last year Korea was hit by one of the worst typhoons in some years, killing 7 on the mainland. Jeju fortunately got off lightly, the typhoon grazing us rather than meeting us head on bull-at-a-gate. the day after, the weather windy & carrying the heavy regret of a drunk in its ache to clear its thoughts, i noted that the stream where i walk the dog had been cleared of the natural debris that clogged it by the typhoon & that sparrows & wrens were thronging in the trees beside the path, which i put down to their hide outs having been washed out to sea.
(all photographs by your’s truly)
the rain from typhoon 차바 combed
through 한라 mountain, gathering momentum as the night
dragged on; slugged all the matted curlicues of weed
& sedge of pebble & twig, sweeping it off, right up
to the marge, down the estuary, some snagged on stepping stones
but most flushed out to sea, past the siege of herons
: what was a wimpy gaggle
is now an exodus of shuffling boots.
along the footpath herds of wrens like flung
garlic bulbs teem the shook bare persimmon trees
– 차바’s made refugees of them.
it stripped the stream leaving the gardeners idle,
they haven’t raised a blade to anything the last few days
nor are there any blades raised to them.
the matted curlicues of weed & sedge,
once shelter for these little birds, has spread them lost
& vulnerable to the open, pushed to the margins of the wild
where they rummage through the packed hive
of civilization for shelter from the impact that we cause.
that shelter, which dwindles even though the year replenishes,
that dwindles more so as we build resorts
& luxuries to wider margins of a finite space,
which makes so little sense
to process it makes both my kidneys ache.
they’ll take (some sooner than others) their leave
of one another. some will go nest in the neighborhoods
of swallows on 한림 market street
where street curs pit themselves against the fallen
wit of drunken 아쩌씨who piss up lamp posts
the streets curs claimed their own already.
so many wrens more sensitive to foliage
& mineral rich waters will search out other places,
overgrown enough to hide themselves,
where still developers have yet to broach
with fork cranes, diggers & schemes,
& if diligent enough
find a standard of purity maintained by isolation,
matched solely by their own thin song,
throttled abroad to spare them from unbearable loneliness.