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Jungtae Lee
Poet

 


A curious moon
peeping over the rooftop
in Armory Square

I wrote this haiku a few years ago, gazing out a window in a building overlooking Armory Square.

It brought back memories of city life in Seoul, where I lived amid a thriving metropolitan culture of businesses, museums, theaters, movie houses and galleries, in addition to thousands of bars.

The bright night life of Seoul stole any chances to catch a full moon. Ain't we so lucky to savor a full moon over the beautiful old buildings in Armory Square?

A crowd of crows fly
in the winter sky, searching
for shelter in snow

I wrote this haiku in response to a newspaper article about open war on crows in Auburn.I was troubled by the idea of shooting crows randomly. There should be a better way of dealing with these creatures.

As a bird lover I have always been stunned by the powerful presence crows bring in nature. No wonder so many visual and verbal artists use the common crow as a muse.

I could visualize crowds of crows in the severe winter sky of Central New York. Where will they rest?


old canal waters
spring anew in my heart at
Clinton Square Fountains

Iím a multi-media artist who creates films, photographs, sound design. But I never wrote haiku until I saw the ad for it in the New Times. Then I remembered, when I was in film school, we learned about this Russian filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein, who wrote about an editing method based on haiku. Like lines of haiku, one scene creates another scene, and they inspire each other. So I thought, This is like filmmaking, I can do it.

Iím interested in local historyóthe history of the canal, old buildings. I love the cityís old buildings. Whenever I see them neglected, somehow it bothers me. I grew up in Korea, and so much of Korea was destroyed during the War. We donít have many old buildings now. You never know how precious they are until you lose them. So when I saw the fountains, they reminded me of the canal and its incredible buried history.

An ocean blue sky
floating over cool Green Lakes
A dragonfly dreams

Green Lakes is one of my favorite places in Central New York, in the summer and throughout the year. You can go there with a friend or by yourself. I try to be there as much as I can. Itís a beautiful place. Itís another world.

Whenever I write haiku, itís more about nature. I want to write about what I see.

When I see the clouds and the water, it just stops me. You want to capture it in wordsóthe way you want to take a picture.

Anyone coming to Central New York or the city, I would like to encourage them to visit that beautiful place.

 

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