Sijos To Cherry Blossoms and After a Trip To A Poor Place (And Flash 55)


Sijo on the Question of  Cherry Blossoms  (Explaining to A One-Time Neighbor in Brooklyn)

See, Joe, I don’t know much about the flights of cherry blossoms;
They snag me plain affixed, winkle breath into their twigged still pink,
Even curbed, they’ve got me–’cause you see, Joe, sigh, Joe, that’s just how it is.


After A Trip To Some Place Poor

I put seen suffering in a box, over to the side somewhere,
But veined-wrist hands push through the cardboard flaps; faces peer in patches;
Stares angle corrugated edges, won’t be squared; find me.


The above are two sijos – a Korean form with three lines, each of 14-16 syllables, for a total count of 44-46.  There’s a lot more to it (that I’ve undoubtedly failed to incorporate.)  For a great article, check out Samuel Peralta’s post at dVerse Poets.

The first one, with the expanded title, is also 55 words!  Tell it to the G-Man.

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27 Comments on “Sijos To Cherry Blossoms and After a Trip To A Poor Place (And Flash 55)”

  1. Mary Says:

    Yes, those stares do find a person, I think. The faces of the poor cannot be ignored…..

    Welcome home, Karin.

  2. Laurie Kolp Says:

    Ahh, nice… I especially like the first one, though… the playfulness, attitude.

  3. brian miller Says:

    nice…like the comapssion.awareness in the last one k….those faces bring me up as much as the cherry blossoms..for opposing reasons…their eyes, they each have a story….nice contrast in the two of these k…

  4. Mohana Says:

    two very contrasting sijo. very intense

  5. Yousei Hime Says:

    Nicely done, but that second one demands rereading. It is definitely one of the early products of your travels. 🙂

  6. kaykuala Says:

    Fine rendition of sijo, MMT! My fav is the second which gives an inkling of a forgotten community!


  7. Susan Says:

    WOW! Two! Because I found this form difficult, I am doubly appreciative of yours. In the first, I like the combination of informal dialogue and images of capture by cherry blossoms. In the second, I recognize the desire to box and look away, and then the power of poverty to refuse invisibility. Your image of hands and faces breaking through is haunting as a nightmare, overwhelming and necessary. Both speak to how “Attention Must be Paid.” To continue to have the Cherry Blossoms, we might be more caring on our watch.

  8. kkkkaty1 Says:

    I see you and the said box…well penned analogy of your recent travels. Hope you are getting settle in N. Y. in a new place. K-

  9. hedgewitch Says:

    Both very eloquent, k. The first has a classic poetic dialogue feel to it, with some lovely imagery, and the second actually made me physically shudder back from the screen–when we compartmentalize, it’s almost as horrific when the thing gets out of the box as the reason that made us put it there to begin with.

  10. Alice Audrey Says:

    The first really highlights the limitations of language in the face of the need to share.

  11. claudia Says:

    i like them both but esp. the second one really grabbed me with the trying to put suffering in a box cause it’s too much to bear…i get this..but then, those eyes..we can’t forget..

  12. Tony Maude Says:

    When you’ve come face to face with real. lfe-destroying poverty, it’s something that you’ll never forget. You may hide those memories away, but form time to time they’ll jump out and surprise you – or at least that’s my experience.

  13. These are just brilliant…both of them.

  14. I love these both. Reading them over and over to see the layers of nuances. 🙂

  15. janehewey Says:

    it was the veined- wrist hands that pushed me closer to knowing your personal experience. I wondered if the hands pushed inwards or outwards. A stark and real poem. I love your matter-of-fact voice in the first sijo. This form seems to soften in your hands.

  16. Rowan Taw Says:

    Loved both, but I found the conversational style of the first to be particularly original.

  17. G-Man Says:

    Welcome back all safe and sound
    I get a chill whenever I hear of someone going to India.
    And your Korean poems were so… Korean!
    Loved your 55
    Thanks for playing, the last two weeks seemed so lonely without you!
    Have a Kick Ass Week End

  18. “See, Joe, sigh, Joe” – very clever! Love how the attitude comes through on that one… and you weave a second sijo with a more serious trope, excellent.

  19. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) Says:

    Ah-ha-ha! You had me at ‘See, Joe’. Love the voice of that one.

    The second is a knock-out too, in a very different way. I might be haunted by those hands awhile, myself.

  20. I love the first – the dialogue with your neighbor about the essence of cherry blossoms. Love the phrase winkle breath.

  21. David King Says:

    Very fine writing indeed. The second line is a real stunner.

  22. Sabio Lantz Says:

    Partitioned lives are inevitable. We can’t carry all the suffering — of others or ourselves. Nicely caught images of stuffy those India memories in storage boxes. Memories can be so unruly.

  23. Oh, K, here you are trying to translate two very different but equally difficult to express entities. I think you did brilliantly with both.

  24. kkkkaty1 Says:

    …have re-read the first one several times and it has mesmerized me for it’s complexity and beauty..

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