Welcome to something we’re calling Bloc Features. It will be a collection of some of the finest work from literary journals from Australia and abroad as well as extracts from debut novelists. On top of this, we’re also going to be selecting one piece each month from our workshop to sit alongside these wonderful stories.
And to kick it all off, we’re proud to share with you a suite of poems from Allen Qing Yuan, originally published in Poetry Pacific.
China Charm: For Yuan Lai
Blood-red intertwined thread of life
Passing through a shadowed low point
The lid, lukewarm, dulled and dusty
Inside the glass of time
A five-year-old grain of rice
Remains odorless and recognisable
With it, a petite pretty green blue flower
Flourishing without air,
Its potential limited by its surroundings.
In scripted onto the smooth
Yellow-tinged surface of the rice
Are yuan qing, my Chinese name
Looking like two Taoist drawings
It is a single small grain,
But I never forget the wide summer fields
Swaying back and forth without a creak or swish
It hangs high on the high lamp head
Much like the dreams of China in my head
A Charming charm indeed
Restrained but living
Living but not thriving.
Every Youthful Moment
Paving his own
Road, never backing
He does what he wants,
How he wants,
When he wants,
Making the light shine.
He has faith
He’s facing towards.
Enjoying the golden age,
Remembering every page,
Of his life,
Written or unwritten,
He gives it his all, hoping he will not
Every youthful moment.
Chasing the Pacific Star
Air gyres crowd into the boy
As he dashes through the clouds of hope
Surfing on a wish
He descends to the touchy ocean
A salty breeze gushes from underneath
A spring of refreshing motivation
The flaring sun eagerly follows him like a bright shadow
Intimidating mountains forcibly rise, but are capped
From the serene, misty horizon
Where a bleached bird loudly flaps its wings away
Upgrading his life board,
With exhilarating dreams
As he dashes through the clouds of hope
Waltz of the Cherry Blossoms
Two rebels break from the formation during the finale,
Desiring to demonstrate their own worth
The other performers swirl and spin together,
But the couple twirls all over
Up & down a graceful, invisible roller-coaster
Rising as high as divine entertainers
Their pinkness is not utter embarrassment;
But rather pure passion and devotion
The pack would be proud
If not for the ferocious metallic monster
Who displays the most
Overwhelming performance of all
Green, Yellow, Red
Yet again I missed the light
What could have been
What should have been
My chance to burst to
The frontier of the background
Defining the jagged shimmer
Of the tender life force
But I wait, pondering
Is this a pre-carved destiny?
An aim, beyond ambition
Green, Yellow, Red
Staring menacingly at all observers
You being the greatest observer of all
Claws scraping the loose earth
Scaly tail weaving through the sky
Rocky exterior grinding rock
Squinty eyes seeing all
And you wonder
What more is beyond this glass?
A transcending wheel of regrets
Sprouts forth wisps of choices.
Which world shall you conquer?
A directory of multiple screens,
Different routes, the same ending,
Where everything is really fake
But the enjoyment is surreally real.
An unhappy fairytale, an enchanted traveler
Bestowed with the gears of the mind.
A clockwork so extensive,
It has gone digital
Like a boy at the toy store,
He plays with what isn’t his,
A remote controller browsing fake realities.
Films of futuristic memories
Resurface on calm waters.
A beautiful portrayal distorted by the ripples of time.
One-time routines, impossible horrors, desired fantasies
Forged in the darkness of Helios
Shattered by glows of the god.
A current future passing,
A thought remaining unexplored
What could tonight’s dreams hold?
Full of the promising young, and the promised old
This kaleidoscope-like urban cityscape
Stuttering in broken circles of light
Across the geared, cyan skyline
No being cynical
Until all sides are hypotenuses
But it’s your life, don’t make it a brutal brawl
The clash of (common) creeds,
Is all I need to make sure that
There is not only me
Everyone’s values are today’s splendid, Splenda society
Making life sweet
It’s so wonderful--
To be you and me
to defeat monsters, he has long since sacrificed his humanity
his heightened sense of vengeance bloats into a colossal skeleton
thick sinews and muscle strands of his frustration intertwine
outreaching like twilight as the sun sets behind great walls
his black hair flowing like crows flocking for food
his eyes glowing green of what was once the foolish innocence of adolescence
his derailed teeth expelling furious vapours between the cracks
his devilish ears pointing towards some secret in the western sky
his narrow brutish tongue spitting nothing but whims and revenge
and as he stomps and stomps, pounds and pounds
all his limbs into this entity he hates
with steam gushing out of the areas of contact
with disintegrating parts of his body blindly slamming into structures
his giant shape finally stumbles down, wondering
whether evil sheds tears inwardly
Blue, Beyond the Blues
Head rested on his hand, mimicking a comfort he once had
He spent every evening looking out the window
The girl had long departed, like a tugboat leaving no trace
On the water, except for the anchor pit under the waves
And he could hear the foamy sounds across the season
That resonated with the relationship between see and sky
Memories frolicking on the keys of black and white
Though with a harsh tune, it led to a harmonious epiphany
That nostalgia could be more dangerous than heartbreak
That he had always loved her; and that was his heartache
Spring echoed of the finest chords with all his unsung songs
Her reply was a slow wave pushed back to the summer’s beach
There blows another yet familiar salty breeze, once more
He reaches out his inner arms high to embrace the horizon
Edited and selected by Raphaelle Race.
Selected for re-publication in Bloc Features is a short collection of poems by Allen Qing Yuan, a gifted 20-year-old Canadian poet. Allen’s work is truly representative of Poetry Pacific's oeuvre and style, not only because it embodies what we believe to be the ‘best’ poetry: short and suggestive, but also because he is among the most popular poets we have published thus far in our e.journal.
As the editor of Spillway, Pedestal and In Posse Review, Susan Terris, has put it, “Allen Qing Yuan is a gifted poet with a keen eye for detail and imagery. His work is lyrical yet still well-grounded in the many worlds he traverses in his poetry. His poems have, at the same time, boldness yet tenderness.”
Allen Qing Yuan
Allen Qing Yuan, born in Vancouver in 1995, is a two-time Pushcart nominee and the author of Traffic Light (2013). Currently attending the University of British Columbia as a business major, Allen has had poetry appearing in more than 70 literary publications across 16 countries, which include Cordite Poetry Review, Literary Review of Canada, Poetry Kanto, Shampoo, Taj Mahal Review and Two Thirds North. Allen is also the co-founder of a popular local clothing brand Above the Movement.