A Nomad’s Song

My palatial penthouse has been occupied,
And my herds all scattered.
In my desolate paradise nuclear sludge
Simmers like a witches lethal potion.
Where are my Bas; yak-folds that contained
Tsampa bags, tea kettle and my humble dreams.
Where are the words to melancholic strains?
I chorused with the cold tundra winds?

In a perpetual trance I’ve been flung
Far from my familiar ambiance
Across the great oceans, from Tibet
To Canada’s snow cloaked spaces.
Worlds apart, scared Zen dreams crumble
Wind whipped ashes in ember less hearth,
Like cold emotionless faces on the subway;
And the butter lamp lies empty on the mantel!

Beneath maple leaves and turquoise rooftops,
Steel yaks belch poison fumes;
These hoof less forms seize spare spaces
Hurtle through the milieu of lost time.
They cannot feed or clothe you;
Frigid icons adorned with superficial motifs
And worshipped like gods on emerald plains.

The yak in High Park snorts at his small harem;
His quintessence locked in a few square yards.
Beneath his shaggy complacency lie somber thoughts.
But for now he must bear the insults,
And be called a cow by an innocent stranger.
Is it only I that hear his summer song?
“I am not a creature of enclosed spaces,
I am the invincible spirit of the Changthang.”

Like my herds I have become stateless.
The bonds forged on barren meadows
Lie shattered on hard concrete floors;
Will we ever return to those sweet pastures?
Deep in the highlands where we sang
Melancholic summer songs once more!
Will the sun shine once more on emerald plains?


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