Episodic Epiphanies: Two Poems by Yuan Changming

Into The Reality

You see, here’s the leaf dyed with the full

Spectrum of autumn; here’s the dewdrop

Containing all the dreams made on the

Darkest corner of last night; here’s the

Light pole in the forest where gods land

From another higher world; here’s the swirl

You can dance with to release all your

Stresses against the Virus. Here you are in

Deed as in need embracing

The most

Mindful moment, when you can readily

Measure your feel with each breath, but do

Not think about time, which is nothing but

A pure human invention. Just point every Synapse of yours to this locale. Here is now.

Chopstick Commandments: A Secular Covenant

  1. Avoid one chopstick longer than the other in a pair

That would recall what a coffin is made of

  1. Don’t plant them in the middle of bowel of rice

Or dish, like a scent burning for the dead

  1. Never use them to poke around in a dish

In the way a tomb raider works hard in dark

  1. Put them strictly parallel to each other; or you

Would have yourself crossed out as a deplorable error

  1. If you drop one or both of them on the ground, you

Will wake up and provoke your ancient ancestors

  1. If you use them to beat containers like a drum player

You are fated to live a low and poor beggar’s life

  1. When you make noises with them in your mouth

You betray your true self as a rude and rough pariah

  1. Never point them towards any one if you

Do not really mean to swear at a fellow diner

  1. Make sure not to pierce any food with them while eating

When you do not mean to raise your mid-finger to all around you

  1. To use them in the wrong way is 

To make yourself looked down upon by others.

Yuan Changming grew up in an isolated village, started to learn the English alphabet at age nineteen and published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include twelve Pushcart nominations & eleven chapbooks (most recently LIMERENCE) besides appearances in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) & BestNewPoemsOnline, among 1,909 others, across 48 countries. Yuan served on the jury, and has been nominated, for Canada’s National Magazine Award (poetry category).

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