Yuan Changming ~ Six Poems

Greenish IronyYuan-Changming

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


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

Dytiscus Larvae: a Natural Tragicomedy

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

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?

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?


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

© Yuan Changming

Yuan Changming, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in rural China, started to learn English at 19 and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada. Currently tutoring and co-editing Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver, Changming has poetry appearing in 1029 literary publications across 35 countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cincinnati Review and Threepenny Review.