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  • Five Poems
  • Huh Su-gyung (bio)
    Translated by David R. McCann (bio) and Young-Jun Lee (bio)

Evening Soaks into Us and

As the light floods, leaves lush under evening light, drops of waterunder the tender flowers' flesh, as evening soaks into us, dearfriends roast the meat, glass in hand,

When once I heard the sound of evening, it seemed evening wasbeing gathered up, as if all the neighborhood bars in the world wereopening their doors all at once and gathering up the harvest,

Now, we sit, glass in hand, roasting the meat. In the marinade, themeat has grown easy and soft, the green peppers are crisp, and theevening soaks into us,

Like kind-hearted mist as a circle of mind releases itself, we arereleased to draw the evening soaking into us into our embrace,

One friend has lost his son, one friend has lost his house, one haslost everything but survives, and we are roasting the meat, we sit bythe fire sweating, with chopsticks lifting a piece of meat up onto thefire,

Under the light, the leaves lush under evening light, under the lightsoaking evening, evening soaks into us. [End Page 159]

That Time

A child brought up on some unknown streetentered my dream

The child had a gun, was wearing a soldier's uniform,asked me to put a handful of peppermint candy in his pocket

The child brought up on some unknown streetas the sky was quietly receiving the sun is right thereentered my dream

I thought about the city destroyed in the earthquakeor about the city I can no longer visit because of wara day I stayed on too long in the library

A day I might have spentlooking into onion production figures written out in cuneiform

When that child in the street holding a gunstruck dumb stood looking at all the yearned-for faces in the worlddisappearing off in the distancelike the animals vanishing from the burning forest of New Zealand

Tonight somewhere airplanes fly and on the streetschildren still do not forget where they were born [End Page 160]

While no one yet has prepared the coffinsfor those old people, the ones turning the lamb over with hands stillbloodstained,roasting the lamb as they build the fire

While women were out on the street, their faces wholly uncovered,womanly men wept, pounding their breasts [End Page 161]

Yŏngbyŏn, Leaves of Reed

On the day a new sanctuary was set upat the tavern for right-wing extremists

On the day the gods of the old sanctuarywho had delivered the wine all at once disappeared

On the day the sun solemnly roselike the dawn in the citywhere the massacre was to begin

The day a priest who had lost speech and held his tongue aloftas he wept by the trash at the roadside

Don't cry, child born peacefully,don't cry, don't cry

Listen to the lightas mother sister distant Yŏngbyŏn,the sound of water fallen on the reed leavesopen their flesh [End Page 162]

Sound of Trees Swaying

When we listen to the sound of trees swaying in the forestlike, say, hearing the news of the world by embracing electric waves

In the forest dead birds and squirrels decompose beside the mossand bracken,while alongside, a small brook runs the world like an electric wave

When all the tribe of dying people yearn for the time they lived andopen their eyes wanting to see the world again and the sound oftrees swaying strikes the ear as if it were the end of the world

The sound of trees swaying even in the hearts of all those who pickup their weapons again to aim at the eye of someone else as theylive on through the moment when all the tribes of the earth haveperished from the earth,

O that sound, the sound of the cosmos entering into the body ofwhat we call the human tribe [End Page 164]

Thus Laughing Days Continued...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6500
Print ISSN
1939-6120
Pages
pp. 159-165
Launched on MUSE
2008-05-01
Open Access
No
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