Three girls with black hair and black eyes
carrying suitcases on the pier of Piazza San Marco.
I wonder where they come from? Silent, they are
like three seagulls, hard to tell one from the others.
Hey, let us hear your voices!
Ariel hums a little song, the sea wind carries her tune
to a cafe, where a white-haired man looks up
and sees the three sisters, poplar shadows in his eyes
A pitch-dark night, even the seagulls are asleep
The children are leaving, dragging along their suitcases
Everyone’s asleep except for the children
From the western pier, a ferry departs secretly
For a year, same departing children, same ferry, same clouds, same sky.
The Noah’s Ark we boarded in our previous lives
now lies rotten on the ocean floor.
After all, it couldn’t get out of the earth…
Each time I write a poem I climb up to the moon, and sit
at the bottom of Tranquility, looking down on my home,
trying to see the red of blood hidden in that cold blue.
It’s the sea that separates us from each other,
the same sea that connects us to each other
Tonight the sky is a dark cabin—
we’re awake, our eyes each a new moon
sailing to a Sun Republic
Perched on a power line, the birds’ wings are wet
Cherry blossoms fall like fi ngernails scratching a door that won’t open
Above the faraway mountain, the drenched sun becomes heavy
Someone made of ocean stands outside the window
That someone can’t be held, so thin like the morning fog
What kind of software application designed plankton?
The boy lets his mind wander for a moment, his eyes away from the microscope.
He wants to dream about the world without using the word ‘God’.
Words travel—as shadows. Apples sing—
iPhone, iPad, iPod, iTunes—stir the oceans.
Hurricanes and tsunamis. Then all is quiet, quiet. Ariel sisters
guard their speeches in golden corals. Above the deep water,
words travel again, as fi shes, over the salty waves and seaweed.
Hokusai’s Suruga Bay gazed upon through the window.
Mouthful of Norimaki at an altitude of 30,000 feet.
Clouds in the heart remember the taste of the tears rolling down on her cheeks…
The temperature of Neptune, categorized as ‘ice giant’, is
minus 218 degrees Celsius at its cloud tops, and
5,000 degrees at its center. I, with a body temperature of 36.5 degrees,
in a 21-degree room on planet Earth,
as of 16 minutes past 12 o’clock on the 7th of April, am still alive (^^)!
I pour Neptune’s sea on top of my desk
When our fi rst round of poems is fi nished, the lights go out at the cosmos station
I sit in my chair and dip my hands into the pitch-black ocean
As the ocean spills into the rice fields, a dolphin flies up,
its huge mouth hoarding rice.
It flies—white diffuses the low sky.
It flies—a woman is on the run—she wants to hide the rice (米)
for the children before the sun rises.
A grain of cooked rice is hanging
from the tip of the beard of Chinese character ‘父(father)’,
like a little god who got lost.
The scarecrow who kept his dignity of being one-legged
finished his role as a crow chaser,
spending the rest of his life in a museum of ethnology in a foreign place.
He’s got no sky, unlike on the terraced rice-fields.
Three schoolboys are pressing their faces to the glass showcase.
We are the flesh and blood of rice, like the flesh and blood of the stars
How is it that crimson blood fl ows when I’ve only swallowed a single grain of white rice?
Children who’ve departed to a place where they won’t be eating rice anymore shimmer like stars
Rice was scarce. Even the skies closed down.
Tsvetaeva was rejected, again.
She looked thinner than a bird, her eyes sunken...
I wake up startled, and see nine moons above me—
nine goddesses offering nine bowls of rice to her starved orphan...
A handful of rice in the bowl of a young mendicant priest.
Sunlight falls on fresh leaves.
He walks along a crumbling mud wall.
Never stand still, so my master taught me in a foreign land.
Across the fortress walls, through the peninsula, and over the straits,
the path lies in the very act of walking, he said.
Chewing the distant sweetness carried by grains of rice, I came down from the pass
—the familiar festival band of whistles and drums.
