The Eighth Original Writing Competition

Junior High School Group

Platinum Award


Written by Li Jiaxuan,
Qianjinlu Junior High School Group, Weinan City, Shaanxi Province
Date: October, 2020


Clothed in sky-blue and white, aim the long arrow; The roiling Yellow River delicately spins caltrop flowers; Linger to enjoy the falling snow; Transform anxious bluster into enduring majesty.

Mountains in beautiful contention, scenes of presumptive assuredness; Spring’s chill adorns the mist-cloaked road that leads back home. Aloof and distant, clouds billow and disperse, failing utterly to outshine the Yellow River. Oh, Yellow River, stolidly holding your ground with mountains as your mighty arms, you exalt China and nourish her children!

Age-old camel bells, the gurgle of flowing water, each pressing incessantly onward. It is like our persistent pursuit of vaguely formed dreams or like a brilliantly festooned dance, touching gently upon my heart with a sonorous, ancient voice reverberating in my ears.

Daubs of Ink 


Deft whirls of the brush boldly evince the outline of majestic mountains, sustaining the flames of heritage across the generations. This brilliant legacy, brought to life in Yellow River’s turbid flow. For countless millennia, its voice has echoed in its origin in the Bayan Har Mountains. It sumptuous setting has inspired master artists to depict such desolate, lonely landscapes. Looking over the Yellow River, the world seems softly silent. With clouds passed, mists dispersed, and winds calmed, all is quiet. Timeless whitecaps churn as they have across five millennia. Their heritage runs as deep as that of inks. The Yangshao of the ancient Central Plain, China’s ‘Eden’ of 6,000 years past, built there cities here along the Yellow River. The ink of this river created the beautiful coat that define this, the center of Chinese civilization.

Thunderous Roar


You flow beneath a cloud filled sky and rush pell-mell across the land, even the vociferously churning deep blue sea can’t hold a candle to you. Your awesome power holds sway over the plunging Tianqian and the surging Hukou Waterfalls. Your thunderous roar shakes the heavens. Your far reach cuts across mountains and across vast and barren terrain that has for centuries made kings, vanquished invaders, and frustrated heroes. How many irreconcilable differences lie buried in your deepest depths? Is the roar of your flowing waters the echo of the unrequited passions of countless souls across time? Moss washes off the Xuanyuan tableland; the divine is religion; and the Yellow River is salvation!

As light fades in the east, the thunderous noise of that vast belt of churning, yellow river water continues to move time’s condensed brilliant coat.

The Finale


Watching the sunset at the railing, the roiling current washes away the dust of the journey and sweeps the cobwebs from my mind. The azure, cloud-filled sky and the Yellow River’s gorgeous coat hove into view, eliciting within me a desire that temporarily takes me away from all else. At night, all remains well along the river, with countless lights flickering, making the entire scene glow. Fields carpeted in camellia enliven my spirit and add daubs of brilliant color to the Yellow River’s finery.

Dead languages lay buried here in the red dust. Wakened from their slumber they get carried away on the Yellow River’s flow. To the four corners of the earth, are memories truly everlasting? Through a myriad adversities, tributaries unite in harmony. Is this how it came about? Lovers come hand in hand. Wind, flowers, snow and the moon are the stuff of true romance. Under intoxicating lamplight, I listen to your soothingly gurgling flow that further accentuates your nighttime romantic airs.


Across space and time, it is truly a devoted affair. This great river rises in distant, towering mountains and flows mightily into the Eastern Sea, brushing as it passes the heart and soul of the Chinese nation. Spring breezes, willow trees, and maelstroms rejuvenate and reinvigorate this river. Her splashes upon my cheeks are like a mother’s loving kiss.

I watch her surging might and endless vitality. The waves in her deep-set channels roiling forth one upon the other reverberate too in the depths of my soul. Evening clouds close ranks and the golden setting sun shines bright upon sandy riverside banks. Walking here reminds me of the countless footprints I have made here before, weaving my devoted passions into the very origins of Chinese culture. Whitecaps on the river are an impressive sight to behold. Superimposed one upon the other. The air is unusually clean and crisp. Here in the embrace of ‘Mother River’, I breathe easy, jealously inhaling her unique aromas. It’s like cuddling up into the petals of a delicate, small flower. Nothing is as sweet and warm as a mother’s loving embrace.

I silently, lovingly look toward those distant, cold mountains. Born from these selfsame roots, standing upon these lively, fast-moving limbs, enlivening all that it passes, I truly understand that dreams are fleeting, lakes shine by moonlight, and all things inevitably change. The Yellow River’s mighty flows pass on into the east and rainclouds replenish verdant mountains. I shall love the Yellow River all my days for safeguarding our great Chinese civilization. The journey is difficult and never-ending, the roc bird soars 90,000 li upon the winds. Our Mother River carries our aspirations. Trust that they may blossom into the most beautiful raiment.

Reviewer 1

Yellow River’s Coat of Many Colors is a top choice. The accompanying photographs capture both the intensity and the comforting warmth of the Yellow River. The author’s flowery diction is organized into sections such as Thunderous Roar, Daubs of Ink, The Finale, and Devoted that elevate descriptions of ‘Mother River’ to their apogee.

Reviewer 2

The author describes the vastness of the distance and time covered by the Yellow River. The narrative’s baroque language fills the pages like delicate, rosy clouds –perfect for expounding upon five millennia of Yellow River history.