In a remote mountain valley
a startled pheasant flies off squawking
You think you alone are startled?
I was startled too
In the Outer Diamond Mountains I could not write a poem
In the Inner Diamond Mountains I could not write a poem
My empty body was full of truth
To a poor fellow who has
no stone-hard horse
no cast-iron cow
not even a black pig
what point would there be in talking about Buddha?
From Flowers of a Moment (c) 2006 by Ko Un, translated by Brother Anthony, Young-moo Kim, and Gary Gach. Reprinted with permission of BOA Editions