December 2013

poem09 Dec 2013 11:24 am


Derek Harper [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

the fog remembers
promises once watered
by cascades of dew
each speck of mist
a prism into the past

when these men and women
lived and breathed
walking this valley soil
with trowel and shovel
digging deep

to bury the seeds of dreams
first nurtured in
Armenia, Japan, Arkansas
Italy or Oklahoma
now they return

during this first fog
of the year
California’s heartland smothered
beneath a cotton-thick mist
the cold means nothing

when that thick mud
squishes between bared toes
hardened by a long walk
along Route 66;
with water comes growth

even after death
those seeds still grow in
this dirt, this promised land
that blessed kiss of moisture
the musk of earth heavy in air

the joy of grit
between each finger, the smile
at spying a first seedling;
one blessed night to return home
the fog remembers

poem02 Dec 2013 08:45 am



for now, they have all stopped
pretending to be more than chimpanzees
struggling ferociously for power, sex, fame or money

lying seemingly still on each padded shelf
under the roof of hardened darkness
is a bleeding devil
tightly enclosed within a decent
human shape, as if in a vast morgue

high above them is squatting a bloated serpent
with a body of billion eyes all viciously open
to watch for so many tiny dragons
chasing and collecting the deformed soul
trying desperately to escape
form every fleshy casket

Changming Yuan, 7-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China but currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-publishes Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan and operates PP Press. With a PhD in English, Yuan has recently been interviewed by [PANK], and had poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, Threepenny Reviewand 769 other literary journals/anthologies across 28 countries. In 2013, Yuan has been bitten by 3 poisonous snakes.