Happy to share with you this poem that appears in my recently published book “Everest”. Hardback and e-book versions of the book are available at the publisher’s website http://www.speekeezee.com/shop/. The book is a collaboration between myself and Australian artist George Tetlow whose extraordinary sketches of the Himalayan region and peoples appear together with my poems. Feel free to check it out on the website as well as other creative projects (art, poetry, photography, stories).
Behind snow-clad ranges is an enormous plateau of unfulfilled dreams.
Beyond margins that draw lines between nations, wild horses gallop
the bewildering landscape of a rugged people to whom he belonged.
Reluctantly he had abandoned a residence of nomadic summers, virgin
grasslands and buttermilk stories. He survived the forty day walk, accepted
a refugee here, promising he would go back home one day.
We welcomed him but we did not love him. We allowed him to serve us
his exotic dumplings, sell us trendy garments we otherwise could not afford,
burn himself every once in a while when he is desperate and angry.
He met her on neutral ground. She loved him and he loathed her. Before
the day was over, after he had insulted her family and branded her relatives
with an unacceptable name, he slowly and grudgingly acknowledged:
I never knew there were good Chinese.
There was spiritual electricity in the room. Complaining led to confessing
led to forgiveness led to weeping. And after all the nonsense was over,
he walked to the front alone, trekking the uneven terrain of the memory
of rights trampled, tanks rumbling, monks fleeing, protesters flaming,
and said: here in these foothills I do not call home, I too forgive.