Saturday, 2 December 2017

december updates: yuan's lit endeavors

1. on 29 november, i got an email from the editor of the Big Windows Review, a new us-based online magazine, informing me that they had just nominated my poem (pasted below) for the 2017 pushcart prize. basically a wordplay, the poem combines two anagraming efforts together to satirise the way us politics as well as its most basic socio-political constructs have been degraded as if in a ridiculous anagram.

Yuan Changming: “American Dream Anagrammed”

American Dream Anagrammed
this is the tenth time i have been nominated for the prize. though i do not expect to get it by any chance, i feel delighted.

2. got 12 poetry acceptances in november.

3. after creating my facebook page Happy Yangsheng in late octorber at https://www.facebook.com/happyyangsheng/?pnref=lhc, the facebook blocks some of the basic features from time to time, and for the past few weeks, i have been disabled to find and send new 'invites.' as a result, the community has been growing very slowly. deeply frustrated with such rude and unreasonable restrictions, i created on the canadian remembrance day a blog site 'Happy Yangsheng' at happyyangsheng.blogspot.ca, hoping to expand the community. although readerly interest is minimum, i am committed to follow my posting schedule. in so doing, i wish to help someone somehow somewhere with my knowledge and experience. no matter what result this project might lead to, i consider this to be my humble way to contribute to society.

Friday, 3 November 2017

nov. updates: changming's lit endeavors

1. yesterday, i received my author's copy of the Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English: Tenth Anniversary Edition. this is a quite relief since from time to time my work is accepted and scheduled to appear in print or online, but eventually never published. such incidents are particularly frustrating and even insulting esp, when the publication is supposed to be a well recognised one. in most cases, they do not even bother to respond to my queries. in other words, there are editors and publishers who are far less 'professional' than they should be, although they are perfect human beings. here is the link to the news:: http://tightropebooks.com/the-best-of-the-best-canadian-poetry-in-english/

2. today, my (7th) little chapbook Dark Phantasms is released by Flutter Press - thanks again, Sandy, for the great job you have done for my work as my editor/publisher. Originally, there are 30 dark/horror poems of mine included in the collection, but later cut down to 20 as requested to materialised the project. here are the links:: http://flutterpress2009.blogspot.ca/,
http://www.lulu.com/shop/yuan-changming/dark-phantasms/paperback/product-23394709.html .

3. since i founded my website Happy Yangsheng at https://www.facebook.com/happyyangsheng/ about two weeks ago, i have received more attention than i anticipated. knowing my writing is never popular, i thought i would have few readers/viewers for any literary work i do. in this site, my postings can be divided into two basic kinds: one about my thoughts and findings in my quest for holistic health; the other about recipes/therapies/knowledge/experience concerning yangsheng the Way towards wellness, happiness and longevity. i am still hesitating about whether to create another blogsite to support it. for lack of technical help and computer time, i do not know what kind of site to create and how.

4. i got 20 acceptances in september, and 18 in october.

5. to celebrate the first anniversary of, and show my love for my first grandchild (and my only one thus far), i had a group of poems titled Childhood Poetry: for Kate Emily Yuan and All Other Children published on two days ago as a dedication to her (just as in the case of my chapbook Dark Phantasms). here is the link:: http://mysticlivingtoday.com/view_page.php?ID=2077

Saturday, 21 October 2017

'Happy Yangsheng' Site Created

3 days ago, after much hesitation, i created a facebook account titled Happy Yangsheng at https://www.facebook.com/happyyangsheng/. the following is what i have posted thus far, and will probably post everything concurrently. with so many health problems and so much attention to them, i have opened this page to record and share...
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oct. 18, 2017

HappyYangsheng 快乐养生

"养生," pronounced as [yangsheng], is a verb as well as a noun in the Chinese language. Literally meaning 'nurturing life,' the word represents a unique ancient Chinese construct introduced by Lao Zi in his great book Tao Te Ching. Inclusive as it is, the term is used to refer to all the knowledge related to, and all the practices aimed at longevity through the cultivation of one's physical and spiritual wellbeing.  When it first called attention more than two thousand years ago, yangsheng was primarily a focus, a major concern for every Daoist follower or practitioner.  However, as more and more people began to pay heed to their wellbeing, it has become increasingly popular among Chinese, especially adults. Given its rich store of recipes, therapies, methods, techniques and know-hows accumulated over the past twenty-five centuries or so, it is not surprising that yangsheng can offer something really good and helpful to every human being. Indeed, in an advanced information age and an improved living condition, who would not want to learn to live a healthier, happier, and even longer life today?

