Anthology of Tibetan Poets


Tsoltim Ngima Shakabpa



Peace in the eyes of the dying Tears in the eyes of the living Guns in the arsenal of oppressors Protests in the arsenal of the oppressed Harmony in the words of the Dalai Lama Dissonance in the words of Chinese dictators Capitalism in the sight of communists Communism in the sight of debacle Bhutan luxuriates in gross national happiness China luxuriates in gross national corruptness Democracy in the wake of Arab spring Dictatorship in the wake of China Equality in the rights of gays Inequality in some States' ways O what ironies exit in this world! What hath contradictions upon us hurled! Copyright © Tsoltim N. Shakabpa - 2012


(Dedicated to my daughter, Pema Yudon Shakabpa)

Though I want to relive The memories of her childhood with me And freeze every vision of her angelic face She keeps on slipping through my fingers Whenever I think I know her She keeps on growing Glowing, knowing and going I know not how to let her go Though I know I must one day I recall every moment I spent with her Moments when I used to twirl My finger across her palm And she would fall asleep smiling I treasure every instance She hugged me tight and whispered "I love you bigger than the universe" Now she's grown And slipping through my fingers And away she's flown Taking with her All the plans I made for us But life's full of surprises Full of hellos and goodbyes Thus though sadly I must say goodbye To a precious child I once knew I'm so glad I can say hello To a precious woman I now know Whose love for me grows with age And for whom my love knows no end Copyright © Tsoltim N. Shakabpa - 2009

*The poet is the son of Tsepon Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa, the well-known historian, statesman, freedom fighter and former Finance Minister of independent Tibet.


My tears are no more From weeping too much My blood is frozen Under the icy reign My flesh is torn 'Neath the scorching tyranny My bones are crushed By the oppressive autocracy My brain is indoctrinated In the churning communist machine My race is vanishing Invaded by alien Hans Yet my spirit rises Above my tormented body To cry for justice And fight for freedom Copyright © Tsoltim N. Shakabpa - 2011


Though the monks of Ngaba Have self immolated themselves For the independence of Tibet The machinations of China Have savagely silenced them Though the citizens of Lhasa Have non-violently demonstrated in the streets And cried out for freedom The guns of China Have violently silenced them And though throughout the cities of Tibet Tibetans have fought for justice And the return of the Dalai Lama The autocratic rule of China Has tyrannically silenced them Tibet is a country full of silenced cities Robbed of their voices by China And ignored by the free world That has been placated and silenced By the ill-gotten wealth and power of China We may seem like lost souls In a life of enforced silence But eternally will we cry out 'Till our voices are heard loud and clear And 'till freedom and independence be ours forever Copyright © Tsoltim N. Shakabpa - 2011


You affect democracy We effect democracy You bear no criticism We bare our soul You prey on the weak We pray for the weak You exorcise freedom We exercise freedom You complement injustice We compliment justice You faze human rights We phase in human rights You pair wrong with right We pare wrong from right You censor free speech We censure limited speech You break laws We brake to prevent illegality You go left We go right You tell lies We tell truths You hate religion We love religion You talk crooked We talk straight You adore money We adore God You act violently We act non-violently You promote autocracy We promote democracy You restrain free speech We restore free speech Your power grows out of the barrel of a gun Our power grows from the legitimacy of our claim China O China Give up your sins And save your skins We pray for your soul Abandon your goal Give up your wrath Follow our path So we can get along And be true friends life long Copyright © Tsoltim N. Shakabpa - 2011