Poetry / March 2016 (Issue 31)


Epochal Metamorphosis At Taroko Gorge In Hualien, Taiwan

by Karen An-hwei Lee

1.

Gorge to the east curves nine times,
rugged                           mason jaw
where labourers vanished in avalanches
while carving a remote mountain road
           of flumes,
           weathered faces in profile,
                    jade hairpins of the river —

one missing step
                            in a loose footbridge
lost in a reflection of the dairy maid
and shepherd, lovers
                memorialised by constellations.


2.

Taroko means beautiful
            in indigenous Truku mouths,

bird-grottoes
            of the gorge, monochrome cliffs
where swallows
                         scissor eternal spring
in the epochal metamorphosis
            of black marble hewn into halls

where Liwu River pours copper-colored
bones of mineral schist
                                      or gneiss
drumming in tongues of rain.
 
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