--------------------------------------

This site is created as a interactive social platform to share experience, knowledge, and whatever has to do with yangsheng, or the Way towards wellbeing and longevity.

Our catch phrase:: a sound body, a sound mind-spirit, and a sound lifestyle.

To live a healthy, happy and long life, it is undoubtedly not only helpful but also necessary for everyone to cultivate and explore such abundant soundness,

------------------------------------

oct. 19, 2017

Given its central concern with the Way towards wellness, happiness and longevity, yangsheng is one, if not the, most important aspect of human life, but it has long been ignored in our educational system and by all levels of government. Inspired by this simple fact, I have created this site to share whatever is related to yangsheng, hoping to promote awareness of the need for it among all people in a socially interactive way.

I have been haunted by this fact for a long time: like financing - the issue of how to make and manage money, yangsheng, which focuses upon the Way to attain wellness, happiness and longevity, is never part of formal education although these two are probably the most important aspects of human reality. If we pay enough attention to yangsheng, if yangsheng is introduced as a selective or even a compulsory course in school, if everyone becomes a well-educated yangsheng practioner, our government will undoubtedly save tremendous amounts of money, our society will have drastically less trouble, and our life will be greatly enriched at an individual level.

To promote yangsheng as a meaningful human cause, I have created this site with my extremely limited resources. As long as my health condition and computer skills allow, i would love to share my own thought, knowledge and experience about yangsheng, hoping at least to offer some helpful know-hows, recipes or therapies to readers/viewer of non-chinese background.

yangsheng recipe for today:: Those with back pain could walk backwards on a regular basis, for 10 minutes for the first week, 20 minutes for the second, and half an hour for the rest of time, but be extremely careful.

This is an ancient Chinese traditional medical treatment, a physical therapy, which is highly effective. Personally,  I used to have a disc problem causing me to suffer from a bad chronical back pain. After many years of invalid treatments, I began to do this simple exercise in 2015, which has put an permanent end to my pain. 
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oct. 20, 2017

FOUR FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES FOR YANGSHENG

1/ It is essential to develop a positive mentality. Sometimes referred to as positive attitude, optimistic mindset or (sound) mindfulness, a positive mentality enables us to live a rich and healthy emotional, intellectual and spiritual life. You may be introvert or extrovert, poor or rich, young or old, but you can always make conscious effort to become positive-minded. 

2/ It is important to live in harmony with nature. In practice, this means to follow the way of nature or imitate nature (道法自然), as Lao Zi taught us in his Tao Te Ching. For example, acupuncture, physical exercise and organic/food therapies are more natural than surgery industrial/chemical compounds when it comes to deal with health problems. 

3/ It is more desirable function in a balanced manner than otherwise. Such balance can and should be maintained at different levels and in various aspects of life, as between work and play, between activity and stasis, between yin and yang, between control and indulgence. Any overly emphasis on one would break the natural equilibrium with the other. 

4/ It is always better to prevent than cure. This principle seemed to become increasingly popular in the world only in recent decades, but has been emphasized and practised especially by Daoist practitioners and traditional Chinese doctors for more than two thousand years.

Needless to say, one can write a pamphlet or even a thick book on each of these principles, but theories are always less interesting, so we post them here briefly just for casual discussion or future elaboration. 

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12 Easiest and Most Convenient Ways to Prevent Cancer

1/ Open windows at least half an hour daily (especially to prevent lung cancer);

2/ Wipe your back with a dry towel for 10 minutes or until you feel warm on a regular basis;

3/ Eat raw garlic (cut and exposed to air for more than 10 min) and green onion as often as possible (esp. to prevent stomach cancer)

4/ Drink soy milk (esp. to prevent breast cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer), but such cancer patients and those suffering from peptic ulcer, gastritis and gout should avoid it;

5/ Walk for at least half an hour daily (esp. to prevent colorectal cancer and  pancreatic cancer);

6/ Drink 6 cups of water (roughly 240g each) daily (esp. to reduce the risk of bladder cancer for men, and colon cancer for women by 45%);

7/ Sunbathing for 15 min daily (esp. to prevent breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and gastric cancer), but too long would increase the risk of skin cancer;

8/. Drink 4 cups of green tea daily (to reduce the risk of cancer by 40%);

9/ Chew your food at least 30 times before swallow (esp. to prevent gastrointestinal cancer);

10/ Sleep 7 hours every night (esp. to prevent breast cancer);

11/ Reduce sugar intake (esp. to prevent pancreatic cancer); and

12/ Eat red meat with a cup of red wine (esp. to prevent colon cancer)
-----------------------------

oct. 21, 2017

A POSITIVE MENTALITY ESSENTIAL TO YANGSHENG

It is common knowledge that whoever wants to live a healthier, happier and longer life must perforce have a positive mentality.

