For the past half century, I have never seen
A single frog in this city, not even in the whole country
But there are four big-mouthed frogs leaping around
Afar in a ricefield of my native village, four frogs
Squatting under the rotten bridge on the way leading
To my junior high school, four frogs playing on a big
Lotus leaf in my heart, four frogs calling constantly
From the dark pages of history invisible at midnight
Four frogs meditating under a puti tree transplanted
In a nature park, four frogs swimming into a fish net
Like bloated tadpoles, the same four frogs whose
Monotoned songs resonating aloud in different tongues
With different pitches, yes, the four frogs still there
Yuan Changming, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of 5 chapbooks, is the world’s most widely published poetry author who speaks Mandarin but writes English. With a PhD in English, Changming currently edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver and has poetry appearing in 1059 literary publications across 36 countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Threepenny Review and Vallum.
To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.
Vallum magazine is also available in digital format. Featuring additional content such as: AUDIO and VIDEO recordings of selected poets, further poems, interviews, essays, and MORE!