Thursday 5 November 2015

1 Poem by Yearn Hong Choi

---To Georgia O’Keefe


A tiny bird’s long beak is
penetrating into the nectar of an oasis tree’s flower
on the New Mexico desert.

Two wings constantly are flapping
in the air to stand still.

What kind of wings are they?

One step backward from the flower
and two steps forward
in mid-air
toward the flower

(No other bird can fly backward!)


You are the most beautiful flower in the New Mexico desert.
I become a hummingbird
flapping my wings 90 times per second
to be engaged in aerial warfare
with the fragrance of the flower for one ounce of honey.


The 10-centimeter hummingbird
is descending 80 meters per minute.

New Mexico desert
from the sky to the earth
is full of your fragrance
via hummingbird’s long beak.


Dr. Choi is author of three poetry books,  Autumn Vocabularies (1990), Moon of New York (2008), and Copenhagen’s Bicycle (2010), and memoir, Song of Myself: A Korean-American Life (2010). He is editor of Surfacing Sadness: A Centennial of Korean-American Literature (2003), Fragrance of Poetry: Korean-American Literature (2005), an Empty House: Korean-American Poetry (2008), and I am Homeland: 12 Korean Poets (2013). He has been a contributor to to World Literature Today and to the Korea Times.

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