Rain Sparrow

by Changming  Yuan (March 2024)

Little Sparrow, by Alexander Dobkin, 1961-62


Rain Sparrow
This poem is inspired by Qi Hong (祁红)

________Above this wild wild world covered
______ With layers and layers and layers
______Of red dust, my selfhood
_____Has long been tired
____Tired of flying
___Flying alone
__Day & night

But where can I perch?
Do I have a nest at all?

__O for a solid
___Respite before
____Continuing my lonely
_____Flight, snuggling my inner-
______Most being in the heart of your
______  Soul, and settling my weathered body
________Right at the A-spot of your tenderness




A deep double-
Throat, singing
From beyond
Heaven (or hell)
Echoing in nature
As it finds itself
____Heard in
A human voice
Like a whale’s call
By its like
Even afar across
The whole Pacific



Winter Wait

With their most tender touches, snowflakes
Have painted the whole night white
Including the darkest corner in sight
________Even within a forgotten dream

Except the plum tree, standing alone there
________Under the eastern sky, whose
Flowers are blooming boldly against
The entire season, more vibrant than blood



The Tuner: a 50-Word Trilogy

In the mid-teens
You gave me a tuner
In Mayuhe, which I’ve

Treasured as a love-token
For five decades (when
We remained totally
Lost to each other
On Earth’s opposite sides)
Until now after horizontal

Refreshments you clarify
You had just meant to help
Set the tune for my erhu



East vs West: A Synoptic Cultural Comparison

During the great flood
Noah hid himself in the ark
________While Dayu tried to contain it
________With his bare hands

Prometheus stole fire
From Olympian gods
________While Sui Ren got it
________By drilling wood hard

Smart Daedalus crafted wings
To fly away from his prison-tower
________While Old Fool removed the whole
________Mountain blocking his way

Helios enjoyed driving his chariot
All along in the sky
________While Kuafu chased the sun
________To take it down & tame it

Sisyphus rolls the boulder uphill
Because of his deceitfulness, while
________Wu Gang cuts the laurel as a punishment
________For distractions in learning



I/我, U/你 & E/伊: a Modest Proposal

As classic Chinese suggests, we can
Reasonably attain linguistic equality
In English as long as we all agree
To use I, still for the first person singular
But U for the second, &
E for the third

All single-lettered
All capitalized
All sexes inclusive
Either case applicable, subject or object
& all equal in creation as
In speech acts

So, say after I:
I Love U
U love E
E loves us all


Table of Contents


Yuan Changming edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include 12 Pushcart nominations for poetry and 2 for fiction besides appearances in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17), BestNewPoemsOnline and 2019 other literary outlets worldwide. A poetry judge for Canada’s 2021 National Magazine Awards, Yuan began writing and publishing fiction in 2022.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New English Review Press is a priceless cultural institution.
                              — Bruce Bawer

Order here or wherever books are sold.

The perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Order on Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Order on Amazon or Amazon UK or wherever books are sold

Order at Amazon, Amazon UK, or wherever books are sold. 

Order at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Available at Amazon US, Amazon UK or wherever books are sold.

Send this to a friend