Poetry: Changming Yuan

Changming Yuan

Bamboo Leaf

It is true not all purple bamboos can be
Made into flutes, but beside
My dying bed, you can still whistle, with
Any bamboo leaf, even your two bare lips

Just blow these few noisy notes aloud
Into my shrunk innnself:
Success
Happiness
Selfhood
Individualism
Human dignity and, of course

All gone with the wind


Easier Said Than Lived

Life is really so meaningless
You often say, which may
Well be true, but they
Allege death is even more so, while
I would argue the meaning of life

If any at all, is to make it meaningful, or
To create one out of meaninglessness 

Multi-Mouthed Bird

With as many as
Seven throats, the bird
Keeps singing aloud
So incongruously

But like the starlight from
Another universe, the songs from
The one and same heart have
Never reached humans yet


Wintry Whim

With its whitest, and
Softest touches, the snow
Turns every sharp
Point, every sharp angle
Into a tender curve
As if to make a fine-grained
And universal compromise

Until a warm sunny afternoon
When all stark contracts, and
Dark confrontations loom
As the order of the day

Ritual Walk

Once a week, I take a long
Walk in the heart of the Pacific
Spirit Forest Park, where I
Enjoy dating, flirting with
Nature in the depth of my heart

No, to be more exact, my heart is
The forest per se, where I love to
Open up my innerself once in a while
Like those firs or cypresses, standing

Tall and straight, ready to let in
A few sunbeams on a bright day

On Mountain

Once in a while, just to reenact memories
The mind set forth beyond itself and its environment
Travelling afar. He cried like a young rooster:
Cock-a-doodle-doo. (Cocks do not coo, but I will)

If only the mind could raise itself to the top
Of a mountain, whirling upwards, joining the glows
In the east. Instead it falls slowly and softly
To the ground, drifting around, finally

Settling down at the mouth of a tremendous cave
It was meant for, near nothing that is recalled
And never is there a shadow, let alone a shadow’s
Shadow, as Plato sees it, reflecting the inside

Ventifacted out there at a spot of
Oblivion, where the passer-by wonders
How it happened to be, and
Be there as if never had been

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