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Yong Koong Sa
by C.J. Pellerin

Break into high plumes

muscle over

foam up inner crevices

gulls kite into

seeking stranded clams

 

Eaves' under-work

timber grey-boned

by salt-laden gales

 

In impressionist form

tour groups paint

down the 108 steps

pose for photos

under the immortal

pearl-clutching dragon

pile in pile out of

the main temple

 

In his special cavern

granite Buddha sits beside

a wilting bouquet of pink roses

receives all supplications

with the same smile

 

In the monk's chant

strains

of Bird's heroin jazz?

 

A wizened Halmoni descends

into the holy cellar

with a badly shaking hand

lights a candle bows low

 

High-strung University girls

troop in pull out compact mirrors

adjust makeup babble into cell phones

 

Boys smoke push each other around

 

Heavily jaded house-wives

huddle together in cabbala

sip coffee clandestinely

check their designer purses

 

I shift aside

speak-English-to-foreigner looks

hope for an unbroken

oriental solitude

 

Waves

build in the shallows

hulk over

brutal-free

in timeless

peaceful

destruction

 

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January 18, 2006