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Now my train is passing a stream

and I see a boat – in it the boatman sits –

stooped forward like a peasant’s sickle –

a brooding Siddhartha –

serene guardian of the waterway.

His naked torso confesses he is impoverished –

do the frolic of the seasons –

the sky with its myriad faces and

the moon in all its moods

fill his belly –

I wonder.

He must have a meagre hut on the bank –

has he then made his home in the watery expanse?

And as my train passes by his kingdom –

I wonder if he weighs his bare bones

against the gold and silver of the water.

Do the storm winds that treacherously

blow the flying fish off course –

change the course of his destiny –

I wonder.

The boatman – with many faces and eyes –

with neither name nor voice –

sits passive in his boat –

captive of the waterway –

and all the years flow over him.