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A student practices working the fields with a water buffalo. Photo by Ming-Jiu-Li, China Summer Program.

A poem on the way to Hongyuan

刚进入红原县 Upon entering Hongyuan County

就被堵在了这个县最南端的 At its southernmost border, we were blocked

刷经寺镇外 Outside of the Temple for Printing Scriptures.


车队盘绕在山间水边的二级公路上 The cars were wrapped, snakelike between river and mountains, along the county road

这条名叫“来苏河”的长江支流 The river, a branch of the Yangtze called “Laisu,”

一路伴随我们北上 Following us as we journey northwards.


天气明显凉下来 The weather has cooled

同学们纷纷加起衣服来 Students one by one layer themselves in warmer clothes

有的还做起了俯卧撑 Some do push-ups to stay warm


我小跑上山找厕所 I walk up the mountain in search of a toilet

发现喘得厉害 Discovering my breathing is labored

这才意识到这里海拔已过三千 I realize that we are over 300 meters in altitude.


山间一个小村落 Between the mountains, a small village

手扶拖拉机和朴素木质房子相映成趣 A composition of hand-pushed tractors and simple wooden homes

风中看到经幡 In the wind, prayer flags fluttering

眺望着暗绿的山林 Surrounding, the deep green of the mountain forest

聆听着来苏河与鹧鸪鸟的吟唱 I overhear the Laisu river and partridge calls echoing through the valley

天色渐渐暗下来 The sky slowly darkening.

(translated by Jonas Crimm)