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On the Scale (with another 4 poems)

On the Scale

Put any alphabetic letter
Even in a lower case
At this end, &

All the great books (you have?)
Ever written or published will go high up
At the other

Winter Vision (2): To the Tune of Tangent

As myriad swans duelled deadly
Up in heaven, their feathers fell

Among human whims & wishes
Covering the whole world with
All the whites & silences of

The season, where a little crow
Pops up to witness the landscape
Becoming so united in sight &

Sound, so seemingly peaceful as for the war
To continue in whiter earthly wildness

The Stanza Suggested

The stanza suggested standing straight
So I did, looking high up
(With an inner Hubble Space Telescope)
At the smallest dark spot, where

I find you see
Another thousand Milk Ways glistening
In the dim corner of this vast
Universe, parallel to your imagination

As the earth flies with the cosmic winds
Like a speck of dust
Breathe light
The same cosmos is evolving inside out

I Give up a Strong Desire

Long long have I longed

To write (all my very superlatives
Into) a book, a masterpiece, hopefully
With every vivid descriptive detail, &
Sophisticated suspension, all designed
To work perfectly for a super sur-plot
In a unique inner-outer setting, both

As factual as fictional, as
Full of in-

Sights into the human nature as into
My own protobeing

But alas, after nearly one thousand attempts
I finally decide to stop, mainly because of
My fear about failure to find a close reader
Other than myself

Because I know my writing never appeals
To any editor even in my mother tongue


Indeed, to live my story is, after all
More urgent than to story my life
Briefly Noted

Water-Filled: Another Lesson in Chinese Characters

沙 /sha/: sand is something holding little water
河 /he/: a river has water allowing everything possible
洗 /xi/: to wash is to put something into water first
波 /bo/: waves surge when water flows like skin
注 /zhu/: to focus is to be the master of water
源 /yuan/: a wellspring is the original water
泪 /lei/: tears are water seeping from the eyes
洒 /sa/: to spread is to throw water into the west
演 /yan/: a performance is a show in respect for water
酒 /jiu/: wine is water fully matured

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Changming Yuan

Yuan Changming grew up in an isolated village, started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age 19, and published monographs on translation… More »

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