- Believe it or not, the ancient Chinese 5-Agent Principle accounts for us all. 1/ Water (born in a year ending in 2 or 3) -helps wood but hinders fire; helped by metal but hindered by earth with her transparent tenderness coded with colorless violence she is always ready to support or sink the powerful boat sailing south 2/ Wood (born in a year ending 4 or 5) -helps fire but hinders earth; helped by water but hindered by metal rings in rings have been opened or broken like echoes that roll from home to home each containing fragments of green trying to tell their tales from the forest’s depths 3/ Fire (born in a year ending 6 or 7) -helps earth but hinders metal; helped by wood but hindered by water your soft power bursting from your ribcage as enthusiastic as a phoenix is supposed to be when you fly your lipless kisses you reach out your hearts until they are all broken 4/ Earth (born in a year ending in 8 or 9) -helps metal but hinders water; helped by fire but hindered by wood i think not; therefore, I am not what I am, but I have a color the skin my heart wears inside out tattooed intricately with footprints of history 5/ Metal (born in a year ending in 0 or 1) -helps water but hinders wood; helped by earth but hindered by fire he used to be totally dull-colored because he came from the earth’s inside now he has become a super-conductor for cold words, hot pictures and light itself all being transmitted through his throat
Changming Yuan, four-time Pushcart nominee and author of Allen Qing Yuan, holds a PhD in English, teaches independently and edits Poetry Pacific in Vancouver. Yuan’s poetry appears in 629 literary publications across 24 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, LiNQ, London Magazine, Poetry Kanto, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Salzburg, SAND and Taj Mahal Reivew. Poetry submissions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.