Sunday, July 8, 2012

Two Poems by Changming Yuan

Natural Confrontations

1/ Corn

With a small body
Of teeth, you have bitten off
Every golden minute
From the warm day
Hoping to collect and store
All the sunlight
Of the passing season 
2/ Cloud

With a body so light
Soft, short, never
Even having a fixed shape
You resist the strongest summer sun
Trying to shield all its rays
Like arrows
Shot down
Towards the human world

3/ Octopus

To escape
From your predator
You eject a wet night
Into the seawater
As if to dye the whole ocean
Into darkness 

Arboreal Aesthetics

1/ Every tree is unique not only in shape but also in spirit.
2/ No tree tries to appear different, but it naturally grows to be so.
3/ Trees are much more beautiful than humans, in general as well as in particular.
4/ Each tree leaf facing towards the sun is clearer, sleeker and brighter.
5/ All leaves are strictly symmetrical, but no two twigs or trunks are exactly identical.
6/ A crow or human may not be distinguished from its like, but a tree always can.
7/ Young or old, plump or skinny, living or dead, each tree is handsome its own way.
8/ Never tired of standing, trees have feelings, impulses, attitudes, thoughts and dialects.
9/ Every tree ring keeps a growing secret at heart.
10/ Trees may look more graceful as they dance in the wind, but they actually prefer rain.
11/ Whoever appreciates the beauty of a tree is rich, wise and healthy.
12/ A tree always keeps its head, heart and hands wildly open.
13/ The beauty of a twig, a trunk, or the whole tree is deeper than its heart.
14/ Every tree is a great artwork of line, shape and color.
15/ Two trees may grow together, but they never lose their independent individuality.
16/ Trees may bend or break in a storm, but they never budge from their position in life.
17/ Obscure or outstanding, no tree pays serious attention to the comments of the wind.

Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman, grew up in rural China, holds a PhD in English, and currently works as a private tutor in Vancouver; his poetry has appeared in nearly 510 literary publications across 20 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, Paris/Atlantic and SAND.

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