Changming Yuan: Fate Forecast

In Contest, Finalists - 2011, Poetry on November 18, 2011 at 4:00 am


Changming Yuan, author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Politics and Poetics (2009) as well as a 3-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in a remote Chinese village and published several monographs before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently teaches in Vancouver and has had poetry appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cortland Review, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, RHINO and nearly 400 other journals / anthologies in 18 countries.

Twitter Handle: N/A

Know the Poet:

GSLR: Favorite poet(s) –
John Keats and Lorna Crozier

GSLR: The last book of poetry you enjoyed –
Lorna Crozier’s Inventing the Hawk

GSLR: Themes you usually write about –
My favorite theme to write about is light vs shadow

GSLR: If you did not write poetry you would…
If i did not write poetry, i would become a monk to practice chan or zen (meditating)

GSLR: 2 poems you enjoyed reading in GSLR –
Taylor Graham’s ‘Rumi Tells me in a Dream’ and Micael Ceraso’s ‘Click and Move’.


Fate Forecast – Changming Yuan

-Believe it or not, the ancient Chinese 5-Agent Principle accounts for us all.


Metal (born in a year ending in 0 or 1)

-helps water but hinders wood; helped by earth but hindered by fire

he used to be totally dull-colored
because he came from the earth’s inside
now he has become a super-conductor
for cold words, hot pictures and light itself
all being transmitted through his throat


Water (born in a year ending in 2 or 3)

-helps wood but hinders fire; helped by metal but hindered by earth

with her transparent tenderness
coded with colorless violence
she is always ready to support
or sink the powerful boat
sailing south


Wood (born in a year ending 4 or 5)

-helps fire but hinders earth; helped by water but hindered by metal

rings in rings have been opened or broken
like echoes that roll from home to home
each containing fragments of green
trying to tell their tales
from the forest’s depths


Fire (born in a year ending 6 or 7)

-helps earth but hinders metal; helped by wood but hindered by water

your soft power bursting from your ribcage
as enthusiastic as a phoenix is supposed to be
when you fly your lipless kisses
you reach out your hearts
until they are all broken


Earth (born in a year ending in 8 or 9)

-helps metal but hinders water; helped by fire but hindered by wood

i think not; therefore, I am not
what I am, but I have a color
the skin my heart wears inside out
tattooed intricately
with footprints of history

Changming Yuan’s Fate Forecast is a Golden Sparrow Poetry Prize 2011 Finalist.


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