Two poems by Changming Yuan

Universal Law of Equilibrium

There’s neither god in Heaven, nor
Heaven above earth to begin with, except 
This hidden universal law of equilibrium
If you lose here, you are bound to gain
There; if you suffer now, you will be happy
Then; if you fail in many small matters
You are going to win in a big way, or
The other way around, or vice versa. Or
In Daoist terms: just as your whole
Mindset is a matter of thought, all your
Worlds can be boiled down to a few words
Bubbling in the cauldron of your mind

The Simplification of Chinese Characters Reviewed


Is it a linguistic coincidence or an undeclared prophesy?
But 60 years after Mao Zedong approved
The scheme for simplifying Chinese characters
We are now living in an open & reformed age, where

愛 /ai/ [love] has become feeling without heart: 爱
親 /qin/ [kinship] someone who is not to be seen: 亲
兒 /er/ [son] a person without a brain: 儿
郷 /xiang/ [village] a place where there are no men: 乡
厰 /chang/ [factory] a building with nothing inside: 厂
産 /chan/ [manufacture] a process without production: 产
雲 /yun/ [cloud] a nimbus offering no rainfall: 云
開 /kai/ [open] an action to break something doorless: 开
導 /dao/ [lead] a guidance without the Way: 导


More than half a century long after
The simplification of classic Chinese characters
And almost half a century well after
China opened its doors & began its reforms
To shake off its deformities and archaisms:

魔 /mo/ remains the same as 魔 [evil], so does
鬼 /gui/ as 鬼 [ghost], so does
偷 /tou/ as 偷 [steal], so does
黑 /hei/ as 黑 [darkness], so does
假 /jia/ as 假 [fake], so does
劣 /lie/ as 劣[inferior], so does
毒 /du/ as 毒 [poison], so does
贼 /zei/ as 贼 [thief], so does
罪 /zui/ exactly as 罪 [crime], which remains

As unchangeable as Chinese per se, or does it not? 

Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Yuan has received twelve Pushcart nominations and published fifteen chapbooks, most recently Sinosaure (Redhawk Publications)Yuan’s writing has appeared in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008–17), BestNewPoemsOnline, Poetry Daily, amongst others.