Thursday, March 25, 2010

Changming Yaun - Five Poems

Confucian Gentility (4 Haiku)

Orchid: Deep in the valley
Alone on an obscure spot
You bloom none the less

Lotus: From foul decayed silt
You shoot clean against the sun
Never pollutable

Mum: Hanging on and on
Even when wishes wither
You keep flowering

Plum: Your brave bold blood dropped
As though to melt all world’s snow
Before spring gathers


I am the type you are supposed to despise
Smaller in size and duller in personality
More of a herbivore
I speak aloud in tongue
I eat noisily with bamboo sticks
I appear everywhere like locusts
I have recently been wanted by the editing authority
When the sun gets me
I am a dream walker
Now I am sitting beside you
In the same class
So whether you keep your eyes open or not
You can feel my warm shadow
Until we touch down
My breaths will invade
Your private space
My chanting will beat your ear drums
While you pursue your dream
My elbows or knees will occasionally
Touch or even hit yours
When monstrous clouds attack our plane
You’d better remain relaxed
Since it is not a matter of choice
Yet I am the type you are supposed to respect
I had an even happier childhood in nature
Although quite premature
I used to be the most civilized
Mighty and mysterious
I am in papers
I am not a phoenix
No more or less than a fellow traveler
With my own destination
So feel free to do whatever comforts you
We will travel together

Visiting the Weisui Lake, Songzi County

The same kinds of pine trees
The bushes no less bushy or brilliant
The same lines of mountain ranges
As irregularly handsome
The waters also composed of h2o
Certainly just as clear and clean
With even more lively fishes swimming
In leisure, and in this unknown valley
How come it has not become a costly resort
Like the famous Louise lake there
At the feet of rocky mountains, for instance?


North: after the storm
all dust hung up
in the crowded air
with his human face
frozen into a dot of dust
and a rising speckle of dust
melted into his face
to avoid this cold climate
of his antarctic dream
he relocated his naked soul
at the dawn of summer
East: in her beehive-like room
so small that a yawning stretch
would readily awaken
the whole apartment building
she draws a picture on the wall
of a tremendous tree
that keeps growing
until it shoots up
from the cemented roof
West: not unlike a giddy goat
wandering among the ruins
of a long lost civilization
you keep searching
in the central park
a way out of the tall weeds
as nature makes new york
into a mummy blue
South: like a raindrop
on a small lotus leaf
unable to find the spot
to settle itself down
in an early autumn shower
my little canoe drifts around
near the horizon
beyond the bare bay

Word Collage: A Democratic Poem

According to a poll conducted worldwide in 2008,

these are the 50 “most beautiful English words”

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

Changming Yuan, twice Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (Leaf Garden) and Politics and Poetics (LAP), grew up in rural China and currently teaches English in Vancouver. Yuan's poems appear, among other places, in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, Cortland Review, Drunken Boat and London Magazine.

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