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Passing through a mountain where the paths wove

I saw a crow on the side of the road

Pick up a plastic bag and fly away.

I have seen a lot today.

 

The world around is glistening green

Some fog is curling in the air.

If I had only the time to spare

I’d stay. I’d fill my soul to its brim.

 

Note: This one is kind of old. I wrote this in March on a trip to my Dad’s hometown.

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Coming back from a funeral home during heavy rain

Has caused so much cold to seep into my bones

Some of it is resting on top of my shoulders.

Sadness washes over me like waterfalls.

I feel lethargic

I can’t get enough warmth back inside my body.

The only scary thing about going to a wake

Is seeing the person

Under the glass

Because it makes his death a reality.

 

It cements the fact that he will never open his eyes again

Reinforcing the truth that he is permanently, hopelessly gone.

Looking inside a person’s mind

Is like peering into a kaleidoscope

With the thoughts forming patterns

No one else can make sense of,

Not at first.

 

On closer examination

You’ll see how each shape and each color is infused with meaning.

You’ll see how there is reason behind

Every rotation of the tube and the movement of shapes that follow.

 

If you’re lucky

You’ll see the true form of the things reflected in those mirrors

And then you will learn to appreciate

The beauty of another being’s existence.

Passing through a small provincial town by bus

I spy a head sticking out of a dirty canal.

 

It’s a woman with black hair past her shoulders

And a floral pattern on her blouse.

She’s crouched down in the filth with her arms around herself

Underneath the merciless rays of the noontime sun.

 

I suddenly think of the recent news

About people dying from heat stroke.

 

I can’t get her image out of my mind.

What happened to her?

What is she doing there?

 

I wonder if she’s one of the many taong grasa,

Driven to insanity by hunger or poverty

Or some other unfortunate circumstance.

The way to cry

Quietly

Undetected

Is not easy.

 

You must control your breathing.

 

You must know when to do a large intake of air, soundless

To keep yourself from sobbing.

 

Do it slowly to keep your lips from shaking.

 

Hold it all back.

Blink your tears away.

Use every ounce of energy you have.

 

When you do

 

You will feel the shudders travel from your shoulders to your knees.

You will feel your throat burn as you swallow over and over.

It will burn so much, you won’t be able to breathe.

I was dissected within minutes

By all your questions.

You figured me out so easily.

I wonder how you were able to see me so clearly.

 

I who hate myself and fear everything

With all my walls and locks and secrets

I who cannot define

My dreams, my path, my life, myself.

 

I didn’t know the right questions to ask

But you did.

 

Here I sit with you

With my tear-stained cheeks

And the snot running from my nose.

 

I am horrified and disgusted with myself

But you’re kind enough to tell me

That I am still beautiful.

How is it over there?
How lonely is it?
Is it still glowing red at sunset?
Are the birds still singing on the way to the forest?
Can you receive the letter I dared not send?
Can I convey…
the confession I dared not make?
Will time pass and roses fade?
Now it’s time to say goodbye
Like the wind that lingers and then goes,
just like shadows
To promises that never came,
to the love sealed till the end.
To the grass kissing my weary ankles
And to the tiny footsteps following me
It’s time to say goodbye
Now as darkness falls
Will a candle be lit again?
Here I pray…
nobody shall cry…
and for you to know…
how deeply I loved you
The long wait in the middle of a hot summer day
An old path resembling my father’s face
Even the lonesome wild flower shyly turning away
How deeply I loved
How my heart fluttered at hearing faint song
I bless you
Before crossing the black river
With my soul’s last breath
I am beginning to dream…
a bright sunny morning…
again I awake blinded by the light…
and meet you…
standing by me.

Agnes’ Song by Lee Chang-Dong