Earth & Water


Lift too heavy a stone and you’ll drop it on your own feet.


The sharp rocks – 
Such high rocks!
No end to these hills
Such hard work!
But on the Eastern front
We’ve no time to stop.

We saw white-trottered-pigs – 
A herd plunging through the waves.
The net is cast round the moon
Nothing but rain soon.
But on the Eastern front
There’s no time to rest.


The Eastern front refers here to building the Great Wall of China. 
This vast enterprise took centuries to build, 
always needing constant maintenance. 
You have your own Great Wall. 
When the going gets tough 
it is tempting either to overdo it, 
as the proverb says, 
or to long for escape, 
as the first part of the second verse of the poem portrays. 
Find the Middle Way.

©Loes Raaphorst 10/2005