Treasure Island

Li-Young Lee


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  • Siobhan Mc Donnell (5/20/2013 8:26:00 AM)

    Li-Young Lee is a Bodhisattva

    14 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Amberlee Carter (8/15/2005 10:55:00 AM)

    Night. Mother wren, soldier heron, and pastor crow
    were all three waiting for the citizen seed to wake, to rise
    from his dark bed walking, to speak. The seed lay in a
    dead swoon. Somewhere, snow fell past a clock, and the
    seed slept. Somewhere, a man grew a beard and died in
    his cell, and the seed slept. A woman waited for her
    lover a lifetime, then swept her kitchen of leaves blown
    in from seasons upon seasons of trees the man left unpruned,
    the shears hung to rust in a lower branch, and
    the seed slept. A city closed its gates. The seed slept.
    What to do? Fretted mother wren. Stand fast, counseled
    the heron. The pastor, wise crow, spoke: only a hand can
    help us, and only a thief. For only a thief will know the way
    into a fortified seed. But where, asked the soldier, will we
    find such a hand?

    The wren looked here and there, in a hayloft, inside
    an old coat sleeve. The pastor ventured throughout the
    countryside. The heron guarded the sleeper. One night
    the crow found the hand lying under a thigh. The hand
    smelled of oranges and fish, and lay dreaming of oranges
    bobbing in the ocean, among the wreckage of crates, the
    fruit nudged now and then from below, nibbled by unseen mouths.

    The crow scratched a message on the windowsill,
    tapped on the pane, then fled. The hand, a
    blind thief, read the pecked sill with its fingers, then lit
    out after the bird.
    After many years the bird and the hand arrived where
    the tattered wren, in a cap of snow, stood by the heron,
    who wore a shawl of snow across his powerful shoulders.
    There, said the crow to the thief, and the hand approached
    the tiny sleeper.

    Children, I know you wonder how a hand may enter a
    place so narrow as a seed. The answer is the hand must
    die. So the hand lay down next to the seed, opened, and
    the three ravenous birds ripped up its flesh and gobbled
    up the blood, and put the bones in a sack.

    Once inside the seed, the thief, who had been blind,
    could see. He moved toward the heart of the seed, but
    found his path blocked by a book. Leafing through
    the book, he noticed many pages missing. Yet, even with
    missing pages, the book was too large to move, too high
    to vault, and too wide to go around. So he sat down and
    began to read the book with the missing pages. Reading
    first the odd-numbered pages, and then the even, he
    read out loud, while all one hundred rooms of the house
    of the seed echoed with the sound of a hand reading.

    Taken fron the book: The Winged Seed: A Remembrance

    By Li-Young Lee

  • Mark Robertson (3/28/2005 7:44:00 PM)

    Li-Young Lee is remarkable for his ability to put pain and love in the palm of hand. Many of his works are in major text books for U.SA. high school students. His 'The Gift' is one of the best positive father-son relationship poems that exists in the English language.

Eating Alone

I've pulled the last of the year's young onions.
The garden is bare now. The ground is cold,
brown and old. What is left of the day flames
in the maples at the corner of my
eye. I turn, a cardinal vanishes.
By the cellar door, I wash the onions,
then drink from the icy metal spigot.

Once, years back, I walked beside my father

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