One Leaf

  • onJuly 16, 2015
  • Vol.28 Summer 2015
  • byKim Kwang-Kyu
A Journey to Seoul
Tr. Brother Anthony of Taizé


When the valley in K’unaksan Mountain was all
buoyant with pale green,
when the trees were thick with fresh leaves, I mean,
I had no idea at all
as I passed by.
When the road to the temple beyond was
all ablaze with orange maples and leaves
were falling in mounds in the breeze
when the dead leaves were falling, I mean,
I did not feel anything at all
as I strolled by.
One day when the year was virtually over
and occasional snowflakes fluttered down,
one leaf
dangling at the tip of a branch of a gaunt jujube tree
suddenly fell, all alone.
Each of them had sprouted separately,
lived through the summer clustered together
then finally each had fallen separately
and as they did so, each of those leaves
was showing what it is to vanish.