In the Forest of Life

by Mike Yuan

like an open cage
like a free hotel
my balcony has become a home
to many wild city birds
pigeons philosophizing in private
seagulls stalking with arrogance
crows beaking at unseen seeds
sparrows quarreling non-stop
on the branched-out railings
behind the dusk dyed wall
sometimes all alone
more often in company
looking out of my wingless window
i find myself to be one of them
coming to perch here by chance
but ready to flee by need

(sept.11, 2004)


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 November 27, 2013