poetry

No One Knows What Tomorrow May Bring

On my flight home, I read this poem in my Korea Air in-flight magazine. As someone who knew it was time to leave Korea, even though my heart wanted me to stay, this poem really moved me.

When To Go
by Chung Dong-muk

The green so glorious
For two seasons,
Knows when to leave,
When it's time to go.
But you, old tree,
With your sturdy roots,
You know for sure,
You are in the right place,
And I in mine.
No one knows what tomorrow may bring.
Everyone in their place.

Seoul Sonnet

How do I love Seoul? Let me count the ways.
I love the smell, the sight, the touch, the sound,
Of subways and shopping malls kept underground;
A fun way to spend time during commute delays.

Up above ground, under a clear blue sky,
I love the city parks in which to play,
Where Seoulites can relax and spend the day
In nature, away from traffic nearby.

A love the combination of old and new,
Aged palaces and temples sharing space
With modern high rises in the same place.
And I love the Han River flowing though.

I love the parties in the streets of Seoul,
The many festivals and fun celebrations
That unite people from different nations.
It's these occasions that make a city whole.

There's so much more that can't be counted in lists,
Like the joy in finding new places to explore,
Or the change in oneself that can't be ignored.
But perhaps what's most important is this:
No matter what I do or where I roam,
I love how this city always feels like home.

Reflections on Life

Without dark, there is no light. Without night, there can be no stars.

Without challenges, there is no strength. It is our battles that we face that make us brave and strong.

Without fear, there is no excitement. There is a rush we get from our fears that evolves into a rush of excitement once our fears are confronted and conquered.

Without tears, there is no laughter. We can’t feel joy if we can’t feel pain.

Without yesterday, there is no today. Because without a past, we can have no present.

Without death, there is no life.