Anthology of Tibetan Poets


Bhuchung D. Sonam



Away from home I live in my thirty-sixth rented room With a trapped bee and a three-legged spider Spider crawls on the wall and I on the floor Bee bangs at the window and I on the table Often we stare at each other Sharing our pool of loneliness They paint the wall with droppings and webs I give them isolated words net, maze, tangle wings, buzz, flutter Away from home My minutes are hours Spider travels from the window to the ceiling Bee flies from the window to the bin I stare out of the window Neither speaks each other's tongue I wish You would go deaf Before my silence

When was I Born?

Mother, when was I born? In the year the river dried When was that? That was the year when crops failed And we went hungry for many days We feared that you would never survive Was that the year we moved to a new house? That was the year when they confiscated our house And divided it among the patriotic Party members We were banished to the cowshed where you were born What year was that? That was the year when they destroyed the monastery Melted all the bronze images to make bullets You were born when dust filled the sky Was that the year grandpa went away? That was the year when they sent your grandfather to prison Where he cleaned shit and butchered insects in the fields You were born when there were no men in our house Was I born in the year the walls were pulled down? That was the year when they ripped apart the prayer hall Wooden beams were hammered to splinters and frescoes soiled You were born when a crazy wind blew from the east What year was that? That was the year they burnt scriptures in the village square And sang revolutionary songs in praise of the Party You were born when blades of grass refused to grow Was it the year you stopped singing? It was the year they took our neighbour to the hard labour camp When she sang a traditional song while digging a canal You were born when people disappeared one after another When was that? That was the year they wrote the big red slogan on the walls 'Heads that stick out will be hammered down' You were born when the sun shied away from our sky When was that? That was the year when your father... your father

A Song

All my moments belong to you And I am lonely still, enveloped In the smoke of your shadow Like a dandelion under a tree My head swells with your thoughts And my heart is empty still, left Behind by your pack of mares Like a hoofless donkey You are a spotless distant moon I'm a pebble on a shore Waiting for the next wave Bathed in your light I am no more than a fallen leaf A feather stuck on a juniper tree But I circle your orb until Stars outshine the moon In search of your warmth I follow the path of a vulture's flight And my sparrow's wings take me To the desolate corner of my room Here I stare into The dusty screen of my laptop Hoping to write a song about The breeze that brings your fragrance