by ENLING LIAO (Australia)
Issue 2.1 April 2020
Here. Touch my moving
Tram door—feel the
Heat and noise of day. Feel your fingers, granules against a
Rough and rusted world.
A thin sheet of steel—ragged
Sixty k’s an hour clanging softly over
I am swinging, briskly against a tumbling,
Tin foil shudders as we
Brake and shimmy into Bungendore.
Back towards felled eucalypts lining.
The newest crimson dragon flies from one street to another
With a cry.
Globality, and the transfer of
ah, wo hao, ni hao—
Gong xi fa cai; we import culture too
As bao buns and soy sauce .
Cross-country race by carnival days and once barren
Wastelands now a
Melting cooker of hot-pot stew.
I am back home in a
Suddenly—thirty-two nights without seeing a star
Bright shining, good luck, good luck for me.
Cai are the riches littered on restaurant tables
Pebbles far in on the Qingdao sea . . .
When we swerve past a bridged sallow forest on an economy
Return train to Kingston shores,
I pull towards the dirty
Windows, and look above the
In this city of ruffled lakes and Telstra Tower
Mourning gums and Singaporean nights,
Gucci uni t-shirts and nameless skyscape lights;
I see mushroom grandmothers cracked-tooth grin and yawn their backs
Fuschia flower blouses, bamboo canes and Zimmer frames
Off the 343, watch it waddle into the day.
I stand on the central
Paved, paving stone
Carving roads and turning myths
And we are all there—
Congregated, solemn, dancing, ones by ones and eights by eights, on this
Enling Liao, a 16-year-old Year 12 student from Australia, started writing early in childhood and since then has forever returned to it as a source of comfort, expression, and a fabulous pastime. She particularly loves the lyrical side of writing and seeing how music and words can overlap in art.