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Showing posts from 2011


If you dream with open eyes,
reality begins to change:
at first, it's beautiful,
new colors glossing over the world--
but beware! Dreams can last too long,
and time escapes from your hands.

[A/N: This is my first attempt at a sijo.]


This language textbook tells me:
sounds, reaching vocal cords
vibrate through them,
or not.
A whisper's sound, they say,
is voiceless.

I wonder how that can be true,
'cause when you whisper I love you
in quiet halls and corridors,
I always know the voice is yours.


Sniffling and Sneezing
Sore throat, Red nose, Coughing lots
Cold Season has Come


(Authors Note: The sniffles and the sneezing has started to plague my life... Zyrtec to the rescue!)

as the weather cools

I can feel
fall, settling in my bones.
I'm aching to dance
the cold wind's waltz
tripping, skipping with the leaves
I'm longing to fly
the swallow's well-worn path
streaking over flaming trees
and sing
the cricket's last song
under the gentle rain.
At the end of the day,
the fading sunlight illuminates your face,
and here we find
fall, settling in our bones.


Leviticus 19

Why would I
give freely
where I have received none,
why be honest
when I have been deceived,
why uphold truth
where I have been slandered,
why care
when I have been ignored,
Why should I love
those who have not loved me?

Behind me is a crumbling world
so dark that I have lived in blindness
Around me, a multitude
of creatures so majestic, my heart thrills in awe
Before me is a light
so bright my dark-blind eyes cannot behold it.
From this throne, reams of glory
flow unceasingly, reflecting
onto these creatures
that sing like so many mirrors
Holy, Holy, Holy!
Herein lies the desire of my heart
for on the throne is seated
my awesome Lord, Creator, King
in whom is more than enough for
the satisfaction of my soul.

Then, the praises of the angels seem
so far away, as cries of mockery
rail against this same glorious One,
bloody as any burnt offering,
back torn apart like the rending of dove’s wings.
From this rugged tree, streams of mercy
flow unreservedly, washing me
Herein lies the fountain of my joys
for on the cross was sacrificed
my living Priest, Atonement, King
in whom is found, once for all
the salvation of my soul.

How can I aspire to be like Him,
so perfect, majestic, and good?
And yet this is my King’s command:
His people shall be holy, for He is holy
His people shall love, for He is the Lord.
So I will not linger at the altar
of myself, but imitate my Master
And I, though all the world should say
it makes no sense to them,
I shall love my neighbor
as myself.



someone once said to me,
never mistake a shadow for a soul.
i said to him,
no one does--
we only
mistake souls for shadows.

almost there,
we run so hard the ground will break
still it's not enough.
where the stars die,
a faint light wanders, disappears
then returns:
do you follow it
or do i?
i am learning the rain
reminding me of people i once knew
people that were me
and you.
(are we still here?
this icy warmth is blinding me
i can't see you at all.)
i suppose we have a choice,
but i don't know
who lives or dies.

i am looking harder at the dark
i think there's more to see.


Nighttime Thinking

do you know what it’s like
to be me?
especially on sleepless summer nights
when i lie first on my stomach,
then my side
then my other side
then my back,
when everything is slightly warmer than i would like
and my mind won’t stop working
so i’m forced to think
about life and time and words and stories and languages
all at once--
isn’t it strange how we grow up?
i think i can’t wait for it,
but i’m terrified nonetheless.
how come days were so much longer
when i was little?
what happened to happy early mornings,
apple-picking, playing in the long green grass,
drawing circles in the carpet, climbing the rugged trees,
when every day was magical,
and i went to my dreams every night
with anticipation for the next day lingering
like some beautiful breeze?
now sometimes i feel like i’m slipping
from some grasp
or something is slipping from mine
and i find myself counting the hours
until the day is over.
(because then i can rest,
but then i start thinking like this,
and that doesn’t really work, does it?)
is steadfastness the same
as perseverance?
does allure mean the same
as charm?
bear is a bear,
but i can bear burdens too.
perhaps a bear will bear the winter
by sleeping,
and only vines bear grapes.
why is it that when i make a new line
in a poem or a story
it makes a sort of point?
is it the silence implied,
a pause--
that gives new emphasis, fragmented like broken glass?
because those shards make the light dance in new patterns,
in a way it could never have done before.
how is it that words work,
somehow accepting meaning
and preserving it,
so it transfers from my head to yours sometime?
i’m able to tell you what i think.
isn’t that miraculous?
i don’t even understand how thoughts work in the first place.
translation plagues me.
i wonder how you can move a phrase from one language
all the way into another
and it means the same thing.
what are these concepts below the words,
that everyone can understand?
and does it really mean the same?
it’s too hard--
what shall I assign to hyanggi:
smell, aroma, odor, fragrance, perfume?
they’re not all the same.
who decided that e, ie, ae, ee, eo, ei, ea, y, oe, ey, and i
can all represent the same sound?
if you ask me,
i think that’s rather mean.
writing is a lovely thing, but sometimes
it scares me.
what if my words are stupid,
and have been all along?
i can’t tell, because i put them together,
and i never like to think i’m stupid.
what if the characters i create
don’t like me?
small wonder i can’t sleep at night.

can you imagine what it’s like
to be me?
i’ve never known anything else,
but i’m starting to have a feeling
it might be kind of

Beyond An Ocean

Two things my heart and hands have held,
In stubborn shackles bound them fast:
Entranced, I fell beneath their spell
And thought my wonder unsurpassed.

