Birthlanding and other poems by Yuan Changming

Photo: Roberto May

Photo: Roberto May


Raging against the Crow in the Park

Disguised as a pigeon, you’ve just had
Enough food
From my palm
(& heart); then, you flap high up
Beginning to circle above me, ready
To flee away only after
Shitting on my head
& heart (again)



Having nothing better to do, I kill
Time by looking at a traditional
Chinese painting on my iPad

Much enlarged, it appears like
A plain sheet of rice paper
Smeared with ink. I view it

In the presence of bonsai; I
Drop several thick strokes to the floor
Of history, leaving a few fine lines

Behind the sofa, & failing
To catch a colorless corner
Between black and white

It is a landscape newly relocated
Into my heart’s backyard. Then I sit
On my legs, meditating about

No light in the picture, no
Shadow of anything, no perspective
As in hell. Isn’t this the art of seeing?



in a world always half in darkness
your body may be soaked deep
in a nightmare, rotting

but your heart can roam
like a synchronous satellite
in His space, leaving
the long night far behind
as long as your heart flies fast

and high enough, you will live
forever in light



While all my fellow humans hope to
Enter heaven after they die, I am alone
Living in paradise already:

An earthly realm I have built myself
With the light from Lapland, where the setting sun
Shines with the morning glows above golden snow

The air from Shangri-la, where the yin
And yang are in pure and perfect balance with
Each other in every grass, every cloud

The water from Waterton Lakes, which
Reflect the mountain of trees as clearly
As the mountain reflects upon the clear water

That’s all my spirit needs, not the fragments
Of the meaning about Eden long lost
But the whole backyard within my solitary heart


If ever at all, if only once
If you were
To have such a chance

Just keep driving
Drive forward
With no need to take a shoulder check

Despite so many beside you
Despite so much more ahead & behind

Along this new street, your car
(Like your body or thought)
Will adapt its shape like a stream
Of water running its own course
From past to future, amidst
Programmed sapiens, through
The flow of data

Until at the meeting point
Between yin & yang
Between 0 & 1
Between time & space

Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include  Pushcart nominations & publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17),& BestNewPoemsOnline, among others across 45 countries.

Photo: Roberto May