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Out of Guilin
by Wilda Morris

We follow the Lijiang River
past limestone peaks
so often painted on scrolls,
each peak unique,
its outline clearly silhouetted
against pastel blue-grey sky.
In sunlight, it's a lazy river
where children swim,
water buffalo bathe.

But the peaks are so mysterious
in fog or mist they spill
legends into nightfall–
stories of parted lovers,
sons slipping through sinkholes
to the center of the earth,
dragons with scales
and saw-toothed backs,
rendezvous with ravenous bears.

Watch as fishermen send out
their cormorants to catch fish
and treacherous tales.


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