By Yuan Changming
Speech Acts: Another Lesson in Chinese Characters
说 /shuo/: to say is to make an exchange in words 语 /yu/: language is defined in terms of what I say 课 /ke/: a lesson should be learned by talking about the result 谎 /huang/: to lie is to throw a remark from the wasteland 论 /lun/: to argue means to speak in a logic way 议 /yi/: discussions are utterances about isms 读 /du/: reading entails commenting on what’s sold 记 /ji/: to memorize is to talk to oneself 诺 /nuo/: promising means talking against many an if
Even in this very moment My mind is full Of struggling presences Such is Always the case: The moment its door opens It is infused with whims & wishes I stop to squeeze out Each bubbling perception But it always returns in a deformed form To occupy the vacated room Which has held part of me You long to become mindful Of a spiritual vacuum Yet it never allows for The briefest moment of emptiness
While the iron Is hot. Cheers While we have Wine to drink Speak out aloud While our throats Are not cut yet Keep eyes open while The butterfly passes In sight. Wait While the best Is yet to come Water the flower While it is still Fresh & tender Reserve a seat Up in heaven While the dream Continues. Take The Way, & feel Happy while Our hearts beat With hope
Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations, poetry awards as well as publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17),& BestNewPoemsOnline,among others.