two poems by Changming Yuan

Walking at the Fraser River Park

(Entrance Notice: Unleashed Dogs Welcome)

In this territory, every dog is free

Though the leash is never too far behind

In its owner’s hand

While the dogs make love

Without even knowing each other’s names

Their masters remain standing far apart

Each fiercely guarding his pride and privacy

Without a dog, you will find yourself even less

Than an animal, as your human rights

Are blatantly violated by running dogs

None of them ever barks here though

Either with humor or at any human

But one of them could go crazy

And bite your head off

All before you know it

The Hieroglyphical Origin of My Identity

To begin with

‘I’ was no body

But a common reed

Bowing its head to the rising sun

On the barren bank of the Nile

Slim, tall, hollow-hearted

Standing against tropical heat

Until one day I was used

As a human symbol, an open vowel

Referring to the speaker

And since then I have become

One of the most frequently used letters

In the linguistic order of the day

Always capitalized

To embody my dignity

Though I am nothing

But a common reed

That could have been made into a flute

To begin with

 Jackie Rhoadesshapeimage_7_link_0