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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Three Poems by Changming Yuan

Three Poems by Changming Yuan

The Call of a Crow

How often
Have I lain in thick darkness
Imagining a white crow
That I wish to see
Or rather to be

Not until the other morning
Did a wild bird cry
Its glaring yaws into my dream
Like a persistent knock at the door

Beyond my curtained glass door
Beyond my curtained dream
The crow hammered all its calls
Right into my soul
Resonating with my truer self

Self-Rebuilding: A Bodhi Poem

Let the seed of fire grow, rising
Above your inner horizon
Like the most glaring summer sun

Let the ball burn brilliantly
Burning out every cell within your body
And shooting its light through your skin

Then, let the light from heaven fall
Filling in each blank within your shape
Until all the light starts melting together

To stuff your entire selfhood.

Epilogues: A Parallel Poem

Just as both God and Devil are man’s incarnation, so are Heaven and Hell both man’s construction.

I
From the front yard of a melodious morning
From the busy road of a sweet Saturday
From the moist corner of a heavy march
From the back lane of pale winter
We have come, here and now, all gathering
In big crowds gathering in big crowds
Gathering in ever-bigger crowds gathering
For the boat to cross the wide wild waters
Before the fairy ferry is fated to fall
Under our feet too heavy with earthy mud

II
You may well hate Charon
But you cannot help feeling envious:
That business of carrying the diseased
Across the River Styx is ever so prosperous
The only monopoly in the entire universe
That has a market share
Larger than the market itself
Daydreaming, on this side
Of the river, how you might wish
To be an entrepreneur like him
A successful American dreamer

III
Flying between sea and sky
Between day and night
Amid heavenly or oceanic blue
I lost all my references
To any timed space
Or a localized time
Except the non-stop snorting
Of a stranger neighbor

Then, beyond the snorts rising here
And more looming there
I see tigers, lions, leopards
And other kinds of hunger-throated predators
Darting out of every passenger’s heart
Running amuck around us
As if released from a huge cage
As if in a dreamland.

Author's Bio: Changming Yuan, author of Chansons of a Chinaman and 3-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in rural China and published several monographs before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently teaches in Vancouver and has had poetry appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cha, London Magazine, Salzburg Review, Poetry Kanto, Taj Mahal Review and nearly 400 other literary journals/anthologies in 18 countries.

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