Snow In, Snow Out, On My Birthday & Off – Changming Yuan

Snow In, Snow Out

In the wild open west, flakes keep falling

Like myriad baby angels knocked down from Paradise

    Blurring the landscape behind the vision

Hunting each consonant trying to rise above

The ground. The day is brighter, lighter &

 Softer than the feel. Soon there will be

Dirty prints leading to everywhere (or nowhere)

& no one will care how the whole world will collapse

      In blasphemy. The missing cat won’t come to

     Trespass the lawn, nor will the daffodil bloom

To catch a flake drifting astray. Nobody bothers even to think

    About where the season is held up on its way back, how

       The fishes are agitating under the pressure of wintry

       Water, why people wish to see more and more snow


On My Birthday & Off

I don’t remember how many years old

I am, but I do care about my birthday, a time

When I can imagine getting good wishes

Or words. Rather than having a party

With a big cheese cake or a bowl of longevity

Noodles, I would prefer to leave home

For a lonely walk in the country, wandering

In a poetic wonderland, where I stop to reflect:

For more than a decade I have done what I could

By way of a poem, but since it is unlikely I can

Do anything with it, I find it the proper

Occasion to write one last stanza just

To commemorate my yearly visits to

Qucheng, Homerburgh, Dantefield

Shakespeareston, Goethestadt

Pushkingrad, Baudelaireville

Nerudastad, Frostdale, & Tagorerboro


Yuan Changming published monographs on translation before leaving China. Currently, Yuan lives in Vancouver, where he edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan. Credits include ten Pushcart nominations, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) and BestNewPoemsOnline among others.  

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