Let us take all the long time we need
To wake up from our overdue dreams
Get out of the bed, and stretch our
Limbs as far as possible for a new morning

Let us take all the long time we need
To listen to the first song of the birds
Watch the rise of this summer sun, feel
The breeze combing each tree with tenderness

Let us take all the long time we need
To enjoy being together with our beloved
Exchange a smile so that they can stay with
Us just a few seconds or even minutes longer

Yes, let’s take all the long time we need
To drink this tea, to chat about this weather
To look back at the road we have travelled along
To think, to cry, and to die in lingering twilight



You’re neither the mystic
Nor the common
Fortune teller
As you are believed to be
In the east or the west

Rather, you are the soul of a fellow
Human, perching on the treetop
Speechless, as if meditating over
Life, as if recalling your prayers


December 28, 2015
—A dream like this one is worthy of a whole lifetime.

I don’t know whether it’s my other self
Or my inner being, but I did climb high
Up to the top of a castle on a mountain
Where I envisioned a whole valley full

Of blue mists, covering bold buildings
Of a lost civilization; in the towering
Background stands a stark mountain
Chain, where a wide deep river of stilllife

Flows through a Yggdrasil-like forest, and
Beside the open balcony sits a small pond
Surrounded by rice fields. I went to the
Waterside, and caught a feathered butterfly

As big as the kite I used to fly; its wings are
Brownish, like the color of my eyes; its feathers
Are as fine as light and as soft as the dust
Falling from the sky in Zhuangzi’s dream

Yuan Changming, 9-time Pushcart nominee and author of seven chapbooks, published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver, and has poetry appearing in Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review, and elsewhere.