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Books & Poetry

Poem: Journey to Hadong

Books & Poetry

An early spring rural landscape in South Korea is the setting for this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution from Clinton Foster.

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Journey to Hadong

Countryside: first impression.

Emerging from the fog
flashes of pink and white,
stark against barren branches.
The benched land is awakening.
In narrow shallow paddies,
short green shoots herald summer
now that spring has arrived.

Road to Hadong.

Trellised, tied, and straining,
good for grapes.
But not apricot, peach and cherry!
They cry out in pain.


Blue roofs
blue writing
blue trucks
blue cranes.
Blue, my favourite colour,
but no longer.

Hadong Journey.

Fringed by yellow-gold Forsythia bushes:
bamboo thickets – lime green;
conifers – Brunswick green;
and wispy leafless, not lifeless, trees
all the same height,
the same diameter,
the same age – regeneration.
60 and some years on, the war-ravaged landscape
of Korea is peaceful, productive, for now.

Clinton Foster was born and raised in Adelaide and lives in Canberra. He is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University College of Science, and has recently retired as Chief Scientist of the Australian Government’s Geoscience Australia. A geologist and palynologist, he studied and worked in Australia and the US, and has attended, presented and chaired at many conferences there and elsewhere. He was one of Poet’s Corner’s first contributors, in its Independent Weekly print days in its very first month of April 2012. There he contributed his poem suite on a rail journey to Russian Tatarstan for research purposes. Today’s poem comes from a similar journey and recent visit to South Korea for a meeting of the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.


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