After the cherry blossom parade has passed by, a paper bowl under the tree eats white petals
It’s been a while since my family of three has eaten rice from bowls set on the manhole-cover-like kitchen table
Above our heads the sky opens its mouth, and beneath our feet the sewer opens its mouth
Manna the food whose name means ‘what is it?’ in Hebrew.
If human beings are such that they feel hungry even with their stomachs full,
that hunger is caused by the question called ‘Manna’,
although the boy, for whom just one rice ball was worth a jewel after the defeat of the war,
found physical hunger more real than spiritual hunger.
Mom told me not to blindly believe the history textbooks,
but what about my great grandfather’s diary?
The next few pages are sealed with glue made of boiled rice.
When I drink water, the water drinks me
When I eat rice, the rice eats me
When I breathe in oxygen, the oxygen eats me
The more I eat the more my body is glued to the ground
The prisoner in a cell mashes rice to make Buddha
Shennong, god of five grains, fertilized mountains with sunlight
from his eyes. He planted rice and died of rice, planted herbs and died of herbs.
My grandma buried him a thousand times and on his body planted an apple tree.
The national flag of Japan is called Hinomaru (a sun disk).
A so-called ‘Good Design’ with just a crimson circle on the white background.
It looks so innocent that it might have been conceived of by a child,
but its appearance is deceiving: it’s ominously multicolored, unlike the five colors of the Olympic rings.
I will never ever wave the flag.
It was the day of the festival of the sun at Sacsayhuaman in Cuzco
I said hi in the morning of the winter solstice to Seoul’s night in the summer solstice
The starting line of the 365-day long marathon was teeming with Indians
The singing voices of the wandering Peruvians mix together
with Jingle Bells from the shop front of a confectioner’s.
The man wraps himself in all 5 national newspapers
and lies down in the hollow of the lined-up buildings…he knows
that spot will get the first ray of the morning sun (Asahi).
There is a lion in Latin American jungles that swings its golden hair.
In Spain, Lorca saw a golden sun (日) before he closed his eyes.
He held a stream of light as if holding the string of an ancient peaceful kite.
How painful the light must be for the owl
How painful the light must be for the bat inside a cave
How painful the light must be for the girl hiding in the attic
Outside, the army of fire marches towards me with its golden mane
How frightened I must be, clutching onto the last morning star
A click, and the rainbow caught on a display loses its color.
“Photography shouldn’t flirt with color, just light and shadow is enough”
declares the silver-haired female photographer to her young assistant.
When the world was still young
Nüwa gave birth to ten suns, of ten colors and ten genders.
They played around in the air like warlords and feverishly burnt all the fl ying birds.
A boy-girl, a bow and ten arrows in hand, split nine of the suns
into nine oceans and nine volcanic mountains…
An ant is crawling on a sundial
from day to night, dragging the wing of a butterfly.
A treat for the little ones underground.
In the sign language classroom a light rings instead of a bell
The light rings at the end of class and also at lunch
A soccer referee runs over and politely makes a foul call
When the referee who was staring at his watch raises the fl ag at the end of the game
the winning and losing teams, the referee and spectators make butterfl ies with theirs hands and
release them into the sunlight
Any scene when viewed through the window pane looks poetic,
reflects the tyrant as he gives the finishing touch to his speech.
On the waves of the sea of people who hate him, the lenses of their glasses glitter.
With his monocle, my uncle chases a Chinese jar.
I put on two slices of cucumber to chase after him. Through the pin holes of insect bites
I see a sunflower that leads the way, bringing me to the Yangtze River instead—
Qu Yuan had jumped from here… I’ve brought bamboo leaves fi lled with sticky rice.
He stands up, beaming, his left eye Venus, his right eye a lotus.
Blown by the winds of the era and burned by the ancient lights,
our mandala still resists with poetry against the world’s entropy.
The evening sun here is the morning sun over there Good night and good morning move towards
tomorrow in a spiral.