Although my knees were wracked
with issues that morning,
I ambled along Fude Street
with a sack of journals,
pens, watercolors
and a camera
on my way to Nangang Park.

Past our 7-Eleven
and the guy who makes those exquisite
onion pastries,
and the sidewalk café where old men guzzle
Taiwan pijou
and yack about politics
after hiking for hours on Elephant Mountain,
and another 7-Eleven
heavy with high schoolers on window stools
sipping milk tea and studying English
so that later in life
they will lack for nothing,
and a third with a fleet of baby strollers
backed up to the curb,
and past stone and gold gods
staring out from their storefront
I came across a small pond
at the edge of which gathered
a pod of ecstatic photographers
shooting a galinula galeata
through PVC pipe telephotos
bracketed to their Nikons
and powerful enough to capture the moon.

I continued on a block or two,
retracted my steps
back to pod central,
whipped out out my Cannon Powershot XS 700,
a compact,
snapped the uncommonly cobalt
swamp chicken
afloat with her liquid blue reflection,
then moved on to a bench at Nangang Park
under a common fig tree
which I painted
air roots and all
though its blood-red spider mites
thwacked me
like comets with legs,
on the head.

4 thoughts on “On the Way to Nangang

  1. This is a great piece–melodic, seductive, encapsulating–the concision and beat and assonance–and the detail that manages to drum it along–not getting in the way, not distracting us from ‘the dream,’ but rather entering us into this wall of sound—immediately I felt the resonance of Han Shan passing the torch to Gary Snyder passing it to you—the echoes so strikingly seamless as to be one long aria of tradition and seeking–one that occurs with reverence and wonder–thick with rumination and reflection, ultimately taking such a close gandering at all that bewitches soul and spirit, finding amid it all, the self drenched in this kind of sensory music.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, jd, I need to go lie on a bed of mint! You’ve made me dizzy with this beautiful comment. I will hang it on the wall above my desk and try to live up to its ideal each day, like Shan beyond Shan beyond Shan. 謝謝


    • Thanks, Julie! I’ve really been enjoying writing poems about Taiwan. I’ve actually written 25 since the beginning of April, but have been so busy that I haven’t had time to post. I need to get on that!


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