Visiting Halabeoji in Busan

On the eighteenth day of the third month
I enter a burial ground dreaming
purple flowers busy in bloom.
The South wind hard at work
blowing withered leaves
chucking them by a stream.

Clouds shade a pair
of shoes left at a grave
two plots over. A cold mist
hangs, dripping from stone to stone;
its tears pool
in a nearby rice field.

It was where your son
wanted to bury you.
The water stagnant,
silent masses of eggs
hatching to foliage
like a malignancy.

Three monks walk past.
Their shadows come and go
but none speak to me,
and not one nuance
from the mountains
returns my gaze.

Beneath the haze
a stupa overgrown with weeds
is where you last worshipped,
hymning the lotus.
My sandals half green with moss
stand on the platform praying

to my God to save your soul.
Sleeping graves understand
sad thoughts of sojourners
and I am no different.

My dream broken
I awake.

John Hansen received a BA in English from the University of Iowa and MA in English Literature from Oklahoma State University. His work has appeared in The Summerset Review, The Pluralist, Philological Review, The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies, One Sentence Poems, The Drabble, PopMatters, Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, and others. He is English Faculty at Mohave Community College in Arizona. Read more at

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1 Response to Visiting Halabeoji in Busan

  1. letsgorightnow21 says:

    Such a heaviness of deep feelings touching my core when I read this poem.

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