Chanming Yuan


    yes, yes, with your
yellowish skin, you enjoy
  meditating within the shape of
a wishbone, inside the broken wing
    of an oriental bird strayed, or
in a larger sense, you look like
  the surfacing tail of a pacific whale
    who yells low, but whose voice reaches afar
far beyond a whole continent, to a remote village
  near the yellow river, where you used to sunbathe
    rice stems, reed leaves, cotton skeletons
with a fork made of a single horn-shaped twig
    when you were a barefooted country boy
        on the other side of this new world



more courageous
than an animal hunter
trying to kill an innocent deer
one hundred yards away, or even farther
with a powerful rifle, you hide yourself
waiting still under a thorny bush
for an entire sullen summer afternoon, just
to shoot a fleeting thought, like a jaguar
with the camera propped up behind your mind
its shutter no bigger than your pen tip


Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Allen Qing Yuan, holds a PhD in English, teaches privately and edits Poetry Pacific in Vancouver. Yuan's poetry appears in 659 literary publications across 25 countries, including Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry (2009, 2012), BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, LiNQ and London Magazine. Poetry submissions welcome at