Sunday, July 14, 2013


—Photo by Caschwa, Sacramento

—Byok Namkung

Grass, summer grass,
Dew drenched grass of Yoyogi fields,
Gently, as if kissing a lover's lips,
I tread you with my bare feet.
Are you not truly the lips of the earth?

Should this, however, distress you,
I suggest that when I die
I turn to earth and go beneath your roots
To make you spring up high.

Should this still distress you,
Then I suggest that you and I,
Animate as we are, each
Walking the perimeters of immortality

Shall meet again
On that eternal road.
Then you can become me and I you
And you can tread gently on me
As I now tread on you.

(trans. from the Korean by Kevin O'Rourke)