Keumgang-Gul / Diamond Cave

By Ko Un
Translated by Sunny Jung
What a relief
you cannot live everywhere all at once.
Today, here in Diamond Cave,
there's no longer any reason to live.
Stay one or two days:
this world
& the Other are drained of difference.

Wind blows.
As a pearl is born at seabottom in agony
out of oyster flesh from within the most obscure darkness
here the wind blows from the depths.

I want to travel far & then return.
The wind blows as if I were eighty-five,
maybe eighty-seven.

Ko Un, "Keumgang-Gul / Diamond Cave," translated by Sunny Jung and Hillel Schwartz, from Abiding Places. Copyright © 2006 by Ko Un.  Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press.
Source: Abiding Places (Tupelo Press, 2006)