The Maple Tree’s Protest by Lee Won-kyu

Translated by Chae-Pyong Song and Anne Rashid

Photography by Ha sung-mok

The Maple Tree’s Protest by Lee Won-kyu

She also wants to send a message;
The maple tree longs to say a word
to the people who have driven in straws and sucked her blood,
even before the spring comes on Jiri Mountain.

She might want to say:
“This is as cruel as the Relentless Hell;
kill me instead.”
But the maple tree is silent.
Blooming her lemon yellow flowers,
waving her leaves like a child’s palm,
the maple tree does not say a word.

The late fall of the same year,
she only reveals to the people
coming to enjoy the foliage
the dark, dry, twisted leaves,
only to remind them that Jiri Mountain
without its colorful leaves
is the Relentless Hell.

고로쇠나무의 항변/ 이원규

저도 한 소식 전하고 싶은 것이다
지리산의 봄이 오기도 전에
빨대 꽂고 쪽쪽 피를 빠는 인간들에게
단풍나무과의 고로쇠나무도
한 말씀 전하고 싶은 것이다

무간지옥이 따로 있간디
차라리 죽여달랑께, 할 법도 한데
고로쇠, 고로쇠는 말이 없다
담황색 꽃을 피우고
아기 손바닥 같은 잎은 내저으며
고로쇠는 고로쇠 아무 말이 없었다

다만 그해 늦가을
단풍놀이 온 인간들에게
말라비틀어진 검은 잎을 보여줄 뿐
단풍잎 하나 없는 지리산이 곧
아비지옥이란 것을 깨우쳐줄 뿐

시집『자연 속에서 읽는 한 편의 시 08』(국립공원, 2007)

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