between two tall skeletons of birches
i walk right into the heart of mid-autumn
with the city gate as my starting point
but without any predetermined destination

along a less frequently trodden trail
i keep traveling behind my own soul
each time I climb onto a little ridge
i see another higher up just ahead

it is not a question of uphill or downhill
nor a choice between two different roads
once standing on the peak to look back
i find all mountains so surprisingly small


Mike Yuan, also known as Yuan Zhengming in Chinese, is a 5-time Pushcart nominee and author of two poetry collections. Growing up in a remote and impoverished village in central China, Mike received his post-secondary education in Shanghai and Tianjin, worked as a college lecturer and published several monographs in addition to many journal articles before moving to Canada as an international student. With a PhD in English from the University of Saskatchewan, Mike currently lives and works as a property manager in Vancouver. Since mid-2005, Mike Yuan has had poetry appear in more than 700 literary magazines and anthologies across 27 countries.

Last updated August 27, 2013