Wood & Water


A young man wants women, an old man wants rice.


Trees without branches
offer no shelter
The girls by the river
offer no comfort.

The Han is so deep
you cannot dive it.
The Kiang is so long
you cannot swim it.

I would strip the thorns
From the firewood
I would offer food
To the girls’ horses.


Be content with what you have, 
just as trees are content to grow beside streams,
nourished by the constant flow of water.

©Loes Raaphorst 10/2005