Epilogues: A Parallel Poem

By Changming Yuan

Just as both God and Devil are man’s incarnation, so are Heaven and Hell both man’s construction.



From the front yard of a melodious morning

From the busy road of a sweet Saturday

From the moist corner of a heavy March

From the back lane of pale winter

We have come, here and now, all gathering

In big crowds gathering in big crowds

Gathering in ever-bigger crowds gathering

For the boat to cross the wide wild waters

Before the fairy ferry is fated to fall

Under our feet too heavy with earthy mud



You may well hate Charon

But you cannot help feeling envious:

That business of carrying the diseased

Across the River Styx is ever so prosperous

The only monopoly in the entire universe

That has a market share

Larger than the market itself


Daydreaming, on this side

Of the river, how you might wish

To be an entrepreneur like him

A successful American dreamer



Flying between sea and sky

Between day and night

Amid heavenly or oceanic blue

I lost all my references

To any timed space

Or a localized time

Except the non-stop snorting

Of a stranger neighbor


Then, beyond the snorts rising here

And more looming there

I see tigers, lions, leopards

And other kinds of hunger-throated predators

Darting out of every passenger’s heart

Running amuck around us

As if released from a huge cage

As if in a dreamland



Changming Yuan, author of Chansons of a Chinaman and 4-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in rural China and published several monographs before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan teaches independently in Vancouver and has poetry appear in nearly 470 literary journals/anthologies across 19 countries, including Asia Literary  Review, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, Poetry Kanto, Poetry Salzburg, SAND and Taj Mahal Review.

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