Poetry / March 2016 (Issue 31)

Epochal Metamorphosis At Taroko Gorge In Hualien, Taiwan

by Karen An-hwei Lee


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.


Taroko means beautiful
            in indigenous Truku mouths,

            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.
Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.