Lady in the Dark Stairway

Lady in the Dark Stairway

My law-daughter prays every night
in the room downstairs. She confesses me,
sometimes she sees a lady in a nightgown
in the stairway watches her before vanishing.
To help her not to fear, I tell her true,
‘She’s me. One night, on my way to the bathroom,
I watched you kneeled, bowed, and prayed.’
‘She’s a ghost or Jin, ma,’ she says.
‘There’s no ghost,’ I tell her. ‘Your sixth sense
lets you see me on the step that night.’
‘I don’t believe that, ma.’
‘Okay. She’s your Jin. Don’t fear.’
‘I don’t.’
One night, heading to the bathroom downstairs,
I saw a woman on the step slowly vanishing
into the stream of light. Or, did she? She might be merely
a manifestation of my sleepy psych, like the ghostly woman
on the step was the echo of me?

Jin, Gene in English, is a being whom Muslims believe as an invisible form.  I would appreciate your opinion on the poem above.      

©Byung A. Fallgren



It creeps up on me as the judge grills.
I search in my heart for the right answer,
for having failed as a good daughter.
Being so far away, seeing her sporadically,
the pink-flowered Hanbok she made
for me for the first day of my kindergarten,
the warmth of her hand that held mine,

in the deep ocean of memory,

I weep, wishing I could go back and

give her a hug.
What was born of the old selfishness?
Nothing, not a thing, except, gaining

some insight to see beyond ordinary.
This dragon fire had not melt even
a little sliver of the ice of the world pain,
merely flying ’round, singing the song
like a bird heard by few.

Let the salt water brim the eyes,
listening to her soothing voice,

and I learn to be reborn.

©Byung A. Fallgren

The Owl

The Owl

He settled on the branch
called home, his little feathers flirt,
beguiled by the passing wind,
dormant selfishness,
understanding absent.
Wife’s feminine fit would be clashed with his teeth,
clutching his off spring, he’d fly to his dad’s.
After many days, would return home,
irrational act, defeated by his intelligence,
still, he blames the law-mother for lack of
daughter-and-mother talk–his ignorance of
the fact that they text message often.
“Do your part,” she tells the couple.
“No one is fault-proof.
Say sorry and work it out.”
In a fit he vanishes into the night. In the wee-hour,
he turns into an owl and returns
to the usual tree.
Her heart beats normal for now,
hopes he stays as the new one.

©Byung A. Fallgren

Summer Forest

Summer Forest

Mountain creatures, little and big, settle down
In the home of the summer-lady,
After the cease of the spring fanfare
Of the loud creek and heaving earth.
Her smorgasbord richer and stronger in taste
Than the season before.
Young ferns’ curls loosen to reach the stars,
To learn the unknown,
Skinny legs of the offspring got stronger,
Mamas and the youngsters roam the hills and valleys
For the berries and whatnot,
The moon guides the strayed fawn,
Till she smells the doe.
Squirrels and chipmunks eye on the people picnic
Under the pine trees. They welcome the popcorns
Left behind but scurry away from
The dirty napkins and empty cans,
                And the like.
Irate wind kicks them ‘round, rages at the sloppiness,
At the disrespect for the rec center of
                The Mother’s Home.
Waterfall guffaws at the frolicking trout below,
Hawks cry above the tree-tops, sensing the
Stealthy autumn beckons from the distant mountain,
Warns the hikers for the elfish snowfall
On the high mountain, then they
Shrug it off, dance to the tree-wind-song.

* This poem first appeared in The Avocet, Summer 2020.

It has been over two weeks since my husband and I returned from our trip,
and we are fine, which means we didn’t catch coronavirus.
I thank my god!

–Byung A.

Honeyed words

Gregory, IMG_8373

Honeyed Words
By GregoryTullock—

Like liquified sunshine 
Golden, pure, sweet 
Gathered by the 
Industrious tongue 
Of the honeybee
Transformed through 
Apian alchemy 
And received by
The appreciative tongue
Of mine own
Honeyed words 
Spoken straight to my tongue 
Whispered to my soul  



Deep inside ourselves

Deep inside ourselves  
By Charles Portolano – Fountain Hills, AZ –

Deep in the sea, 
oh, deep in the sea 
where darkness rules 
the warming waters are  
percolating causing great grief, 
changing migration patterns, 
killing our coral reefs. 

High in the Alps, the Andres, 
high in the Himalayas,  
and on both of the Poles  
the warming snow  
flows down their crying faces
of the once frozen ice, now 
escaping into the warming seas. 

Rising sea levels, 
oh, rising sea levels 
now leaves so many homeless 
as she takes back her land, 
where we all came from 
in the beginning of our existence 
with our first breath of oxygen. 

Breathing in deep is a struggle, 
hurts each breath taken 
for the young, the old, the sick, 
all feel the burn in the back 
of their always sore throats, 
the endless coughing, just trying 
to catch their next breath. 

Deep in the back of our minds 
where we keep secrets, 
we know the end will be coming 
for our refusing to choose  
a new way to live sharing  
fairly all the resources Mother 
has to give to all of her children…  

* It is free to download The Weekly Avocet.
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