What characterizes 'a positive mentality'  then? To me, it is composed of group of sincere attitudes, which mainly include the attitudes towards what we are facing at the moment, who and what we ourselves have been up to now, and what we expect in the future.

Apparently, if you can at least most of the time see and treat with a positive attitude what is happening to you in the moment, you are an attained yangsheng practitioner and will certainly live a more enjoyable life.

Some people may have been 'born' with a positive mentality; others can certainly learn and develop it in a self-conscious way. No matter what, a positive mentality has nothing to do with who you are, what you do, where you live or how rich/poor you have been.

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5 Ways to Examine One's Own Health Condition

According to yangsheng experts, one does not have to go to a doctor for a physical check-up every year. Actually there are five criteria to tell if you are a 'normal' or basically healthy person::

1. Eat well - you have a good appetite and no few food taboos;
2. Sleep well - you can fall asleep relatively in an easy manner and have few nightmares;
3. Discharge well - you have no trouble pissing, shitting, sweating;
4. Move well - you can walk, jump, run as you would like;
5. Sense well - you can see, hear, smell, taste, feel like everybody else does.

As long as you eat, sleep, discharge, move and sense normally or reasonably well, you are just fine, and should be happy about your physical well being.


Saturday, 2 September 2017

sept updates: changming's lit endeavors

1/ on august 1, i received a message (pasted below for record) about my poem 'generative genesis of grammar' being nominated by a nigerian publication for the 2017 best of the net award. this is the second time my work is nominated. i do not expect to really get it (as in the case of my 9 pushcart nominations), but it's always nice to know one of my poems has received an endorsement.

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Dear Yuan,

I'm pleased to inform you that your poem 'Generative Genesis of Grammar' (published in our Issue 4) is part of the six poems nominated by our Poetry Editor, Abeiku Arhin Tsiwah, for the 2017 Best of the Net award. And I look forward to having you on Lunaris Review Team.

Wishing you the best!

Warmly,
Tolulope Oke
Publisher, Lunaris Review
---------------------------

2/ on august 10, Sandy Benitez, editor/publisher of Flutter Press told me she is ready to publish and release my (7th) chapbook dark phantasms in early november.  this is the second time for me to be published by flutter; in mid-2013, the press published my (3rd) chapbook landscaping. also, i do not expect to sell any copy, but i like the fact that there are some publishers willing to publish my chapbooks from time to time.

3/ my poems got 11 acceptances in july, and 19 in august. of course, rejections are at least 80%.

as a literary scholar (with a PhD in english literature) and a veteran poetry practitioner, i well know my own poetic work is among the very top in english literary history, as it is comparable to anyone's poetry in terms of thematic and stylistic ranges, or in terms of quality and quantity; it is but my personal identity, cultural personality and historical fortune that have prevented me from gaining wider and more significant recognition, for example, in the form of wining awards (i never participate in any), titles, not to mention positions. on the other hand, i never really care about how my work is eventually accepted; as i said ten years ago: i give out my best like a silkworm; if the world does not care, why should i? (this line was published  as a maximum in london magazine). for me, the ability to write good poetry is far more important than any acutal 'achievement,' such as fame and money, both of which i have seen through clearly, and found no longer really worthy. indeed, given my current state of mind, i feel happy enough with a free and enjoyable lifestyle.

nevertheless, for record, i paste the nominations, and interviews in the following::

Interviews:
6. World Poetry Cafe Radio Show - CFRO 100.5FM [Canada; 21 Jan 2014] htttp://worldpoetry.ca/?p=7447
7/ Driftwood Press [US. Apr., 2014] http://media.wix.com/ugd/d32313_9a31411fcdf
84c1988c6a9fe60ebb94c.pdf (pp. 34-35).
10/ fēlan [US, 25 May 2017] https://felanzine.wordpress.com/2017/05/25/interview-yuan-changming/
                                                                                                       

