My Crows; Monody to the Murmuring Mountain; Clefting; On My Birthday & Off

My Crows


Still, still hidden
Behind old shirts and pants
Like an inflated sock
Hung on a slanting coat hanger
With a prophecy stuck in its throat
Probably too dark or ominous
To yaw, even to breathe
No one knows when or how
It will fly out of the closet, and call
Like billions of dark butterflies
Beating their wings
Against nightmares, rather
Like myriads of
Spirited coal-flakes
Spread from the sky
Of another world
A heavy black snow
Falls, falling, fallen
Down towards the horizon
Of my mind, where a little crow
White as a lost patch
Of autumn fog
Is trying to fly, flapping 
From bough to bough

Monody to the Murmuring Mountain
Twenty minimeters of pink petals.
Twenty minimetres of stretch and reach
                        Floral foil, twenty minimeters
                                    Of soil, grass, dew, bush
Sitting in green meditation about
                        The balance between yin and yang
Myriad of leaves,
                        Falling down with mists
            Of last night approaching – twenty minimeters
Of ethereal presence, kissing
                        The thick ridges – is the soul
            The melody of equanimity?
Insects sloughing off
In chameleon-rhythms.
            You stopped as you heard them
Twenty minimeters of dandelions rolling against
                        The vastness of sky and mountain

Between two high notes
The melody gives a crack
Long enough
To allow my entire selfhood to enter
Like a fish jumping back
Into the night water
Both the fish and I leave no
Trace behind us, and the world
Remains undisturbed as we swim
Deeper and deeper in blue silence
Upon my return, I find the music
Still going on, while the fish has
Disappeared into the unknown

On My Birthday & Off
I don’t remember how many years old
I am, but I do care about my birthday, a time
When I can imagine getting good wishes
Or words. Rather than having a party
With a big cheese cake or a bowl of longevity
Noodles, I would prefer to leave home
For a lonely walk in the country, wandering
In a poetic wonderland, where I stop to reflect:
For more than a decade I have done what I could
By way of a poem, but since it is unlikely I can
Do anything with it, I find it the proper
Occasion to write one last stanza just
To commemorate my yearly visits to
Qucheng, Homerburgh, Dantefield
Shakespeareston, Goethestadt
Pushkingrad, Baudelaireville
            Nerudastad, Frostdale, & 

Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry and BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.