Li-Young Lee

Comments (4)

Great poems! This poet is a true gift to poetry. I've enjoyed those read; would love to stay and read all of them, but gotta move on. Hope to visit again soon. Best wishes.
Li-Young Lee is a Bodhisattva
Night. Mother wren, soldier heron, and pastor crow were all three waiting for the citizen seed to wake, to rise from his dark bed walking, to speak. The seed lay in a dead swoon. Somewhere, snow fell past a clock, and the seed slept. Somewhere, a man grew a beard and died in his cell, and the seed slept. A woman waited for her lover a lifetime, then swept her kitchen of leaves blown in from seasons upon seasons of trees the man left unpruned, the shears hung to rust in a lower branch, and the seed slept. A city closed its gates. The seed slept. What to do? Fretted mother wren. Stand fast, counseled the heron. The pastor, wise crow, spoke: only a hand can help us, and only a thief. For only a thief will know the way into a fortified seed. But where, asked the soldier, will we find such a hand? The wren looked here and there, in a hayloft, inside an old coat sleeve. The pastor ventured throughout the countryside. The heron guarded the sleeper. One night the crow found the hand lying under a thigh. The hand smelled of oranges and fish, and lay dreaming of oranges bobbing in the ocean, among the wreckage of crates, the fruit nudged now and then from below, nibbled by unseen mouths. The crow scratched a message on the windowsill, tapped on the pane, then fled. The hand, a blind thief, read the pecked sill with its fingers, then lit out after the bird. After many years the bird and the hand arrived where the tattered wren, in a cap of snow, stood by the heron, who wore a shawl of snow across his powerful shoulders. There, said the crow to the thief, and the hand approached the tiny sleeper. Children, I know you wonder how a hand may enter a place so narrow as a seed. The answer is the hand must die. So the hand lay down next to the seed, opened, and the three ravenous birds ripped up its flesh and gobbled up the blood, and put the bones in a sack. Once inside the seed, the thief, who had been blind, could see. He moved toward the heart of the seed, but found his path blocked by a book. Leafing through the book, he noticed many pages missing. Yet, even with missing pages, the book was too large to move, too high to vault, and too wide to go around. So he sat down and began to read the book with the missing pages. Reading first the odd-numbered pages, and then the even, he read out loud, while all one hundred rooms of the house of the seed echoed with the sound of a hand reading. Taken fron the book: The Winged Seed: A Remembrance By Li-Young Lee
All Comments