2016 Sejong Writing Competition
Winning Entries :: Sijo
My new dog, little Emma, a gift to us from the heavens.
My aunt passed, stupid cancer, my mom distraught. Everyone muted.
I could look into Emma’s eyes, she’s still here, on four paws.
Tiny snow-white egret wading
through the sea near broken rocks—
How can a being so fragile
keep balanced despite the waves?
On the beach, not far from the boardwalk,
there stands only one tough tree.
She challenges me.
Poking fun at how I look.
I tell her we shall never be friends-
I will not return to her.
But I realize she will never leave.
She is the woman who lives inside of me.
All your thoughts are gone, never to be seen again
Back and forth, back and forth, until everything disappears
The eraser is now wiping all of the pencil marks away
A Fleeting Moment of Profound Relief
The nebulous sound of tourist babble melds into the heat.
A grizzled man gestures to his blanket, lined with baubles.
“You buy? You buy?” He sighs, assuaged, when I reach for my wallet.
Back in New Orleans
In the South, Grandpa was born. Paper shack house had a dirt floor.
As a kid he drank coffee. Milk for them was too expensive.
They were rich with gospel spirit! In church they sang, and filled their hearts.
My father was a hero mailing letters to soldiers in Japan.
My brother was a hero flying food to friendlies in Korea.
But I was a coward for shooting my gun in Vietnam.
Here I am, the human pincushion, constantly stabbing my skin with needles.
Here I am, a disappointment to my parents, with a chronic disease.
Here I am, a teenager, trying to hold onto a piece of nonexistent string.
This artwork is so beautiful and creates a home for someone.
It is made in the biggest workshop on the entire Earth.
Small creatures in the sea live, work, and sleep in these seashells.
The ball spins, after I pass, the ball rolls down, after I shoot,
the ball flies, basketball's fun, I play often, I play at school,
I play sports, I play sports at school, I love to play, the ball spins
Sol et Luna
Playful shouts and pounding feet,
children run and play in the heat.
Light kisses from the warm rays,
when the sun's out, it’s time to play.
I’m the moon, watching in despair,
I’ll never know their love affair.