Pushcart Nominations: 

1. "Chansons of a Chinaman," nominated by my first poetry book publisher Leaf Garden Press for a Pushcart Prize for 2009. [link::http://leafgardenpress.blogspot.com/].
2. "S. E. W. N," nominated by Blue Fifth Review for a Pushcart Prize for 2009. [http://samofthetenthousandthings.blogspot.com/2009/11/bfrs-pushcart-nominations.html]. Also, originally published by BFR, my poem "Last Single Sale" was selected for inclusion in Best New Poems Online;
3. "Word Collage: A Democratic Poem," nominated by Carcinogenic Poetry (Virgogray Press) for a Puschcart prize for 2010. [link:: http://virgograypress.com/2010/11/25/2010-virgogray-press-pushcart-prize-nominees/];
4. "SAWS: A Seasonal Poem," nominated by Wilderness House Literary Review for a Pushcart prize for 2011. [link::http://www.fictionaut.com/forums/general/threads/1448];
5. "Kinship: for Yuan Hongqi." nominated by Mobius, the Poetry Magazine for a Pushcart Prize for 2012 [link:: http://www.mobiuspoetry.com/prizeawards.htm];
6. “Read,” nominated by Yellow Medicine Review [http://www.yellowmedicinereview.com/] for a Pushcart Prize for 2013;
7. "Y," nominated by Sleet Magazine for a Pushcart Prize for 2013 [link:: http://www.sleetmagazine.com/selected/yuan_v5n1.html#Title1];
8. "Natural Confrontations," nominated by The Binnacles for a Pushcart Prize for 2013 [link:: http://machias.edu/binnacle];
9. “Y,” nominated by Cincinnati Review for a Pushcart Prize for 2015 [link: “Notes for a New Year: http://www.cincinnatireview.com/blog/];

Best of the Net Nominations:

1.      “With More Than One Being,” nominated by Drunk Monkeys for the 2016 Best of the Net Anthology. http://www.drunkmonkeys.us

2.      “Generative Genesis of Grammar,” nominated by Lunaris Review for the 2017 Best of the Net Anthology. https://lunarisreview.com/

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

daoist yangsheng and new e.publication to be...

for record, as for future effort, i hit upon the idea of launching another e.publication (hopefully in mid-october),  between 4 and 5 pm today (25 july 2017), during my acupuncture treatment by dr Zhuo about my heart condition and kneel problem.

homework to be done includes choosing/deciding upon::
1/ a name, which should be indicative of something about wholistic health care, physical and psychological wellbeing, yangsheng (wellness and longevity), etc;
2/ a language, which might be english and/or chinese, open to any linguistic input;
3/ an e.format, which might be blog-based, or specifically domained - the problem is: google services are unavailable in china, while sina or any other popular chinese counterpart is little known or accessed in the english speaking world;
4/ website design;
5/ content/space allotments;
etc...

Daoism, one of the two (aboriginally developed) most ancient and most influential chinese philosophical traditions (the other is Confucianism), is actually the only major 'religion' focused exclusively on the attainment of wellbeing and longevity in the human world; such being the case, i see no reason why it should not become a particularly important resource for us contemporaries to draw upon in our effort to live a healthy and long life.

not surprisingly, almost every highly accomplished traditional chinese medical doctor has made more or less use of Daoist approaches to the achievement and maintenance of good health, as well as to the treatments of many different kinds of diseases, physical or psychological.

pasted below is my trial translation of dr Zhuo's brochure for his club (19 june 2017) ::


同年平人说】天人相应,中正平和,动静相宜,形与神俱,脏藏腑传 ,经络通畅,骨正筋柔,气血旺盛 。 

Tongnian on the Normal Person: A normal person lives a straight and peaceful life in harmony with nature, maintains an equilibrium between activity and inactivity, between body and spirit, and has well-functioning internal organs, unblocked meridians, good bones and flexible tendons/ligaments in addition to robust qi and blood.


【同年养生法】净通去菀,灌注经络,祝由坐忘,堵漏育精,点燃圣火。 

Tongnian on the Ways to Yangsheng: Yangsheng (wellbeing and longevity) can be attained by way of removing pollutants to purify internal systems, clearing meridians to fulfill them with energy, cleaning up the innermost reality to become self-insightful through Daoist meditation, stopping leakages to cultivate vitality, and igniting the holy flame to obtain a new life.


