
(Also known as love or compassion)
So that every cell in our bodies will be filled
With His power; once our hearts and
Bodies achieve such a new form of
Being, let us then begin to move
Through light or darkness, forward or
Backward, with or without a companion
In our inner or outer world, until we each
Become one and the same with Him
(Or until he becomes us inside out); that is all
As simple as it is good 

Manifesting Beauty

Keep your mind open and, with your focus
Dig, dig deeper into your sub-consciousness, where
All the information is kept. Once you strike
The right channel and break it open, it will
Gush out like the water from a broken reservoir

As it flows fluently, circulating freely
Through your heart and senses, converging
With what you see, hear, tough, smell, taste
It will become a waterfall downpouring onto
Your soul. That’s when your whole being is

Full of joy, with each cell
Beaming with pleasure 

Seasonal Change

The whole spring
Is finally
To green, budding right 
From inside a single heart
After 10-million-minute white wait of winter

Meditating in the Open

I am not a sun swirl
That can disturb the graceful
Shape of the tree

Almost invisibly
But I am making the face of
Every leaf sleeker
Shinier, greener
As I am passing through its twigs
Leaving it still standing still


Hidden deeply somewhere
In your inner space
Is a black hole
That keeps sucking in
All the light
From both within
And without your
Whole selfhood, until
You’re infused
With darkness, with all the 
Negative influences flowing
Violently through your body
Trembling, vibrating with hell

As most recent research reveals, there is actually
No black hole in the outer space


Rather than a red red rose
My love is a dot of dot of fire in the first place
like a cigarette bit
Glistening near a deserted camp

A fire that could have destroyed
The entire forest; one that would become
A super source of light irradiating all
The spaces within my world

One Tree That Makes a Whole Forest

Instead of reaching deep
Into the ground, you hung all your roots
On your twigs in the wild open, trying
To absorb both air and light directly
As well as darkness and cold
Ready to connect to soil and water
Growing from a single tree into a huge forest

That’s the secret of banyan
The secret about growth

Inner Gardening

In the little backyard
Of his bleak heart, he
Keeps digging, planting
Fertilizing, watering
Pruning and experimenting
Neither to create a landscape
For passers-by to admire
Nor to anticipate a fruitful harvest
For his children to enjoy
But simply to consume his energy

That’s how he stays alive

One Night with Hong Kong

So full of feminine charm
As well as oriental tenderness, you are
Always ready to embrace, flirt
Even make love with anyone
Coming to show their admiration
Of your beauty, vibrancy
And sexuality

Under your expansive
Skirt-like skyline is not
Really Victoria Harbor
Rather, it is a huge ecstasy cave
Where you grind every soul
With your toothless orgasms

But I am no admirer of yours
Nor do I fear the big Buddha watching up there

The Truth Is Like

The airplane that has crashed
Into the dark waves
Of history

Deep down there
Its black box
Can be located
Neither between watering lips
Nor behind diluted words

Farewell Talk:  For Liu Yu and Yuan Hongqi

Well… Old Liu, I have said all
That I have …to say, just as I’ve done
All that I can …do

Sure, Old Man, so you can die
A happy death now, and I will
Follow to accompany you shortly

What a comfort! We have two …filial sons
To …outlive us, and three great grandsons
To carry our …bloodline on

Indeed, they bring true honor to the family
Name: one is a pioneering engineer
In Silicon Valley, another is doing his PhD
In New York, and the youngest has published
A poetry book in Vancouver though still a teenager

But both of us …grew up in poor Chinese villages
You …barely finished your elementary school
While I had only two …years of education

Really, this contrast alone makes us all happy
And proud enough, just as our elder son called
To stress this from Canada yesterday evening

Well, fare…well, I am going first; once… I find the
Way to the Pureland, I will …return to take you…

But don’t be in such a hurry yet, Old Man
For I wish to take care of our two ageing sons
For a few more years. Hey, nihao Nurse

Long Time No Hear

I never knew the names of
These birds, but their voices are far
More familiar than my late playmates’

One sounds like a soprano
Though with only one high-pitched note
Another like a three-toned frog 
And a third like five-fold whistling

After nearly half a century, this is the first
And very last time I return to
My native village, in the right season

Bodily Movement

Every body on earth is moving, changing
So is every body else within the whole
Cosmos, even the cosmos itself

Except the vast night sky
That keeps still in the eye

The Chinese Character: A Classic Sketch

When a child, he is his own natural self
In spirit, the true father of the man. Once
He grows up, he becomes a close follower
Of Confucianism, seeking every chance to
Serve his emperor or his people in deed. As
He is getting newly old, he turns to Taoism
In heart, trying to linger long with Nature
And before he dies, he will convert himself
In mind to Buddhism, hoping to outlive karma

That’s how we were all born to grow, age and die
That’s all within and without our yellowish skin

Three Biggest Paradoxes about Life

During childhood we long to grow up
Throughout adulthood, we feel painfully
Nostalgic about our childish years

We spend our first half of life trying
To accumulate wealth at the cost of
Our hearth, and the second half to buy
Back health with what we have gained

All our lives we keep looking forward to
The future, while remaining blind to all
We have at present. So, why not live

Live as we are, rather than as what we
Can, should or will be in true peace?

