The House Imperishable

The House Imperishable

 -At the Empty Site of Van Gogh’s Yellow House


Was it that he ever knew,

After his death

His house would perish, too?


Or was it that he ever wished,

After his death

His house would be a reminder of him?


Oh! So much had he longed, after death,

As to take it to that picture for good! 

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A Candle-lit Night

A Candle-lit Night / Michael Kwack



A candle alone

cannot brighten a whole house;

A torch alone

cannot brighten a whole night.


With a single lantern

a dark desert cannot be walked on;

With a single starlight

the universe cannot be flown through.


But beautiful is a star-filled night sky.

And beautiful too, in the dark,

is the hand, with a wavering...

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DETOUR  by Michael Kwack


At a crossroads today, my friend,
I again drove in the wrong direction.

On roads well-known and often driven,
Especially when I am alone,
This occurs more frequently.

If I forget my destination, I think,
Probably certainly it means 
I am not willing to go that way,

Or rather willing to go 
Somewhere else in my mind.

But life has only one destinati...

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A Strange Journey

A Strange Journey/Michael Kwack

Entering a souvenir store on the road, 
I realized I’d lost my luggage.

The wallet was well-kept in my back pocket; 
​But money for the remaining days,
And passport, business cards, party clothes, etc.,
All were in that suitcase I'd lost.

I didn't remember
Which roads I'd been walking along,
And at which store I'd let go of that trunk.

I turned...

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The Flower One Day

The Flower One Day / Michael Kwack



While I was not out,

The flower bloomed.


That will fall,

While I do not look,


The flower of love.


One day,


The heart will fall.

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The Thorn

The Thorn / Michael Kwack


It seemed a big bird had flown;

For, onto the desk of my own,

A feather was falling,

Through the air fluttering.


As if in a dream did I gaze:

A tiny bird it was!


I stretched an arm,

And the bird got on my palm.

The whole body, in bright gold,

Was the wing of this bird.


Should I hold it on my palm?

Let it go afloat in...

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letter to spring

letter to spring / michael kwack



in a wind

there i smell a scent of spring


i've passed the winter away

in a far place alone


but it was now

only hours of emptiness

i've got to write letters

the last confession to myself


then meet the spring

in complete quietness

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Résumé / Michael Kwack


Love is, like art,

dull without passion.


Marriage is, like enterprise,

vain without fortune.


Home is, like a chair,

awkward without comfort.


Life is, like sleep,

hollow without a dream.


Death* is, like a letter,

absurd without a story.


  *Death means suicide.

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Play in the Night

Play in the Night

                      --Michael Kwack



From two o’clock

When owls hoot

Up to four when cocks crow

Surely I will be kept awake,


To watch the secret play

Of the conscious and unconscious.


However, I will not see

The queer performance inside me

As a mere dream in the night.


If I long for better plays,

More will I wander dur...

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Putting Out the Lamp

Putting Out the Lamp


In the dusk of early evening one day

I awakened from a belated nap,

And came to find nobody back home yet,

Only the wall lamp flickering away.


I, the child, quickly getting quailed,

Started running away from the dark haunted place,

But soon stopped for looking backward

For some reasons I couldn't quite grasp.


Probably it was the left-a...

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Sad dreams

Was it true,

sleep depends on tears?


To refill the well

that had dried up by day,


Or to wet the lids, at the least,

by dreaming sad dreams,


With that tearful hope,

had the sleep come by night?


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A Pilot's Joke

A Pilot's Joke / Michael Kwack


Once upon a time, there lived a flying man

Who kept flying on, never thinking of landing...


One day accidentally he had to land

Somewhere, or nowhere, on the sand...


After having lived alone very happily ever after,

He left a poem in the sand when he finally left his land;




I used to love sand,

For, where ther...

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To Summer

What springs up in spring

All falls in the next fall;

Summer sums

All the fruit we have,

And says we are rich,

Not having to worry

Where and how to winter.

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Birth of Octave

Dominoes are hanging, like 88 wind-chimes, inside a

Record shop window;  whereinto an old Irish priest, once a dreamer of becoming

Michelangelo, or Liszt the virtuoso, today called

'Father Manyon,'  is gazing, recalling the scented

Solitary pine, on the hillside of his home town; whereunder he used to recite

La Belle Dame sans Merci, often so much wishing to

See the pale sighing ...

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A Perfect Afternoon

Leisurely and alone,

I was wandering in the museum garden.

Flowers were completely gone,

But deep green summer leaves fully grown,

And on each branch

Small birds all the way chirping:

Certainly for me a perfect afternoon

To be seated still and calm,

To be lost in poem-reciting!

But suddenly a wind arose

When a human voice caught my ear,

Saying low ye...

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Arrows of Rain

On the empty wall of my room

I think I'll put a picture of the rain. --


Hitting the ground,

And getting up to ankles,


The rain will be wetting my socks

And trousers from below;


Then my eyes will follow




...tick, tick, tick...

Everything in the picture,


Until catching a black brolly,

And the shiny enamel shoes...

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The Poor Little Dove

The Poor Little Dove/Michael Kwack


To watch the wave play with the wind,

I sat by the museum garden pond.


Then a small pigeon came flying,

Landed to her feet, tiny and cute,


And stared up at me, a bit intensely,

Only blinking her eyes, no other move.


She was like a camera model baby,

And I recalled my infanthood pictures.


I started taking some ph...

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a note

a word



in secret


a name





a woman





The transparent sunlight


stirred by her 

thin fingers


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Rain and Balloon

Raindrops are laughing,      



Like cherry



Onto the garden                   



I am alone                             

Floating on,


A little cooling the warmth                       

Of summer morning; 


As if flying

Big sky balloons


Of birthday party   ...

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