Time Slips By


By M.C. Pehrson

Work Count: 137

Rating: G (suitable for all audiences)

Summary: A poem in the Chinese tradition.


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                                 In China the hills are steep,                                        

                                        with plots of fertile land                                              

terraced almost to the river’s edge

where an old man basks in the sunshine,   

holding a bamboo pole

baited to lure unwary fish.

He sees the glistening water flow smoothly

as it meanders around the bend.

Now and then a bird glides over its surface,

hunting dragonflies.

A frog leaps with a splash,

then disappears among the cattails.

Time slips by and a cooling breeze

stirs his long gray beard.

Behind him, the wheels of a cart

slowly move down a well-worn path.

In the distance, a child laughs

and the sun sinks below the mountains.

Stiff with age, Wu Ning rises,

shoulders his pole and shuffles home.

No fish today, but it matters not,

for his heart is full.



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