Lesson One in Chinese Character/s: a Bilinguacultural Poem about Heart

感:/găn/ perception takes place

when salt rubs in to the open wound of the heart

闷: /mēn/ depressed whenever your heart is

shut behind a door

忌:/jì/ jealousy implies

there being one’s self only in the heart

悲:/bēi/ sorrow comes

from the negation of the heart

惑:/huò/ confusion occurs

when there are too many an ‘or’ over the heart

忠:/zhōng/ loyalty remains

as long as the heart is kept right at the center

恥:/chǐ/ shame is the feel

you get when your ear conflicts with your heart

怒: /nù/ anger influxes when slavery

rises from above the heart

愁: /chóu/ worry thickens as autumn

sits high on your heart

忍:/rěn/ tolerance is the ability to bear a knife

straightly above your heart

忘: /wàng/ forgetting happens

when there’s death on heart

意: /yì/ meaning is defined as

a sound over the heart

思: /sī/ thought takes place

within the field of heart

恩: /ēn/ kindness is

a reliance on the heart

Yuan Changming started to learn the English alphabet in Shanghai at age nineteen. With a Canadian PhD in English, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include twelve nominations for The Pushcart Prize, fifteen chapbooks, and appearances in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008–17), Best New Poems Online, and Poetry Daily, among 1989 others, across forty-nine countries. Yuan was a poetry judge for Canada’s 2021 National Magazine Awards. Early in 2022, Yuan began writing and publishing fiction.