Karen Lee: Three Poems

A dragon was born in a stream (개천에서 용 났다)

Once upon a time,
the sun turned its cheek to a bright red.
It blushed,
and with it the glimmer of sunlight disappeared.
The stream kept flowing,
even though there is no one to shine against its hard work.

After tireless more twirls of the sun,
the stream was rewarded with the most majestic creature;
a dragon.
Despite its humble origins of a lonely stream,
it flipped its wings and flew into the sky,
becoming a star in the dark shade.

The dragon keeps the world from being unnavigable,
guiding the troubled souls,
rewarding all those who try
no matter where they come from.


Reading Summer

Summer: a sticky day that melts the old pages
off the flimsy, withering leather books
in the Lynchburg Public Library. A season where
the only refuge –
the air conditioned hallways.
Inside: a child scurries to the counter,
holding a pile of children’s books,
lopsided and of a multitude of shapes and sizes. Like childrens’
books are.
The stack amounts above his head,
and he staggers to hold it straight.
The old woman by the counter brings up her glasses,
as if she cannot see the scene,
and sighs.
She does not move.
A smile decorates her lips as she enjoys the sight.
The background: playing Flight of the Bumblebee.
The child dances,
tiptoeing around the old wooden library.
The record keeps spinning.


What We Are

The sun rises from the East.
Time passes with every second and makes up a day.
We like to rely on what we see
and pretend
to understand where we are.
Stars shine bright in the sky like specks of dust.
Spots light up,
and galaxies swirl like a kindergarten girl being chased
around the playground.
The orbs make the swings
and glow like the mystical world in fairytales.
Where are we?
The celestial playground is too big
for us.
The red hurricane swallows the stars,
drawing a rose on the dark canvas.
A new garden of stars grows everyday.

What are you looking for?