I have been blessed to meet many special people during my last six years in the desert through my association with the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Picture Rocks. The center just concluded its summer sabbatical. Ten priests and nuns from around the world assembled here for five weeks to meditate and contemplate. I befriended several. They concluded their sabbatical today and departed for home.
I made a special friendship with Father Clement Yoon, Yang-Ho from the Diocese of Jeonju in Korea. On the eve of his departure, Father Clement — whose native tongue is not English — presented a free-form poem to me, a poem he wrote to describe his five weeks in the desert. With his permission, I present it to my subscribers and all who chance upon this site to read something that matters.
Five Weeks in the Desert
Clemente Yoon, Yang-Ho
There were some spirits in the dawn of desert.
The morning of desert through the stillness
of last night was full of mystery and wonder.
The morning spirit of desert was peace and joy.
When the morning light shines after the darkness,
The east sky was preparing the sun—rising with the
morning gallery in the east side of the sky beautifully.
There were a lot paints with the pretty colours.
When the darkness is disappearing and the morning
light is being bright, the little birds are gathered and began
to sing the morning songs among the trees, grasses, and ﬂowers.
Sometimes the big birds were flying among the Saguaro trees.
The morning of desert was starting by the songs of the birds.
The morning wind of September is a little cool.
The morning wind of August was so soft.
The sun of August was so strong in the day time.
therefore it was very hard to walk under the sun.
Under the strong sun of desert, the trees and
flowers were growing. So the most leaves of
the trees are very thin and sharp in the desert.
There are a lot animals also in the desert.
The desert is a natural zoo and botanical gardens.
When the sun is inclining to the west mountain and is
close to the earlier night, the sky collects the colourful
paints in order to open the evening gallery in the sky.
Within this time, all the colours are gathered to the sky.
And the evening sky begin to paint with beautiful paints.
Is there any bigger paint—gallery than this desert, and can
they open the evening gallery everyday? The evening gallery
is hanging all the colourful paints all over the evening sky.
The desert and the sky are full of the beautiful paints.
The stars are flowing in the sky of the night in desert.
The light of the desert makes the sky with all colours beautifully,
and the light also shines the night with the stars.
The beautiful stars fill the sky in the night.
The stars of the sky are keeping the night of the sky.
This desert is full of beauty from the morning to the night,
we have journeyed together while we are doing the various
programs, prayers, and meditations for last five weeks. The days
have been filled with beauty. How can we leave all of this beauty’?
We thank all people who have helped our journey.
We, our nine companions—Marlene, Margaret, Judith, Sheila, Cons-
tance, Josephine, Zelita, Byron, and Clement—thank you for all.
There were very humble and open Redemptorists—Paul, Greg,
Charles, May, Mike! There were good helpers—Peter, Carmen,
Kelly, Bill. There were beautiful cooks—Redha, Rina, Veronica,
Momo, Patrick. And there are other good or unknown helpers—
Maria and Steve, Pedro, Mario, Isaac, Alexis, Dennis, Margie, David,
Hedy, Margaret, Jeanne, Rosie, Gene, so on.
Thank you for all your help, kindness, labors, and hospitality.
Owing to your beautiful presences, minds, and spirits,
We have been journeyed in this Desert Renewal House happily.
May God bless our continuing journey after our desert time!
May God care and love all people of this desert house!
10 September 2015, Clement, in the name of nine companions
©Clement Yoon, Yang-Ho