【同年养生涅槃论】养生是平人走向真人的过程,是粗糙体脱变精微体的体验,是低维度迈向高维度的觉智;养生是元神意志与心灵魂魄的负抱,是法于阴阳与和于术数的洞悉,是形与神俱与天人相应的证悟;养生是线上高频与当下乐趣的通合,是真我顺流与和平快乐的典范,是康健修行与神迹奇现的家园。 

Tongnian on Yangsheng Nirvana: Yangsheng is a process of a normal person growing into an accomplished one, an experience of a raw body transformed into a refined one, an awareness of low dimensions elevated to high ones, an integration of the primordial will into the spiritual being, an insight gained from the yin-yang principle and corresponding well with divination, an attainment of soma-spirit and human-nature harmonies, a synthesis of transcendental high frequencies and enjoyments in the moment, a paragon of peaceful pleasure and spontaneous flow of authentic selfhood, as well as a home to health cultivation and miraculous manifestation.


Monday, 10 July 2017

july updates: changming's lit endeavors

1. on the evening of july 8, my chinese poet friend dr Zhang Zhi, chief editor of World Poets Quarterly (http://theworldpoetsquarterly.blogspot.ca/), contacted me about his intention to base his magazine in a foreign country like canada rather than in his home city chongqing at the strong suggestion made by his readers/contributors/associates. accordingly, he offered to give me the title of 'president' of WPQ. functioning as such only in name, i have no obligations or responsibilities except that i can recommend poems to the magazine on a regular basis or contribute some time as an editor at large. no matter what, this is an unexpected honor, which allows me to have a closer and more formal connection with the multilingual magazine, which is perhaps the world's most widely circulated poetry magazine in print.

2. i got 9 poetry acceptances in may, and 12 in june. really disappointed and frustrating is the fact that sometimes a 'well-established' magazine accepts my poetry but stops operation just when it is scheduled to publish my work. this time is chile-based Southern Pacific Review. last time was scotland-based Glasgow Review. similar cases are those in which my accepted poetry never appears because the magazine changes its editor, who chooses to ignore my work just when the magazine is supposed to publish it.

3. though i cannot write now as much poetry as well as i used to, i am still fortunately able to do some writing from time to time; that means, my Muse has never deserted me yet. as long as life goes on, i hope and even believe there are times when i can write poetry up to my own standard at least. the problem is, i cannot find good enough poetry to read!

4. at the request of dr Zhuo Tongnian, one of the world's most renowned chinese traditional medical doctors alive today, i translated some promotional material for his elite club 'Optimum Health Yangsheng' (http://yang-sheng.com/ ), the original chinese text is extremely challenging, so i have to explore my skills to the fullest extent. i do know if it's satisfactory enough. because of my deteriorating health and my idiosyncracies, i usually refrain from doing any translation work although my thesis supervisor at tianjin normal university highly recommended me as a really good chinese-english translator even 35 years ago. in recent week, i suffered from frequent chest discomfort and chest pain in addition to eye and kneel problems, but dr Zhuo's herbal medecine has been wonderfully effective: right after taking his medicine, i felt no more chest pain.

5. conditioned by my physiological and psychological constitutions, i will concentrate on poetry writing only for the rest of my life. in other words, i have finally given up all my plans and intentions for other kinds of writing.

Friday, 19 May 2017

yuan's work due out in a best of best anthology

yesterday, i received an email informing me that my poem 'awaiting', originally published in halifax-based dalhousie review and included in best of canadian poetry (2012), has just been selected by bcp series editors Molly Peacock and Anita Lahey for inclusion in the best of the best canadian poetry in english: tenth anniversary edition, to appear in july 2017.

needless to say, i am very grateful for this remarkable honour, as well as for the good news. while for me this is as significant as my inclusion in poetry in voice, the national e.anthology for all canadian high school students in addition to best of canadian poetry (2009;12;14), i find it quite ironical that almost all canadian magazines have unanimously stopped accepting my work nowadays although i think i have been writing/submitting as many as good poems to them. more ironical is the fact that a few domestic magazines (namely malahat, fiddlehead, antagonish review, capilano review, exile and prism international)  have persistently rejected every one of my submissions for the past 13 years. with my appearances in 1309 publications (many of them are national leading magazines) across 39 countries, these few canadian magazines treat my work as far below their standards. this simple fact often makes me wonder if they have a strong bias against my poetic work, my literary background or even my cultural identity.

