i wrote this some time ago while staying in the village Daesa-nim built, which is called 신불사 Shinbulsa. It was March & cold in the mountain. i spent much of my time climbing up to a peak where a 3 headed Buddha had been chiseled hundreds of years ago. i really wish i had begun taking pictures then to give you some concrete-visual of the astonishing views from that village & peak & the peculiar 10ft relief carved in the Mt, but a photo of Daesa-nim will have to suffice.
looking out the window on 신불사
between the valley’s hips mist squeezes like sand
funneling down the neck of an hour glass
counting down our lives in water drops.
for now the world down there is gone.
it cannot touch me. i cannot know for certain it is even there.
& all the finches, the chiffchaff chuckling the sun up
must be chuckling at something.
& all the other finches, the bull the rose the green
in their own time come to the walnut tree
to contribute a single peck to rake away the rheum
& clear up everything, regardless so much mist below.
age added more crow’s feet to Daesa-nim’s temples
he resembles the dried lotus roots
arranged ornately in painted cups
suggestive of something: a myth of preservation
or should we say that only of cabbages fomenting
in red pepper paste, ginger, garlic & eel
mixed in clay pots a child could sleep inside, beneath the earth?
this time of year frogs reenact the biblical plague
romping in the lotus pond filling with spawn
—ribbling lusty ballads in all directions dawn to dusk
a colony of lovers busy with continuity.