Changming Yuan

Changming Yuan

Changming Yuan, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in rural China and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan.

Since mid-2005, Changming’s poetry has appeared in 839 literary publications worldwide, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline and Threepenny Review.

Please visit Changming Yuan at:

Dusk above the Mediterranean Sea

beyond the vague boundary
between waters and clouds
is a boat looming, glistening
like the face of a star
rising all too early
while a half dozen birds keep
flying around, as if to catch
a few sardines that might be
thrown out into the sea

but neither is the boat necessarily a trawler
nor are the birds trying to have a free dinner

or are they?


To begin with
The hieroglyphical origin of
My identity was simply no body
But a common reed
Bowing its head to the rising sun
At the estuary of the Nile

Slim, tall, hollow-hearted
Standing against tropical heat
Until one day ‘I’ was used
As a human symbol, an open vowel
Referring to the speaker
And since then I have become
One of the most frequently spelt letters
In the linguistic order of the day
Always capitalized
To embody my dignity
Though I am nothing
But a common reed
That could have been made into a flute

Seeing Shapes

Something was flapping, afar
(Was it a crow from the Alps?)
Beyond the mountain shadow
While many futuristic figures
Perhaps the aliens
Are migrating secretly
Perhaps we shall have to too?

Beyond the Great Blue

there is no borderline
between sea and sky

waves are pushing their colors
up towards the air, bloating
their calls and songs to bold
changing shapes

it is a world within nature
presenting itself, or what
cannot be represented elsewhere

separated from the mind
the frame always trying to capture
a few baby fish swimming in the waters
of the old Mediterranean

Poetry in this post: © Changming Yuan
Published with the permission of Changming Yuan