also, i would like to mention that a quite new online magazine called fēlan has published a poem of mine, and had an written interview with me. here are my responses to their questions, due out on 24 may::

Please tell us a bit about yourself.
-          -- A half-blind and heart-deformed guy getting newly old, I have been living a life full of ironies: for example, I got an F for every English test throughout high school in China, but later won a scholarship to accomplish my PhD in English in Canada; I always prefer reading and speaking Mandarin, but writing and publishing in English; hate to talk but make a living by lecturing; love nature but have to live in a city; and need little money for myself but function like a moneymaking machine. Happily, eight years after my elder son got married, I have now finally had Kate Emily Yuan, my first grandchild, the beautiful publication of my best (secondary) creation.
-           
When you create, what inspires you?
-          -- The only unfailing source of inspiration for me is a great poem I happen to read in English or Chinese; as a result, I have written a large number of what I call ‘parallel poems,’ those I write to emulate or respond to the poems I have fallen in love with.
-           
Tell us about the specific inspiration behind one or each of your accepted pieces.
-          -- Inspired by Dana Levin’s ‘Watching the Sea Go’ (Best American Poetry 2005), I wrote ‘Attracted to the Muted Melody of Mountains’ between 3:52 and 4:11 pm on 2 October 2016 to reenact my reading pleasure as well as my love for trees and mountains. (Every writing of a poem is a truly happy experience for me; thus I have a habit of keeping a specific record for each piece I have ever composed.)

What is your medium of choice? Why?
-          -- Poetry is my only medium of choice because it’s the most economical and effective mode of (linguistic) expression, which I feel not only comfortable but also confident with.

How did you first discover your love for creating?
-          -- While still in a Chinese junior high school, I found reading poetry could give me great pleasure beyond words; a couple of years later, I found writing poetry a most enjoyable thing to do, but I was never able to get anything published before moving to Canada.

fēlan is old English for feel. What makes you feel attraction?
-          -- It is beauty in a specific or abstract form, such as a tree, a mountain, a horse, a lovely child/woman, an inspiring poem or a smart idea.

Please feel free to add anything else you think is relevant.
-          -- There are too few really good poems that have been published, especially in bigger-named magazines, while there are too many poetry books out there and too many none-poetic forms of entertainment nowadays.




Saturday, 6 May 2017

may updates: changming's lit endeavours

1/ still able to write quite much poetry in recent weeks, but i feel increasingly worried about the time when i finally run out of poetic inspiration or talent (as the chinese idiom goes: 江郎才尽), actually, since my very first attempt at writing poetry about 13 years ago, i have always had such fear;

2/ during my first banff tour made in aug 2004, i wrote my first poem in english, and then began to be published online or in print. between 16 and 19 last month, i had my second banff tour (with my old mother) and conceived 8 poems, hopefully to be published sooner or later;

3/ got 13 acceptances in april;

4/ yesterday was a busy day for me: released our spring issue of Poetry Pacific (6.1), made the announcement on our 5,000-strong facebook site, my 8,000-strong linkedin site and my twitter, which i have ignored thus far;

5/ my eye problem has been bugging me for a long time. because i have only one (right) eye functioning all my life, i have abused it so much and so terribly that it begins to hurt and shed tears after looking at screen for only 10 or 15 minutes.  so far, no doctors or traditional chinese treatments are of any help, since this is an ageing and natural or congenital problem. to save my worsening vision, i have to reduce my computer time to minimum and decide, as publisher of PP Press, to cancel all book publication projects - i agreed to publish 2 ms two years ago and a third earlier this year for one reason or another, but recently after much hesitation, i finally released them all back to their authors. i feel really sorry, even guilt about this withdrawal, yet my increasing lifelong fear about becoming blind is more unbearable than this sense of guilt.

(how i have always wished for a normal pair of eyes so that i could have learned more computer skills, and naturally done more and better about PP and our PP Press even if all is basically a one-man's show!)

simply because of this fear and suffering, i sometimes want to change Poetry Pacific from a biannual publication to a yearly one if my health situation gets from bad to worse, but i will try to hang on...


Saturday, 1 April 2017

all my crows...

among all animals i have written about, the crow is my most favoured subject matter, probably because it is so common that we can hardly distinguish one from another in physical appearance, just like myself, but who knows what is the inner reality in each and every one of them?

