Japanese Snow Scene (after Hiroshige)


The old woodcut shows

mountains in snow

broken through

by a blue river that flows

beneath a bridge.


Over the bridge

an old man goes

wearily, with bent posture

and stick.


He wears the straw hat

and coat of a peasant,

and his path appears turned

toward home,


for over the bridge

two rustic roofs

suggest a settlement,

its thatches thick with snow.


From the high heavens

white flakes continue to fall

and some cling

to the scant trees

that grow on the slopes.


The old man hopes

for the comfort of home

where coals glow

to ease his bones


and a hot pot of tea

steams its greeting,

ready to revive him.


Note   I think there are variants of this image in Japanese art. The one I know best is a woodcut by Hiroshige.