Red Forehead

For Tenzin Tsundue

Why is his blood so hot? They ask,
And I tell them —
That you were orphaned by circumstances
That you were deserted by the mountains
That your words collide with time’s tide.

At times my blood boils too
But it does not turn my forehead red,
Nor does it drive by passion mad.
But the same blood that runs in you
Runs in me
Blood that is stamped with snow flakes
Blood that sings of mountain winds
Blood that smells of an ancient warrior.

Why is his voice so high? They ask
And I tell them —
That your songs were stolen by history
That your melodies were broken by silence
That the clock strikes against your time.

Sometimes my voice rises too
But it does not turn my forehead red
Nor does it drive my passion mad.
But the same voice that calls you
Calls me too
The voice that rings with snow flakes
The voice that echoes the silent hills
The voice that tells the warriors’ tales.

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