[the bulk of this chapbook was accepted early in 2016 for publication by barometer pressures press, but released back to me because the publisher supposedly stopped all her literary operations later last year]


---------------------------------------------------------------------


Crows


By


Yuan Changming





Table of Contents


1/  My Crow
2/  Calls of a Crow
3/  The Black Bird
4/  The Crow and the Butterfly
5/  My Crow, My Other Life
6/  Truncated Truths (5): My Crow
7/  Crows in the Sunlight
8/  White Crow: a Parallel Poem
9/  Wintry Vision
10/ Winterscaping: Crow vs Snow
11/ My Crow: A Martyr of Truth
12/ The Crow Cornered
13/ The Lifestyle of a Crow
14/ The Human-Headed Crow
15/ Natural Confrontation: Crow
16/ My Inner Crow
17/ Crow’s View
18/ The Art of Origami
19/ Oriental Metaphysics
20/ C.R.O.W.
21/ Birds of Varied Feathers: A Confucian Vision


My Crow

As an ancient Chinese saying goes
Crows everywhere are equally black
But this one in the backyard of my heart
Is as white as a summer cloud
I have fed him with fog and frost
Until his feathers, his flesh
His calls and even his spirit
All turned into white like winter washed

My crows wings will never melt
Even when flying close to the sun


The Calls of a Crow
           
How many times
Have you lain in thick darkness
Imagining a white crow
That you wish to see
Or rather to be

Not until the other morning
Did you hear a wild bird crying
Like a persistent knock
At the door of your heart

Beyond your curtained window
Beyond your curtained dream
It was a crow hammering all its white yaws
Right into your soul
Resonating with your truer selfhood


The Black Bird

so little triggers
off

a black bird
the nexus of antithesis 

foiled with snow
light

to fly into the vast history of
gray


The Crow and the Butterfly

you like the crows in your backyard
other birds are much less plain
but they fly too high
or too far for your heart
stranded here

you envy the butterfly in your frontyard
The most beautiful
thought also most lonely
As the spring sets
under her floral wings


My Crow, My Other Life

Every morning, even before I open
My eyes, the little doors of the cage
My crow cannot wait to flutter out
Into the light-washed heavens
Striking its transparent wings into beating

Every night, even after I put
The cage back inside my cozy house
The bird still glides close to the moon
With its wings feathered with spirits
Forgetting to return home

Sometimes I wonder why
Day after day, night after night
It refuses to settle softly in its cage
Like a domesticated parrot

Were I it, would I?

Or you, once the cage broken
Would the bird return
Coo itself into sleep, dreaming

Of celestial freedom?



Truncated Truths (5): My Crow

Each crow you have seen
Has a quasi white soul
That used to dwell in the body
Of one of your closest ancestors
He comes down all the way just to tell you
His little secret, the way he has flown out
Of darkness, the fact both his body and heart
Are filled with shadows, the truth about
Being a dissident, that unwanted color

Hidden in your own heart is there also a crow
Not blacker than his spirits
But much more so than his feathers



Crows in the Sunlight

Soon after their dreamless roosting
The crows on the boughs begin to look up
Some ready to fly, some to land
Beyond the darkest moments of last night

Disturbed by their calls, a solitary squirrel
Climbing down the tree, crossing the fence
To a pasture no greener than the leaves
But there is certainly more sunshine
More photosynthesizing, under the golden film

As I walk past, neither the crows
Nor the squirrel bothers to notice my presence
Why should they be startled away? It is me
Trespassing a new territory between day and night
Where the crows hide their night-dyed feathers


White Crow: a Parallel Poem

You have never seen a white crow
You have never hoped to see one
But you have made this white enough:
Youd rather be than see such a crow


Wintry Vision

Two little crows
Popping up
From nowhere 
Try to
Establish themselves:
Two truths
On the skeletal tree top
Yawing fiercely
Towards the sky, the wind, the buildings
The fields and the entire afternoon
All so fluffy white
In jade-toned snow


Winterscaping: Crow vs Snow

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


My Crow: A Martyr of Truth

your heavy wings used to be
feathered with light whims
your black feathers used to be
white as your pure spirits
but your throat was so often
choked with dark truths, and
knowing too many of them
has made you infamous

you cannot be distinguished
from one another, but you can
tell all humans apart, even their shadows
as you keep announcing unwelcome truths
you hope to redeem every lie
in a snowy world

Is telling dark truths always so boldly that has
Blackened your whole being inside out?



