poems by Changming Yuan

W.E.N. S .: A Rotating Poem

 

 

West:   not unlike a giddy goat

wandering among the ruins

of a long lost civilization

you keep searching

in the central park

a way out of the tall weeds

as nature makes new york

into a mummy blue

 

East:    in her beehive-like room

so small that a yawning stretch

would readily awaken

the whole apartment building

she draws a picture on the wall

of a tremendous tree

that keeps growing

until it shoots up

from the cemented roof

 

North: after the storm

all dust hung up

in the crowded air

with his human face

frozen into a dot of dust

and a rising speckle of dust

melted into his face

to avoid this cold climate

of his antarctic dream

he relocated his naked soul

at the dawn of summer

 

South: like a raindrop

on a small lotus leaf

unable to find the spot

to settle itself down

in an early autumn shower

my little canoe drifts around

near the horizon

beyond the bare bay

 

 

Personality Programmed

– Believe it or not, the ancient Chinese 5-Agent Principle accounts for us all.

 

1 Metal (born in a year ending in 0 or 1)

-helps water but hinders wood; helped by earth but hindered by fire

he used to be totally dull-colored

because he came from the earth’s inside

now he has become a super-conductor

for cold words, hot pictures and light itself

all being transmitted through his throat

 

2 Water (born in a year ending in 2 or 3)

-helps wood but hinders fire; helped by metal but hindered by earth

with her transparent tenderness

coded with colorless violence

she is always ready to support

or sink the powerful boat

sailing south

 

3 Wood (born in a year ending 4 or 5)

-helps fire but hinders earth; helped by water but hindered by metal

rings in rings have been opened or broken

like echoes that roll from home to home

each containing fragments of green

trying to tell their tales

from the forest’s depths

 

4 Fire (born in a year ending 6 or 7)

-helps earth but hinders metal; helped by wood but hindered by water

your soft power bursting from your ribcage

as enthusiastic as a phoenix is supposed to be

when you fly your lipless kisses

you reach out your hearts

until they are all broken

 

5 Earth (born in a year ending in 8 or 9)

-helps metal but hinders water; helped by fire but hindered by wood

i think not; therefore, I am not

what I am, but I have a color

the skin my heart wears inside out

tattooed intricately

with footprints of history

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