No life without if




Between two high notes
The song gives a crack
Long enough
To allow me 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




As long as you have ample blood
Filling in your cells, your heart
Will never fade
Within your fine structure

A rosy inner being:
Each sarcotesta is inflated
With juicy passion



25th letter

yum yum yummy, you have
become so addicted
to this juicy alphabet
you can readily get high
high within your hairless skin
as yellowish as the bank
of the Huanghe River
less sleek than a china crane
but more fragrant than a young yucca
while its pronunciation can lead you
to the very truth you are pursuing, its shape
can grow from an unknown sprout
into a huge Yggdrasil, where your soul
can perch on an evergreen twig, cawing glaringly
towards the autumn setting sun



word idioms

No belief without a lie
No business without sin
No character without an act
No coffee without a fee
No courage without rage
No culture without a cult
No entrance without a trance
No epicenter without an epic
No Europe without a rope
No freedom without a reed
No friendship without an end
No fundamentalism without mental fun
No heritage without a tag
No glove without love
No ghost without a host
No groom without a room
No infancy without fancy
No life without if
No malady without a lady
No manifestation without man
No mason without a son
No millionaire without a lion
No nirvana without a van
No passage without a sage
No pharmacy without harm
No plant without a plan
No prevention without an event
No product without a duct
No recovery without something over
No restaurant without rest or rant
No sight without a sigh
No slaughter without laughter
No splurge without urge
No spring without a ring
No substance without a stance
No think without ink
No truth without a rut



you have a dream

You will be sad to depart from us tomorrow
At an antlike moment in the smallest space
Where you will become used to singing aloud
With a throat wider than your belly, the song

Of a frog with only one tone and one pitch
A song about your dream flowing with leeches
In a ricefield. Yes, you will have a loud dream!
You will dream of humans who will no longer

Try to catch you, skin you off, barbecue you
Or eat you alive as they do with their own
Species; you will dream of jumping
As high as summer stars, and as rapid

As winter winds. You will dream of
Equality, equilibrium and equanimity
Yes, thank his Song, thank God Almighty
From human catch you will be free at last!



birds of disparate feathers: a confucian call for commonwealth

Come, come, you peng
From the Zhuangzian northern darkness
You swan from the Horacean meadows
You pheasant from under Li Bo's cold moon
You oriole from Dufu's green willow
You dove from the Dantean inferno
You phoenix from Shakespeare's urn
You swallow from the Goethe oak or
The Nerudan dense blue air, you cuckoo
From the Wordsworthian vale, you albatross
From the Coleridgean fog, you nightingale
From the Keatsian plum tree, you skylark
Form the Shalleyean heaven, you owl
From under the Baudelairen overhanging years
You unnamed creature from the Pushkinian alien lands
You raven from near Poe's chamber door
You parrot from the Tagorean topmost twig
And you crows from among my cawing words

Come, all of you, more than 100 kinds of
Birds from every time spot or spot moment

Come, with your light but strong skeletons
Come, with your hard but toothless beaks
Come, with your colored feathers, and flap your wings
Against Su dongpo's painting brush strokes

Come, all you free spirits of nature
Let's join one another and flock together
High, higher up towards mabakoola


Yuan ChangmingYuan Changming is a nine-time Pushcart nominee and author of seven chapbooks, including Wordscaping (2016). With a PhD in English, he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1199 others across 38 countries.

Topic tags: Poetry, Yuan Changming



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Existing comments

Really wonderful work from Changming. Especially liked "word idioms".
Pam | 02 May 2016

Extraordinary! Wow! Bless you Yuan Changming
Patricia Taylor | 03 May 2016

A blessing, thanks.
Peter Goers | 03 May 2016

Wonderful, stimulating, arousing poems, Yuan Changming. I especially love 'word idioms' and 'birds of disparate feathers'. I shall chase more of your poems.
Allan Padgett | 06 May 2016

What joy it is to read your wise, witty, perceptive, captivating poetry, Yuan Changming! Thank you!
Jena Woodhouse | 07 May 2016

Wonderful word idioms! Thank you!
Daria | 30 November 2016


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