Yang Chen

We are in a moment of existential twilight…

On a rooftop gazing over subtle Kunming
Yang Chen and I bore testament
while fading day and the burn of coal
consumed the visible in an urban chalice
here one fifth of the living humans
stoke their surging wishes nightwards
surely I once flowed here also in a life
I sense it in the lone opera singer’s howl

You cannot change China
he bestowed part warning, part asking
part basking in the ephemeral duskdrop
It is not what I’m wishing,
My friend of this moment
But merely to see her and inhale,
Thinking on how the earthy pragmatics
of this vouchsafed wisdom will refract
When Christianity reveals its true being
In a form no one alive expects.


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  1. I too have heard the lone
    opera singer howl, R.S.
    perhaps as a timely warning
    of a fire dragon on the prowl
    in the year of the water tiger
    meanwhile all creation
    anxiously awaits
    the turning of the dial


  2. I felt your poem, so open-ended, open to a reader’s straying thoughts, or looking for comparisons they too have experienced on hazy coal dust afternoons. My mind went right into, “basking in the ephemeral duskdrop” Your descriptions delicious, your end of the world hints..intriguing.


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