The Crow Cornered 

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


The Lifestyle of a Crow

Instead of pecking around on the ground
For grain or gold to satisfy your hunger
You keep flying all day long, trying
To fetch feathers stuck in muddy history
Twigs far beyond Adam’s continent, and
Rice stems from summer fields, with which
You long to build a permanent nest
High on the top of the tallest Douglas fir
Where you can live closest to heaven

But you may be shot down by a hunter
When flapping towards divinity


The Human-Headed Crow
            (An ancient artifact displayed in Jinzhou Museum)

That human-headed bird
Flapping its wings against
Foreign visitations must have been
Either possessed by the spirit of
My previous life
Or winged by the body of
My next being; otherwise
It would never bother to
Look up at me

As it flies into the same legend
About the yellow crane
All its feathers fall down
On my sandy mind, like meteorites
With all their secrets hardened
From an other universe


Natural Confrontation: Crow

A wounded, fledgling crow
Yaws invisibly
Above its shadowy voice
As if to convey the message
About the darkness of tomorrow night
To the whole world, where a heavy snow
Has just started to fall, falling
My Inner Crow

after so many years
            the white crow
    i had been keeping as a pet
            finally flew away
without a single moment
                        of hesitation
through the back window
            blown open
by a gust of wild wind
                        last night

into the storm of
            black snowflakes
    falling down
            right from heaven 



Crow's View

you like to hide your pupils
in the blue of the autumn sky

when clouds collide with each other
you enjoy shining down
like a pair of invisible suns, seeing
the gliding birds above corn fields
the moving shadows of hills
the reflections in the water of an unknown lake
a wild flower blooming by the river bank
a colony of ants busy transporting foods beside an oak tree
a lilac seed blown out of a metal fence
and a vision drifting around a human head 

you saw, you see, you are seeing
even though your eyes are closed 


The Art of Origami

Each time I run short of inspirations
I would try to fold the dull season
Not into a decoration
But into a bird

I always hang it high
Above my head
Like my own spirit
Like my white crow, where I
Can hear the droning complaints of
Each creature over its pain

The pity is, my senses are often too soft
To hold the shape firm


Oriental Metaphysics

No, it was
It is
Not a crow
That has just flown by
In stillness
But a spectre
(in a crow’s shape?)
A whim
(about a crane?)
Or a glyph
(standing for a cuckoo?)
That can actually
Flap away
Neither from your agitated heart
Nor from my meditating mind
Like the butterfly 
In a Zhuangzian dream


C.R.O.W.

C
a Phoenician throw-stick
held high in his right hand
the Egyptian basket
lying far beyond his reach
what was

Meanwhile, what is
the Chinese peasant
trying to do
in his story?

R
residing near their summer resort
through her entire year
after their marriage, (for better or for worse)
russian author catherine tries narrating
her bearish story from their wintery perspective
where her major concerns are perhaps
wrapping gershwin's rhapsody
around hieroglyphic spring sprouts


O
a rope loop propped up with hope
to lasso words running amuck

a mouth reshaped, repositioned
to pronounce the roundest vowel

W
pecking around a lion
only the little chick
knows the word's worth
as it writes the worlds' story
with its feet printed on the ground
rather than on a papyrus


Birds of Varied Feathers: A Confucian Vision

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

---------------------------------------------------

Meeting

Yesterday evening I met an old friend
Of mine, while he looked into my eyes
Without moving his tiny pupils. I felt
His vision as sharp as needles after several
Minutes, I left him without saying a single
Word, he fled into twilight, his shadow
Still as dark as sleek as a bad omen


True Identities of Crows

You’re neither the mystic
Prophet
Nor the common
Fortune teller
As some humans like to believe
In the east or the west

Rather, you are the other selfhood of a fellow
Human, perching on the treetop
Speechless, as if in meditation over
Life, as if among dark prayers

The Crow in the Snow

A baby crow
Just beginning to look for
Food on its own

Pecking around
As quietly
As the snowfall itself

Perhaps to pin its hope for spring
Or to measure the depth
Of winter

The only living creature
Hatched out of white
Bold, palpable as in a Chinese painting


Crows against the Snowfall

Beyond the church
Close to the skyline
Several crows
And myriads of snowflakes
Flapping together

Then flying, flying

The blackness of crows
Was engulfed by the while

While the snow’s whiteness
Becomes frozen
On the painting