A spoken language works
for about five centuries,
lifespan of a douglas fir;
big floods, big fires, every couple hundred years,
a human life lasts eighty,
a generation twenty.
Hot summers every eight or ten,
four seasons every year
twenty-eight days for the moon
day / night the twenty-four hours
& a song might last four minutes,
a breath is a breath.
–Gary Snyder, from “Old Woodrat’s Stinky House”