Two Poems


Salizan Takisvilainan


/  in translation by C. J. Anderson-Wu






A Walk in the Clouds



Following the ridgeline

walking into the clouds 3200 meters high

Standing at the peak of Hainsaran

using a keyboard

typing ancestral

narratives word by word


The mountains described by elders

Masuzukan, Hainitunang, Wuwanoshin

Utava, Dahun, Bulaksang

are saved in the cloud


Stories from elders

Crabs and gigantic snakes in the Jade Mountain

The first millet field in Ulamun Mountain

Battles against Japanese colonialists in Mun-Davan

are saved in the cloud


At a small corner of the tablet

a file folder named “Little Prince”

is added with a

little rose that can’t be copied or pasted







Report from the Mountain



Friends under the clouds, this is from the sheltering cabin in Jiaming Lake. Reply if you hear us.


Drifting in the clouds for ten days now.


The current situation observed from the cabin: Peaks still visible are Bulaksang, Hainsaran, Minataz, and Kavulungan. Other peaks are hidden in the clouds.


Climbers who compete to reach one-hundred peaks, carriers of fuel, food and drinks, young guys showing off their fancy gear, influencers on social media, travelers looking for Angel’s Tear instead of the Mirror of the Moon, hikers conquering 3200M but failing to go up to the upper layer of a bunk bed, hipsters pursuing romantic solitude in amazing scenery, porters carrying 30 kilo packs and still having fun, cooks who feed these mountain lovers, and cleaners make sure no trace is left, all are present now.



The temperature is 4 at this moment, thick fog, flowing water, and my literary soul is very much inspired.


Friends under the clouds, is my message too long?









Indigenous Bunun writer from Taiwan, Salizan Takisvilainan’s I Am Looking For A Bottle of Good Wine In A Library was the winner of the 2016 Gold Medal of Taiwan Literature Award, the highest honor of Taiwan’s literature.  His latest book Carrying Mountains with their Tumpline—the Story of Bunun Mountain Guides, Porters, and Forest Patrols, was a finalist of the 2020 Taiwan Literature Award.  In order to preserve the Bunun language, Salizan Takisvilainan established Tastubuqul tu maduq i malas-Bunun tu papatasanan (A String of Millet Independent Tribal Language Studios) and started documenting words from tribal elders so the disappearing Bunun culture might be retrieved back little by little. 


C. J. Anderson-Wu is a writer and translator from Taiwan, her writing focuses on political injustice.  She is a board member of the Taiwan Indigenous PEN.  C. J. Anderson-Wu’s Facebook page is /cjandersonwu1



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