Two Poems by Changming Yuan

Natural Ironies

1/ Moonbow

Few humans look up
At you, but you reflect
And refract just as many colors
As much beauty as a sunbow

With little warmth of the day, perhaps
But countless secrets about darkness

2/ Snagging

You have long since died
But you will never fall
Like a huyang tree in the Gobi Desert

Standing deadly among leafy growths
Your body embodies a rebirth
Greening close to your rotten cycles

3/ Whale

You hope to make a loud last call that
Reaches

Far beyond yourself, on yourself, yourself reachable; an
Agitated

Vociferous spirit in the Pacific, cruising
Under night currents, yell

As if for an echo, though too loud to be heard
For the un-whale like

 

 

The Art of Autumn

Blooming aloud
Towards the autumn sky
Are all the leaves of the passing season
Used to be the foil
Of spring flowers

Less tender textured
But more brittle
More deadly brilliant

Shaken off for a last ritual dance
With the wind before they kiss
The land once and forever

 

 

 

Changming Yuan, nine-time Pushcart and one-time Best of Net nominee, published monographs on translation before moving out of China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Changming currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best Canadian PoetryBestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1279 others across 38 countries.

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