The Inner Journey

Legs crossed

Sitting straight

Still in chan meditation

Upon a lotus flower

Newly blossoming on my inner pond

I perceive myself transforming

Slowly but steadily

From a monstrous yellow-skinned frog

Into an ever bigger, brighter Buddha

Until my whole being inside out

Bursts into trillions of individual cells

Each being an other self of mine

Like a star beyond the skyline

Blinking, whispering

As if all chanting in unison

In a universal prayer

For harmony


Snorting over the Clouds

Flying between sea and sky

Between day and night

Amid heavenly or oceanic blue

I lost all my references

To any timed space

Or a localized time

Except the non-stop snorting

Of a stranger neighbour

Then, beyond the snorts rising here

And more glooming there

I see tigers, lions, leopards

Together with many hanger-throated gods

Darting out of every passenger’s heart

Running amuck around us

As if released from a huge cage

As if in a dreamland


Time vs Space

Divided into narrow cars

Time is where

All men and women

Get on or off

As the train keeps

Running forward

Along the rails of

An endless space

Except one butterfly that can fly

Freely from one car to another



An anchored lamborghini first

Then a line of taxis

And finally several big buses

In this one way road

Have I been driving all the way

Only to find a dead end

Here and now?


Along Our Journey to the West

Let us take all the long time we need

To wake up from our overdue dreams

Get out of the bed, and stretch our

Limbs as far as possible for a new morning

Let us take all the long time we need

To listen to the first song of the birds

Watch the rise of this summer sun, feel

The breeze combing each tree with tenderness

Let us take all the long time we need

To enjoy being together with our beloved

Exchange a smile so that they can stay with

Us just a few seconds or even minutes longer

Yes, let’s take all the long time we need

To drink this tea, to chat about this weather

To look back at the road we have travelled along

To think, to cry, and to die in lingering twilight


Stopping Awhile During My Journey of Life

How I hate jogging every morning

As mechanically as a robot, eating

Vegetables only like a damned pig

Taking more pills than a patient, avoiding

Fat, salt and sugar as if they were real poisons

Brushing my teeth twice a day, and doing

All kinds of stupidities right against my will

Just to live a few days longer or, to be more

Exactly, to turn a bit more food into waste

Like a stinking shit-making machine! Indeed

How I am tired of living such a life that is never

Enjoyable! Is this daily examined life

Of mine really worth living at all?



Yuan Changming, 9-time Pushcart nominee and author of 7 chapbooks (including Wordscaping [2016]), published monographs on translation before moving out of China. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian PoetryBestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and 1209 others across 38 countries.

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