The Winds of Time
One day I stood on a small hill
looking down at the lake on the day
of storms. I watched the waves
rising and falling. Swelling
swirling, churning and spuming foam
like mad bulls in a field with no grass.
How they surge!
How they collapse and rise again!
I had seen nothing like this before.
I watched them crash and soar
driven by the winds from the West and the East -
just like our world
and our lives
which rise and fall
on the winds of time.
Watch them grab power
the way a drowning man clutches the leg of his friend!
Watch them clutch money
the way a child grips a doll
or a mad soldier grabs his rifle
to silence us.
They will rise and fall
driven by the winds of time.
This early poem, published in 1974, is of course a political allegory, like the 2008 poem, 'Floods', we translated in the same workshop - both of which rely on the imagery of water to articulate their political intent.