Categories
Poetry

God is dangerous

 Poetry from Korea by Ihlwha Choi

God is dangerous.


The man committing theft,
The man committing adultery,
The man committing murder,
Each keeps his secret.


Man takes His name in vain.
God is tired and worn out.

Distinguishing the crimes one by one,
Forgiving, consoling and loving again,
He is in pain — sorrowful and lonely.

He is not joyful at the sound of the psalms —

Plumbing the dark sides of people’s minds, 
Looking into their enmities, hatred and greed. 

God is rather intolerant
When people try to execute you.


God is very dangerous.

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Ihlwha Choi is a South Korean poet. He has published multiple poetry collections, such as Until the Time When Our Love will Flourish, The Color of Time, His Song and The Last Rehearsal. 

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Categories
Poetry

Ten Islands

                                  Poetry from Korea by Ihlwha Choi

Ten people are eating rice cake dumpling soup

Same price

Same taste in the same bowl

Made by the same cook

They are eating the same soup delivered by the same waiter

Among them

Young people arrive through the falling snow

One young girl wearing a red backpack

Another girl wearing a baseball cap slightly tilted on the head

One male student with black eyebrows 

who has ever written love letters

Sitting with a boy who has never written love letter

And also two privates coming out of army camp for vacation

One grandma with her little grandson

Among the ten

Some ones know each other and some not

Some seem to have seen each other somewhere

The wind is blowing very hard outside

Though ten people are eating hot rice cake dumpling soup

They are all islands surrounded by ten oceans

Ten islands different in shape

Are eating hot rice cake dumpling soup cooling huhu

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Ihlwha Choi is a South Korean poet. He has published multiple poetry collections, such as Until the Time When Our Love will Flourish, The Color of Time, His Song and The Last Rehearsal.

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Categories
Poetry

Nandini

by Ihlwha Choi

I couldn’t ask Nandini if she had taken some school education.

I only asked a foreign student excellent in Bengali about her age.

The girl, understanding only English such as brother, sister and thanks was the last daughter of a roti shop,

Located at the small street near the post office in Shantiniketan, West Bengal.

There was Nandini’s small shop along with fruit shops and bike shop.

Cows passing by would thrust their heads suddenly

Into the shop thatched with bamboo stems.

One Korean poet said he had seen the girl when she was seven.
Her bones had grown up until now, at the age of fourteen, selling chai and roti.

In this district goats and ducks, even dogs and cows grow up by themselves.

They do not pierce cows’ nose nor pull them by reins.

The only thing that hinders the cows is the chains around the trees.

The only thing hindering the sleep of dogs is so many steps and vehicle horns.

Maybe Nandini also has grown up like that,

Delivering the dishes of roti and washing the glasses of chai,

Yelling at the two babies of the older sisters.

She might learn about the world hearing the customers’ talk over their shoulders.

How long had she had bare feet? The toes pressed out from sandals looked like tree stumps.

My returning back to my country has nothing to do with Nandini.

She only smiled brightly twinkling her eyes at my small gift.

I wished she would meet a good man not wanting a dowry,

And become a nice mom of children like her elder sister,

All together with her brothers and sisters and strong and diligent mother,

Dissolving the tragic memory of her father’s suicide.

Nandini smiled though I told her to close her mouth and though I didn’t let her say cheese to make her smile.

When did she learn to smile in front of a camera?

There lived a flower-like little girl selling chai near the old house of Poet R. Tagore.

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Ihlwha Choi is a South Korean poet. He has published multiple booksof poetry. Until the Time When Our Love will Flourish, The Color of Time, His Song and The Last Rehearsal to name a few. E-mail: choiihlwha@hanmail.net

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.