While all my fellow humans hope to
Enter heaven after they die, I am alone
Living in paradise already:

An earthly realm I have built myself
With the light from Lapland, where the setting sun
Shines with the morning glows, above golden snow

The air from Shangri-La, where the yin
And yang are in pure and perfect balance with
Each other in every blade of grass, every cloud

The water from Waterton Lakes, which
Reflect the mountain of trees as clearly
As the mountain reflects upon the clear water

That’s all my spirit needs, not the fragments
Of meaning about Eden long lost
But the whole backyard within my solitary heart

[Yuan Changming, an 8-time Pushcart nominee, grew up in rural China, started to learn English at nineteen and published several monographs on translation before moving to Canada. Currently co-editing Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver, Yuan has poetry appearing  in 1019 literary publications across thirty-two countries, including Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Cincinnati Review and Threepenny Review.]