Sunday, July 1, 2007

Changming Yuan

The Dove

never does the dove remember his ancestor

who once by chance brought back a fresh twig

thus saving an aged man after a universal flood

nor is the dove aware he is the white flying creature

the subject painted with piety and prayers

devoted to a great but difficult human cause

as we admire or worship his invented virtues

he is busy cooing or beaking on the ground

no larger or smaller than another common pigeon

sometimes even like an unknowing wanton

who cannot help fighting with his playmate

over a blue spot tinged with human blood

If Only He Turned His Head

far beyond a wild ice field
a wounded wolf was
trying to catch up with his shadow
running forever ahead
like his surly soul
never melting under the Arctic sun
on the tip of a stiff glacier
a frozen voice is attempted to shout:
the wrong direction

Sightseeing at Harrison Lake

under a wishful willow

on the bench's bare back

are awkwardly carved

many names, initials, heartshapes

some densely isolated

others thinly connected

with plus or equal signs

making a whole new monument

a tortured totem of tourism

unoccupied, probably reserved

there's no sudden heat of hope

or quick burial of burned burins

yet like a huge fish fossilized

sitting still in open solitude

towards the hills drifting beyond

as if to wait at the waterfront

for the long lost syllables

stranded below the setting sun

The Land Paintings at Nasca

long lost on the barren sandy land
few folks have ever seen you as figures
drawn with bare hands of aliens perhaps
or even forgotten gods from another world
nothing but simple run-on sentences
rambling from somewhere to somewhere else
unedited, unmodified and unfootnoted
just light lines scratched on brown ground
like an ancient labyrinth suddenly flattened
framed with all metaphoric possibilities
too vague and sketchy to make any sense
for the lazy and myopic minds of men
casually walking in your blind spots
unless they can see you from high above
where they might wonder how and why
you have too few viewers privileged
to make you a familiar human scene

To My Little Allen

feel happy for me

when i die, son

i will have finally waked

from a long and heavy dream

beginning to travel

with all leisure and pleasure

in a far lighter and brighter place

like a shapeless shadow on this earth

to guide and safeguard you

my ever truer self

1 comment:

Roswila said...

Hi Changming! Good to see your work here. I really like THE DOVE. (This is Patricia, a/k/a Roswila, btw....)