The first was borne on voices fair
That sang of ancient, mystic lands
Of seas and home and starlit hair,
In words I could not understand
Its beauty stirred within my heart
A longing for a greater place
I felt it tore my soul apart
And led me on a hopeless chase
I dreamt of lovely, perfect worlds
And friends I could not hope to make
Full joy and bliss before me swirled,
So bright that I would weep to wake.

The second called me from the dark
And bade me open up my mind
It promised mirth, a wild spark,
And pleasure of a different kind
It pierced me, searched my secret thoughts
And found desires buried deep,
Convinced me this was what I sought--
Then woke the seedlings from their sleep.
I tended these until they grew,
Not knowing full what I had done.
Once chained and choked, I saw the truth,
But though I tried, I could not run.

A Man came by and looked at me
Said, “I’ve redeemed you from the grave.
For freedom I have set you free,
So live no longer like a slave!”

I saw then, what these truly are:
The one is but a guiding light
That points me to my Home afar;
The other lingers in the night
And seeks to hold me always there,
So why should I to either cling?
A sparrow rescued from the snare,
I’ll rise on stronger, newer wings.

Two things my heart and hands have held,
In stubborn shackles bound them fast:
Today I bid them both farewell
And sweep their ashes to the past.

Ode to Minute, Crystalline Precipitation

I stand within a meadow wide
Its borders marked by barren trees
While on the wind white snowflakes glide
And drift like sad, unfinished dreams--
Now some fall to my fingertips
To kiss with cold, unfeeling lips

O wind! Untamed and ever free
Can thou, the gentle bearer, know
This life so dark I cannot see
This world with nowhere safe to go?
And dost thou sing for starry skies
Or in the darkness yearn for eyes?

O snowflake, clinging to my hair
So intricate, so small and pure
What couldst thou know of blank despair
Of death’s deceptive, restful lure?
O that I could be as thou art;
Refresh and make anew my heart!

Unique art thou, but though my touch
Is gentle, deep within my hand
There lies a dread destroyer, such
As thou art pow’rless to withstand.
I cannot hope to bid thee stay
But only watch thee fade away--

And yet, with but a moment past
Another comes to take thy place
As if thou were not meant to last
Thy memory to be erased...
I stand and wonder: could it be
That I am truly like to thee?

[Disclaimer: As this poem was written for class and is an attempt to emulate the style of romantic-era poets such as Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats, the sentiments of the poem’s speaker are not necessarily those of the author.]

A Wordsworthian Reflection

White blossomed branches 'cross the sky
Soft grass beneath my feet
Pale petals 'round my fingers fly
As dawn I warmly greet

The lush green stalks now nod their heads
The treetops joyful sway
All from great Nature's bosom fed
All beautiful, each day

I hear the wind's sweet, lovely song
Now ringing through the trees
I cannot help but sing along
And find my soul at peace

The sun so smiling on my face,
This world so void of pain,
So would I gladly spend my days
And never move again.


It’s sharp in all the wrong places
warped where it should be straight
stubbornly solid, unmovable,

It’s been kicked around by the world
shattered a few times,
then patched up just as good as ever--

It’s covered in unspeakable grime
hiding in the shadows,
afraid of light,

He picks it up
his hands more clean than should ever touch it,
yet he cradles it gently,
never minding the cuts it gives him

and blows on it softly:
the dust, settled into crevices and cracks,
flees his breath
leaving the slime and mud behind

so he washes it,
his tears falling like cleansing rain
he weeps and wipes away the dirt,
then lets it drip down, mingled with his blood

he breathes on it again
and watches as life creeps back in,
closing up the bitter cracks,
turning the stone to clay

Then he pushes and pulls,
smooths with scarred fingertips,
bit by bit molding my heart
to match his own.


Two Tiny Tidbits

When the sun sets on the shore
We'll run beyond the colors there
When evening comes and is no more
We'll let your wind rush through our hair


If all the world should fall away,
Beneath my feet
the solid Rock still stands
And whether it be dark or day,
Through rain or sleet
my Father holds my hands.


[author note: I found these in an old notebook of mine. the first one seems unfinished...perhaps i'll expand it sometime]

What Is So Pure.

King of All ages
White as snow
Little Lamb,
Martyred for our iniquities
Though you still love us..
Though you still cleansed us clean
Though our days may be numbered..
But with those days my lips shall utter praises unto you

{Authors note: Pretext: I watched Lord of The Rings...}