Yuan Changming – Four Poems


Muted Melody of Mountains

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

Simply for a Change

When the birds stop barking aloud
All the dogs in the neighborhood

Start chirruping in a new singsong
About their angel-like voices

Yes, when all is quiet at night
Silence falls into errors


Rather than the Douglas Fir’s
Top towering against the morning sky
It is the way it reaches up

Penetrates the darkness of last night
Supporting a whole corner of
Tomorrow’s world like a tremendous totem

The same is true of man. The sublime is
In his rise, his civilized mind is
Uplifted to a different space

Nothing pushing up under
Your feet, your heart, and your spirit
How it stands high


Deep under the snow
All animals and plants
Are lost in their white dreams

To melt on a long and
Warm day, when stories become
Ready to start


Author’s Statement on Beauty

What is beauty? For me, it is every tree, every cloud, every horse, every mountain, every good-looking child and woman I see; every inspiring poem I read; every wonderful dream I recall; every smart idea I hit upon; every bird chirrup I hear; every snowflake I catch; or every moment of happiness I experience, like this one, like right now.


Yuan Changming  published monographs on translation before moving out of China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Changming currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1279 others across 38 countries.