The Frozen River


To fish the lonely winter beck

He wears a summer hat of straw,

And walks for miles through snow and ice.

There is no other human trace.


At night he has a makeshift hut

Of bark and reeds and bended birch.

The fire he lights is cold by dawn.

He’ll stay until his brandy’s gone.


A heron has the further bank.

They eye each other with respect.

As snow is falling, heron flies,

And drags behind a trail of drops.


The river steams with freezing mist.

The old man’s breathing joins the cloud.



Poem after Liu Tsung Yuan


4 Comments to “The Frozen River”

  1. The lonely life of the course fisherman is akin to that of the runner. I have spent many a dark night on the beach with fire my only friend. Its a great way to find time to contemplate.

    The pictures you paint here are very vivid to me, maybe because I relate so easily.

  2. Dear Gavin,

    I enjoy my foray to this world of yours. It sounds peaceful, and calm. full of wisdom of acceptance.

  3. Enjoyed the journey!

  4. A lovely serene poem. Mine also involved fishing.

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