Adieu, adieu, my native star!
Adieu, adieu! my native star!
Remember this farewell from one going yonder so far
From a shore where he would gather an eye-ful of teardrops,
As if they would turn into some unknown diamond-drops!
No need to add to the Sea of Sadness, for
He is now on a journey for what he so longed for,
To where tears shall take on only one meaning,
The pure opposite of heart-breaking and mourning.
Calmed down shall be this heart so thick throbbing,
As a child lulled to sleep has stopped his sobbing.
May it quicken anew at the breaking of a dazzling dawn,
Like that of a new-born lamb gamboling on a fresh lawn.
Wish him a bon voyage in his dream’s flight
To sail and hail through a long and dark night,
For his soul to arrive sometime after this adieu
At a pasture gleefully glistening with morning dew!
Where he truly wishes to see, again as a child,
The Shepherd he saw in a painting when he was a child,
Who was holding a lamb in his arms so kind and mild
And now would embrace this old soul as a lost child.
The Brother of Sleep
With your sunken head supported by Morpheus
And your sagging legs upheld by Thanatos,
You are carried into a far and strange land,
Where you can hold again your loved one’s hand
And pour out things long contained in your heart,
Anger, regret, frustration, but all in tears
Welling up from the untouchable bottom of your heart,
Now like a broken jar brimmed with fresh tears.
You keep talking, even shouting, to wake up crying
In the dead still of night alone in your bed,
As if awakened by the sound of someone else crying,
A little piece of your heart now gone dead.
Never have you thought yourself to be so brave
As to put willingly your leg in your own grave,
Until now you sometimes recall the pair again,
More room in your heart for that undying pain.
You wait for them like a stork to take you to that land,
A world away from here we believe to be better
Where all grieving and missing shall come to an end,
Be it with the sweet Morpheus or only his dark brother.
To Gerard Manley Hopkins
There is a story about a man I read and heard,
A lonely servant who also was a kindly shepherd,
Whose life did my heart and soul so deep touch,
Yet whose death did so numberless times as such.
Allow me his parting words for me to cite
Not as a lay of heart-aching lamentation,
But as a song of praise one would recite
For a day-to-day heartening incantation.
To my life He married me to I vow to do my part,
Till death, as He shall dispose, do us part,
And to bond myself faithful to this life-long pledge,
As would do a humble repenter for a noble pilgrimage.
Though it all amounted to a sorry waste
In chase of things that passed in haste,
Let my life undeserving of extreme unction
Make this terminal, yet chaste, confession!
More within than without, rife
With all kind manner of strife,
“I am so happy” with my life.
“I am so happy. I loved my life!”
To be an animal, like a camel, able to survive
The long and lonely journey through the desert
Is probably the best way we can contrive
To travel this land we can hardly desert,
Where, sometimes like a fish on the sand,
Our soul waits for the rescuing hand,
Be it of man or of a god-send,
To dry our tears to a happy end,
Yet, missing the loved ones we can’t abandon
Aboard a floating ship that’s doomed to sink
Down to the dark realm of the Abaddon,
Where there’s nothing but tears to drink,
Our soul sometimes dares to dive
To the deepest bottom man can reach alive
In the Sea of Sadness that thrives on
The tears flowing, mourning on and on.
The Tail of a Tale
I know enough to know that writing
Cannot be, by any means, about righting
A wrong impossible to set back right,
Nor for a belated solution in its own right,
But, more often than not, it’s about writhing
In pain and remorse about things slip-sliding
Away, or things whose ends were left loose
To be tightly woven into a hangman’s noose.
How funny to be reminded of that silly tale
Of the two young siblings hanging on to a rope,
Believing it to be one of their only hope
Bound by fate to save the day without fail!
And, with my mind running wild off the rails,
Another pair of young siblings now I follow,
Leading between the lines along the trails
Of crumbs my lost heart growing ever hollow.
Wandering through a fairyland with a veil
Overhanging his reality to look so pale,
An old boy is holding on to a never-ending tale
No better than a fallen angel’s shameful tail,
The long and short of which is the tale of a fail
He spits out, chewing the rag of a tattered sail,
Or a bale of cotton soaked in tears to no avail,
Not even worth a shattered grail or a rusty nail.
Kihyeon Lee is a poet from Jeonbuk Province in South Korea. He studied German Literature and his English is mostly self-taught. As a writer, he hopes to capture the emotional journey and beauty of humanity through a personal perspective. When he isn’t writing, he enjoys sauntering in the mountains and listening to classical music and opera.