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Subject FOR NIRVANA /Korean Seon(zen) Master Cho Oh-Hyun 雪嶽 霧山 曺五鉉-10
Name   관리자 Hit 481

FOR NIRVANA 
108 ZEN SIJO POEMS      


CHO OH-HYUN
  


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ntroductory by KWON YOUNGMIN


translated by HEINZ INSU FENKLE 


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



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85


WANING LANDSCAPE


 


Are they weeping, or laughing, as they go


The geese from the reed forest flying in a flock


And the sky, the autumn sky, its throat sunk in the kill


 


86


AT THE TOMB OF KING SEONDEOK


 


Late fall flowers, blooming in the cold wind,


Look up to the pale daylight moon.


 


Your throne didn’t last a hundred years,


But the dirt you return to abides a thousand.


 


In the empty mountain where the scops owl cries,


Only a rain of pine needles pilling up.


 


 


87


FOREST


 


To live like that,


To go on living like that


 


Mountain forming valleys


To let the waters flow


 


And trees breeding insects


Under their rough bark


 


88


NEW SHOOTS


 


The sky, the eye’s light,


   Open once more at the point of breath,


 


An ember born again


   Where a star’s light glanced-


 


Today, at last, the green waves


   Of May come surging again.


 


89


EARLY SPRING


 


A plantain leaf, half the spring day


At my western window,


 


its image like calligraphy ink


bleeding into cheap draft paper-


 


rain drops fall into the blaze


of sunbeams in the valley of roof tiles.


 


 


 


90


THREE VIEWS OF SPRING


 


1.


The spring Purge


 


The fiery rashes in my crotch


Have caused my festering molars, all, to fall out-


My ignorance, wide as the sky, ah, that magical purge


 


2.


A History of spring


 


I cut my words with my tongue- a blade for beheading horses,


And even hallucinogenic mushrooms, which claimed my soul,


Are all budding like flowers on this dammed spring night


 


3.


Spring Riot


 


Thirsty-thirsty-even the nectar in the blossoms


Each passing spring withers my ever-diminishing life,


And this year it appears the flowers will come in one big riot


 


 


91


THE SOUND OF MY OWN CRY


 


In the woods at noon


I hear a bird cry out


 


On the shore, mid-morning,


I hear the gulls


 


When will I hear


The sound of my own cry?


 


92


ALL THE SAME AT JOURNEY’S END


 


Age: twelve


Identity: monk


 


Work till noon stomping the foot mill,


Split firewood till the sun goes down


 


Once a generation, hear the cry


Of a bird hiding out in the woods


 


Then ten years, twenty years,


Forty years pass, and today


 


Living on the mountain


Not seeing the mountain


 


And the sound of the bird’s cry?


I can’t even hear my own.


 


93


 


SCARECROW


 


He waves at the flocking birds,


At the man walking by-


This scarecrows, as he works for others, with a smile


 


A year of bounty, or a famine year,


Take a walk along the paddy dikes-


Mine, yours-


See the field, the autumn wind?


Not a sole possession, yet I, too, a smiling scarecrow


 


Is what they say I am,


But clear my mind, spread my two arms wide, and


Everything, even the sky-all just a single step away


 


94


DAYS  LIVING ON THE MOUNTAIN


 


Reached the age when I’m sick of it all.


My thoughts, too, knotty like the bones of my bent back,


Today I grabbed a stump about to fall over.


 


Day before yesterday, I went to see Master Hancheon at his temple


And asked him what made him want to go on living.


He couldn’t explain in words, so he told me to strike the


Cloud gong.


 


Now, really, the days living on the mountain-


One day crying like a bug in the grass,


One day laughing like a flower in the field,


Only to see it-the flow that ends the flow.


 


95


 


VAPORS


 


No way forward, no way back


Look around-in all directions, up and down-


   Empty sky and endless cliff


 


Funny


What I wandered all my life to find is a precipice


Finally at this cliff, where I must


   Toss down both life and death-


Vapors waft around to their heart’s content


Funny


That what I clung to all my life-nothing but vapors


 


96


 


MY LIFELINES


 


What I’ve been seeking all my life


Are the mainlines, the veins


Of Zen


& poetry


 


The conclusion I reached today-


Poetry is woodgrain, knotted,


& Zen is wood’s grain, straight


 


97


 


EMBERS(AFTERWORD)


 


-to my readers


 


These words I’ve spewed ‘til now-they’re all drivel.


Mouth ajar at last, as not to tread on earth or stone,


This body, infused with brass, in a molten fire.


 


 


        


 


          


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