by Changming Yuan

While all my fellow humans hope to
Enter heaven after they die, I am alone
Living in paradise already:

An earthly realm I have built myself
With the light from Lapland, where the setting sun
Shines with the morning glows above golden snow

The air from Shangri-la, where the yin
And yang are in pure and perfect balance with
Each other in every grass, every cloud

The water from Waterton Lakes, which
Reflect the mountain of trees as clearly
As the mountain reflects upon the clear water

That’s all my spirit needs, not the fragments
Of the meaning about Eden long lost
But the whole backyard within my solitary heart

Changming Yuan, eight-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China, holds a PhD in English, and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan and operates PP Press. Most recently interviewed by [PANK] and World Poetry [CFRO100.5FM], Changming’s poetry has appeared in Asia Literary Review, Best Canadian Poetry (2009;12), BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, Threepenny Review and 829 other publications across 28 countries.