Directory of Destiny (2)

Photograph by Joshua K. Jackson on Unsplash.

 – Believe it or not, the ancient Chinese 5-Agent Principle accounts for us all.

 1/ Water (born in a year ending in 2 or 3)
-helps wood but hinders fire; helped by metal but hindered by earth
with her transparent tenderness
coded with colorless violence
she is always ready to support
or sink the powerful boat
                        sailing south

2/ Wood (born in a year ending 4 or 5)
-helps fire but hinders earth; helped by water but hindered by metal
rings in rings have been opened or broken
like echoes that roll from home to home
each containing fragments of green
trying to tell their tales
                  from the forests depths

 3/ Fire (born in a year ending 6 or 7)
-helps earth but hinders metal; helped by wood but hindered by water
your soft power bursting from your ribcage
as enthusiastic as a phoenix is supposed to be
when you fly your lipless kisses
you reach out your hearts
                        until they are all broken

 4/ Earth (born in a year ending in 8 or 9)
-helps metal but hinders water; helped by fire but hindered by wood
I think not; therefore, I am not
what I am, but I have a color
the skin my heart wears inside out
tattooed intricately
            with footprints of history

 5/ Metal (born in a year ending in 0 or 1)
-helps water but hinders wood; helped by earth but hindered by fire
he used to be totally dull-colored
because he came from the earths inside
now he has become a super-conductor
for cold words, hot pictures and light itself
            all being transmitted through his throat 

YUAN CHANGMING published monographs on translation before leaving China. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver; credits include ten Pushcart nominations, the 2018 Naji Naaman’s Literary (Honour) Prize, Best of the Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline and nearly 1500 others worldwide.


Featured image: Photograph by Joshua K. Jackson on Unsplash.

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