Poem: Gaksan (…take a hike with me!)

Gaksan

a poem from the book With Open Arms: Poetry for Big Love and Real Life

In town, my life is all manmade

GS-25, kimbap shops, and power lines

Waiting, rushing, looking both ways

Concrete, asphalt and flashing signs

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But then there’s you

You are the backdrop of my days

Beckoning me, reminding me of something bigger

From here, at this distance you too

Look a bit grey

Like me and my town

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But I know you now

I know that up close

You are a stunner

I walk past the bakeries and the HomePlus

And across the bridge, and the trash-strewn river

It’s here that I doubt myself

And want to turn back

But I know you now

You are worth it

I cross the busy street

And walk the steep road to your base

Now, from here, I see only you

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Thank you for being here

My human friends aren’t around today

Chingu eopsseoyo! 😦

But you are. Chingu isseoyo! 🙂

And, you… are magnificent

Your brownery and greenery

Your paths and your scenery

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Like a faithful lover

I fall in sync with you

And am still surprised by you

Though, I know you now

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Ah yes, at the breast of this curve

The view opens to the pines and sky above

And here, I catch a glimpse of the sea

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And from here, the town looks like what it is

The playthings of humanity

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And now I’m at the yaksuteo

I don’t need to carry water, you deliver it to me

Right when I need it, mid-mountain, sparkling

I scoop a red ladleful and drink it, resting my mind

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And on up, walking in peace

With every step, you heal me, soothe me,

Take away my rough edges and smooth me

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At the top, I stand arms wide open

The better to feel you and thank you,

Gaksan! Chingu isseoyo!

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——

Read more about how you can use “Nature as Healer” in my book Tuning In to Inner Peace: The Surprisingly Fun Way to Transform Your Life

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