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

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

Yuan Changming

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 2079 other literary outlets across 49 countries. A poetry judge for Canada's 2021 National Magazine Awards, Yuan began writing and publishing fiction in 2022.