Monday, March 29, 2010

The River Li (1)

First, I will tell how the river changed. How it turned from sluggish lake

with shallow bed, to something more constrained and deeper. I shall tell too of riversides

that, almost at once, became scattered with small peaks. Like something spilled, like sand piling up

in the bottom bulb of a ancient clock. And then there was the sound of pebbles

beneath. How they ground into more sand beneath the hull, how the engines roared and laboured, how the guide declared he'd never known the water to be so shallow, how he worried for my flight.

The sun retreated. Distant hills turned shades of blue and grey

rose up and became the shapes of gods, magical animals and frozen people as obvious as constellations of stars.

I dreamt then of an upturning; of a sand-peak becoming a sand-sea, and an emperor displaced

with another, and another, and another. And the land, it just stood for a while and waited - as immutable as his warriors of fired clay.


Blogger Angie said...

WoW, I have never seen mountains with these kind of shapes! Wonderful pictures!!!

Mon Mar 29, 10:32:00 am  
Anonymous Debra Hamel said...

What strange profiles those hills have.

Mon Mar 29, 12:44:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Angie: your next trip, perhaps! Highly recommend...

Debra: they have indeed - it is Karst scenery, apparently. I think there may be something like it in (old) Yugoslavia but I'm not sure. I'm not sure how they're formed either, but this place was full of them.

Mon Mar 29, 06:34:00 pm  
Blogger Angie said...

If I didn't know you took these pictures, I would say they are very much like water paintings! I can know understand where the chinese paintings come from and how some artists could not resist from painting them.

I wish, but I really doubt Tom would go! I am not brave enough to go on my own like you did! I would have to have someone with me.

Mon Mar 29, 08:04:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Yes, that's it exactly, Angie - this place is one of the main inspirations for Chinese art.

I reckon Tom would, you know. After all, he went to India and that's just next door...well, almost...:-)

Mon Mar 29, 09:40:00 pm  
Blogger jem said...

Beautiful piece. Like a photo poem. I really felt you were taking me with you. Incredible hills, they look quite unstable.

Tue Apr 06, 12:36:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thanks very much, Jem!

Tue Apr 06, 07:48:00 pm  

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation.

<< Home