top of page

Changming Yuan




You seem obsessed with the first letter of the word as you are both yellow-skinned and yellow-hearted...

Using my yellow tail
I yellow-swam
From the Yellow River
As a yeast of the yellow peril
Against the yellow alert
In yellow journalism
With a yellow hammer
And a yellow sheet
I yielded to the yellow metal
At a yellow spot
¼ million yards away from Yellowknife
People call me yellow jack
Some hailed me as a yellow dog
When I yelped on my yellow legs
To flee from the yellow flu
Speaking Yerkish* like a yellow warbler
I have composed many yellow pages
For a yeasty yellow book
To be published by the yellow press
Don’t panic, I yell low.


* An artificial language developed for experimental communication between humans and chimpanzees.

seeing the strange belts
like little mouth masks
hung on bamboo poles
I often wondered:
what kind of clothing was that
so funny looking
in front of almost every straw-thatched cottage
but you boys don't bother about that
until one of my aunts told me
on a showering afternoon
it was only until I began dating
with a girl in a major city, so close
to beijing many years later
did I get to know them
to be no other than menstrual rags
(a taboo of female blood?)
although they actually looked
more like shrunken flags
than thick masks
that's all I remembered about my boyhood
my native village, my motherland

[week: directory of destinies]

               -Monday’s child is fair of face
Beginning of endless beginnings
When we start running between
Sun shine and electric light, caring
No more about the moon on moon’s day
              -Tuesday’s child is full of grace
Under Tiw’s rule, every law is
Established to stage war upon
The unlucky, who keep setting
Fires to avoid miss fortunes
              -Wednesday’s child is full of woe
Right in the middle of laboring
Even god of mercury turns green
As it persists in fasting
Far beyond the hump
              -Thursday’s child has far to go
God of thunder, man of wonder
We will continue despite hunger
Until we cannot go any farther
Or uphold our spirits together
           -Friday’s child is loving and giving
POETS day, TGIF, Day of Venus
Unlucky for those trying to catch
A few fish in the open sea, but lucky
For whoever is swimming ashore
            -Saturday’s child works hard for a living
Though confined to their earthy coffins
All vampires are eager to go hunting
Both within the nightmares of mad dogs
And outside the shrinking orbit of Saturn
          -The child that is born on the Sabbath day is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
East or west
All for a rest
When wanderers doze off in the sky
Meditators wake up to a distant cry


[fancy fenghui: 4 high haikus]
              –If in the center of your heart you build a dream home, you will settle your soul permanently to receive all the positive breath.
Feathered with good fortune
The Red Phoenix spreads yang wide
Over summer fields
Deep in wintry sleep
The Black Tortoise holds cold days
Long in the chang breath
Wild and Disruptive
The White Tiger wrap autumn
All in the sha breath
Soaring high above
The Gold Dragon blows down
The sheng breath of spring



bottom of page