Tribute to Yuan Hongqi and Liu Yu

In this entire world, I am now
The only one who truly knows
You are still alive. You see

As part of you, I have grown
Talented enough to represent your
Most memorable pasts without
Having to carving them on a
High-standing marble tombstone

Also, I have become rich enough
To keep all your genetic records
In the safest safe within my plain
Mind instead of a fancy cyberstation  

More important, I have turned strong
Enough to uphold your spirit firmly
In my body and carry it forward
Until it blooms among my off-spring

Yes, in this little poem, I, for one, know
You are still as much alive as these words

Spring Festival Message: for Liu Yu

Rather than composing poetry
To commemorate you after you are gone
I am now writing, dear Mom
To pay my highest tribute to you
As one of the hardest-fated on earth

Yes, among the many death experiences you’ve had
The most significant one for me (and my sons)
Was your sickness you suffered at two, which was so
Severe that your poor and ignorant foster mother
Could do nothing but put you on a flat basket
And return your living corpse to your bio-creator

But for your step father, who used his shamanic skills
To contain the evil spirit and drive it to an unknown
Corner, you would have died like a doomed sapling
(That’s why your name is changed to ‘Refound’)

So, stay well, Mom, and remain hardy for us!

Always Ready to Learn: For Liu Yu

Hi, Mom, how are you doing this couple of days?

Last night, I told my younger son how you used to be
The best student in your village school, how you won
A scholarship to attend junior high school, but failed
To go because you did not have the one dollar enough
To eat for a whole month. He really felt sorry for you
And fortunate for himself. Yes, because of your very
Dreams about school, you have a son with a PhD
In Canada, a grandson with a PhD from NYU…
Remember? It is you who taught your ageing son
To use an iPad to buy and sell high-tech stocks
The other day, and I found it really amazing, not about
My own reluctance to learn anything new, but about
Your readiness to experiment with your mind and
Fingers, both of which are now almost 80 years old

Home Is Like a Shower Room

A house does not make a home
Although it affords as much comfort
Convenience and even privacy

Neither does a family, where you can enjoy
All the parental protection, sexual love
Or children’s care you may deserve

For a home is not a space in the first place
Rather, it is a time, or an extension
Of your soul in time, a moment when

You take off all your masks and clothes
Stay totally naked inside out, and sing
Or think anything you prefer to, or not to

Word’s Worth: Wisdom Contained in Lexical Formations 

Art should be a work able to startle the heart
Belief is impossible with a lie in it, while
Business never goes well without sin in between

Fact cannot be produced in a factory
Issue is anything that can lead you to sue, while
Life, like your wife, is always a matter of if

Recovery always implies something that’s over
Signature reveals the nature of the signer, while the
White have a hidden agenda to hit; by the way

Forget what you may wish to get:
Passion is the emotion of an ass

English Idioms Reinvented: the Worth in Word Formations

No ass without passion
No art without startle
No belief without a lie
No business without sin
No charm without an arm
No character without an act
No coffee without a fee
No courage without rage
No culture without a cult
No entrance without a trance
No epicenter without an epic
No Europe without a rope
No freedom without a reed
No friendship without an end
No fundamentalism without mental fun
No heritage without a tag
No glove without love
No ghost without a host
No groom without a room
No infancy without fancy
No inspiration without a ration
No kid without id

English Word Idioms Newly Discovered

No life without ‘if’
No malady without a lady
No manifestation without man
No mason without a son
No millionaire without a lion
No nirvana without a van
No passage without a sage
No pharmacy without harm
No plant without a plan
No prevention without an event
No product without a duct
No recovery without something over
No restaurant without rest or rant
No sight without a sigh
No slaughter without laughter
No smile without a mile
No splurge without urge
No spring without a ring
No substance without a stance
No think without ink
No truth without a rut
No whole without a hole


You are just a tiny pinpointing dot
But you can pin an end onto
Anything, anybody, even the entire cosmos

From the strongest statement
In the most powerful discourse
To the weakest form
Of the representation of life

A solid full stop
A minimal black hole


Among all punctuation marks
You have the most uses:

In ancient Greek you were meant
To cut off everything as if to show
All the continuity in modern English

Even in Chinese, or Babelangue