Featured Poet Archives / Yuan Changming


While the summer sun is shining
Through the whole universe, it fails
To penetrate your yellowish skin to
Dispel the harsh season within your
Body. Yes, just as the Chinese doctor says

Ever since you caught a cold at the age
Of eight, the coldness has occupied
Your inner being, especially your spine
Where it has frozen the balanced flow of
Your qi and blood, thus making your disks bulge
Or herniate. That’s why you must raise the sun

Above the horizon; raise it high, Son, higher with
Each persistent try against your inner sky
To soften all the coldness within your base chakra
To make the whole winter melt completely until all
Your meridians become soft, warm, resilient


Author’s Note:  My 20-year-old younger son Allen Qing Yuan, who has published poetry across 16 countries since grade 10, began to have a long-lingering disc problem in 2008. This poem was inspired by the diagnosis made recently by Dr. Zhuo Tongnian, a world-famous TMC doctor based in Vancouver. Another parallel poem, titled “Inner Drought,” appeared in Words and Images in  2011.


Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks (including The Origin of Letters [2015]), grew up in rural China, became an ESL student at 19, and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan currently co-edits Poetry Pacific (poetrypacific.blogspot.ca) with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver and, since mid-2005, has had poetry appearing  in 1039 literary publications across 34 countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, Best New Poems Online, Cincinnati Review, and Threepenny Review.