Changing

Can’t you de-louse a rat?
Doesn’t matter. Neither can I
But we can untie our own hairstyle
Putting a little makeup if we want to
Or going for some plastic surgery

Better to cut off our whiskers
Or tails, biting pebbles
Instead of cloth or wood
Even to replace our hearts
With a cat’s
 

Autumnscaping

Rather than the foil
Of spring flowers
All leaves of the passing season
Are now blooming aloud
Towards the autumn sky

Less tender textured, perhaps
But more brittle, more deadly brilliant
Shaken off for a last ritual dance
With the wind before they kiss
The land once and forever
 

Resurrecting

The rebirth of a phoenix
Is a legend, popular but misleading

Whereas the rebirth of
An ageing eagle is a reality
Hidden somewhere as he retreats
Into a cliff corner, there plucking his
Own feathers one by one, then
Sharpening his beak
Until he is ready, again

To fly high in the same sky
For another lifetime
 

South Vancouver

Each evening you walk backwards around
The block on Cornish street, supposedly
As an exercise for your back; in so doing
You sometimes recall Du Dongpo, and how
He would oppose the trend, ignoring it
By resorting to brush painting, calligraphy
Besides writing poetry at an outpost on Lingnan
When he was exiled by the imperial court
(Or the other way around), inventing ways
To cook pork, joking about a Buddhist Master’s
Donkey face as long as the sidewalk behind you

Other times you look up into the deep blue
What you are withdrawing from is a close up
A panorama of your future as the past while
You constantly have to turn back, just to avoid
Posing a hazard to other normal pedestrians
 

Drowning

It’s like a snag
Being pushed towards me
By an indifferent wave

While struggling in the water
I flapped my arms high
Only to see it drifting around
About a yard away

Sitting on the snag is a wounded crow
With eyes widely open
As if to appreciate my last dance

Like a thought, sinking slowly
To the bottom of my being

………………………………………………..
Changming Yuan, 9-time Pushcart nominee and one-time Best of the Net nominee, started to learn English at age 19 and published monographs on translation before moving out of China. Currently, Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1239 others.
………………………………
More: Poetry Pacific|Poetry Pacific press
Photo: Sofia Pedraza Vizcaya art
05.11.2016

CHANGMING YUAN “Autumnscaping”
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