water-lily stalks stretch along the stream;
poles are also long to punt the boat.
yellow cork flowers rock with the waves;
are anxious on your way home to float.
return there during the flood, who knows?
could I then find that river shore?
tide rises up to overspread distress,
humans wade across it bearing bore.
house faces the swallows’ cave,
in the evening for people out of sight.
A tardy egret, looking for a perching space,
only water, clouds, and twilight.
have to quit the plains for the forest;
gather in swarms to build nests at height.
shall reposition your old bamboo bed,
on it to hear the waves rustle all night.
upstream boat leaves the deserted bank;
northeasterly wind hurries a piercing cold.
is tonight this guy out here in the frost,
for a safe place back in a household.
Vietnamese poem by PHẠM HỒNG ĐẬM
English translation byTHANH-THANH