Children shone in the front gate and put their hands together in the demon pavilion. Then they went up red-dusted steps toward the granite stupa, where they didn't hesitate to bow with their mothers. Thick white candles with reverse swastikas and rows of images on the ascending plinths of stone. I crouched under the temple, in the cool shadow, by the outdoor Nestlé's coffee dispenser—and was aroused when two women strode by in russet hanbok "Color of the dharma's robes," said monk Sôgu suddenly beside me. I followed him down the hill and sat on a log. There was a small lake and I was calm enough at last. . .to listen to my new uncle conduct the neighborhood's Bodhisattva orchestra, seated on folding chairs in the mud beside it.
Walter K. Lew
Leaving Seoul: 1953
We have to bury the urns, Mother and I. We tried to leave them in a back room, Decoyed by a gas lamp, and run out But they landed behind us here, at the front gate. It is 6th hour, early winter, black cold: Only, on the other side of the rice-paper doors The yellow ondol stone-heated floors Are still warm. I look out to the blue Lanterns along the runway, the bright airplane. Off the back step, Mother, disorganized As usual, has devised a clumsy rope and shovel To bury the urns. I wonder out loud how she ever became a doctor. Get out, she says Go to your father: he too Does not realize what is happening. You see, Father is waiting at the airfield in a discarded U. S. Army Overcoat. He has lost his hat, lost His father, and is smoking Lucky's like crazy. . . We grab through the tall weeds and wind That begin to shoot under us like river ice. It is snowing. We are crying, from the cold Or what? It is only decades Later that, tapping the cold, glowing jars, I find they contain all that has made The father have dominion over hers.