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Subject FOR NIRVANA /Korean Seon(zen) Master Cho Oh-Hyun 雪嶽 霧山 曺五鉉-2
Name   관리자 Hit 222

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FOR NIRVANA 



 


108 ZEN SIJO POEMS 



 


CHO OH-HYUN



 


 



 


 



 






 


introductory by KWON YOUNGMIN



 


translated by HEINZ INSU FENKL



 


Associate professor of English and Asian studies at SUNY New Paltz.



 



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10



 


MUSAN’S TEN BULLS



 


 



 


1.Searching for the Bull



 


 



 


Who stamped these left and right prints on my brow?



 


And who made my self go looking



 


For my whereabouts, unfindable even for ten million cash?



 


 



 


An arrow that a thousand eyes cannot see,



 


Which hands cannot grasp, though they extended to knee;



 


That thief-he steals an abattoir ax, and like an arrow-he’s flown.



 


 



 


2. Finding the Footprints



 


 



 


O famed physician, a thief’s mind’s unknownable, even after you



 


diagnose his pulse.



 


Without legal seal, he has sold all the sky and run off



 


Into lewd joking, into foul words smeared like menstrual blood.



 


 



 


There’s evidence he’s lived his life treading water,



 


Those traces, dead and bankrupt, guarded by a barren woman,



 


The fish that tore the net and escaped, caught once again in the net.



 


 



 


3.Seeing the Bull



 


 



 


The shadow stood, with yoke removed, shining in the shade last



 


night



 


To heal the laceration, the intangible, as first offense?



 


I am not yet able to reply the debt of being born into this life.



 


 



 


A shortness of breath, palpitations of the heart-someone is



 


suffering in a grave pit, above, in the heavens.



 


It is a procession out of a funeral village with no one shouldering



 


the bier.



 


It is the second plowing of the life of a son of a mother’s



 


illicit love.



 


 



 


4. Catching the Bull



 


Clutching the nose ring-no vitality, no snare,



 


How many ten-thousand-step wanderings to find the rule to keep



 


him bound?



 


Bandit! Even at death, his life crying with thunder from a cloudless



 


sky.



 


The arrowhead’s returning-it’s failed to pierce its mark.



 


I tried to copy the color of skin that tingles with electric pain,



 


But what a fate-being able to die, caught in the hinge between



 


heaven and earth.



 


 



 


5.Taming the Bull



 


 



 


The wasteland of the castle courtyard, with no stone or blade of



 


grass-



 


I have cultivated it, as if for punishment, without a plough or spade,



 


And now, even if Heaven weeps, I know not how to stay away.



 


 



 


The sky makes a seal: the two letters of the ultimate name,



 


And the sea-unplumbable by any sounding line-



 


A paddy field needing five bushes of seed rice to be revived.



 


 



 


6. Riding the Bull Home



 


 



 


The rain stopped at the sound of the gong; the water sounded high in



 


the valley’s sky.



 


I go bearing news, with the full blossom of a laugh,



 


Wondering how to bury my soul, and by which family ritual, at my



 


birthplace.



 


 



 


The dead world is not revivable through a life of crime, and word



 


gets out



 


Of my running away to purse a life of a life of thievery, the selling of others goods.



 


The Yang and Yin symbol remains uncarvablr, regardless the burin



 


one wields.



 


 



 


7.The Bull Transcended



 


 



 


It’s all right to spit if I have 100 won for the fine money



 


Just to swallow the hook-as is-what catch could there be?



 


Even my thoughts of how I’ve lived have absconded somewhere...



 


 



 


The swords of this world-I can find their points with eyes closed,



 


And the mountain of swords in the next-there are only ten million



 


blades.



 


This world or the next-sell it all off, chew cud day by day.



 


 



 


8. Both Bull & Self Transcended



 


 



 


Hee he hee hohohoho wheeheehee whohoho!



 


Hahaha uhahaha ueee ee huhuhu



 


Chuckle, chuckle,uauae whoohoohooo hooee!



 


 



 


An incurable psoriasis has spread over the whole of my body,



 


My eyes, from my last incarnation, speckled with motes in this



 


five-times-twelve-year cycle(as they count it by hand),



 


The vast 3,000 worlds destroyed by a single thought, a single stick.



 




 


9. Reaching the Source



 


 



 


Lived with a barren woman, brought a butcher into this world,



 


Incarcerated myself out of self-doubt while I lived high on usury.



 


Illicit sex for eons, but-ah!-I’m still celibate.



 


 



 


A stone lion by the wayside bit my foot,



 


But again, since there’s no champion to rise up, and the world’s fallen



 


over backwards in shock,



 


I, myself, sit up and try embracing this life.



 


 



 


10. Return to Society



 


 



 


Getting to like the smell of fish, I’m out at market wearing a money



 


belt.



 


Get married, throw away the legal wife-shall I try living with a



 


concubine?



 


Wooden shoes, those wooden shoes-give one away and still I’m rich.



 


 



 


Sold a wife for 300 won.



 


Plucked out both eyes and sold those for 300won, too.



 


I am the leper going to beg for food, to the ridge of the barley field



 


where the sun comes up-a true leper.



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