A hundred and one butter lamps are offered to my uncle who
is no more.
Distraction proves fatal in death. A curtain of butter imprints
After the burning of bones, ashes are sent on pilgrimage. You are
dead, go into life, we pray. My uncle was a man given to giggles
in solemn moments.
Memory springs like crocuses in bloom. Self conscious and
Without blurring the cornea, details are resuscitated. Dried yak
meat between teeth. Semblance of what is.
Do not be distracted, Uncle who is no more.
He does not see his reflection in the river. The arching of speech
over “s” as he is becoming.
Curvature of spine as it cracked on a misty morning. A shadow
evades the wall.
You are no more, Uncle who is no more.
Every seven days he must relive his moment of expiration.
The living pray frequently amid burning juniper.
Communication efforts require the right initiative.
Somewhere along the line matters of motion and rest are resolved.
Crows pick the last offerings. You are someone else, uncle no
Tsering Wangmo Dhompa, “Bardo” from Rules of the House. Copyright © 2003 by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa. Reprinted by permission of Apogee Press..
Source: Rules of the House
(Apogee Press, 2003)
Poems by Tsering Wangmo Dhompa