Poetry Series: “Flame” Part 1

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated new poetry that was posted online on a TibetCul blog on September 9, 2013. Readers may remember the poetry series “Straying Far From Myself” that we translated last year, today’s poetry comes from the same group.

The 97th event of the “Three Provinces of Tibet” poetry group was an online initiative where all poets submitted a poem with the same theme, the theme for this series was “Flame”. In total, 17 poems were submitted and we shall be posting the translations over the next few weeks. 

For those of you expecting a music video today, please check back next week! All 39 music videos translated by High Peaks Pure Earth since the Wednesday music video series started can be seen using this link: http://highpeakspureearth.com/category/music-from-tibet/

2013 11 27 Flame Poems

“Flame, Or a Deep Wound”
By Gangkye Somdung

When all the leaves
With their splendid colours
Paint their deep wounds
When each particle of frost
With their cool features
Dye the season into the likeness of a raging fire
I know
So many lives
Have yet to be well lived
Yet they already face death

Bury me in the mud
Bury me in the cluttered September hills
No need for 99 yellow chrysanthemums
No need for 99 sad elegies
No need for 99 nightingales
Behind the black curtain, pretending to be
Pitifully sad

I will wait
For the days of compressing layers of white snow
I will wait
For the harsh wind to blow from all sides
Then, in the world of glimmering crystal
Take those flames
And flame-like
Sparkling eyes
Before the dawn arrives
Awaken softly, or
Be deeply buried

The evening of September 2, 2013, in the western suburbs of Lanzhou

“Under the Sky, A Village Prophecy”
By Gerong Phuntsok

 

After the long rainy season, the flocks of birds
Begin migrating
A woman, under the sienna sky of the high plateau
Just like fate itself–ages
Walking into a wooden house, the fragrance of suliema wine
Inebriates the God of fire
From here on, the bitter cold will no longer belong to
drifting and sorrow
A nationality, in an environment framed by stone
Begins speaking of fire

From the faraway north, all the way south
The sound of horse hooves, from deep within the mainland
Faintly grow closer
A mighty rhythm, like iron implements
Causing one’s blood to pump with even more agitation
Faraway, the empty wilderness
As told in an unfinished story, becomes sadness
The brave warriors, snapped their arrows
Under the direction of the kindling fire, they see the banks for the river
Stunned in terror

Hurried sounds of song, ring from afar
Life becomes a kind of illusion
Incomparably fragile, and yet it can give birth all things
A group of people ensnared in chaos
Are driven away in agony, by the prophecy of the Gods
Deeply asleep deeply contemplating the plateaus
History is like firelight, beating one after another
The lost passersby
Their hollow hearts
Are no longer lonely, no longer hopeless

September 3, 2013, Kunming, Yunnan

“I Give You Fire”
By Norbu Namygal

 

I give you fire
Not for burning

To smelt a knife
Extracting a body from within the fire

Pounding, pounding
Drive out the pain

I give you a bowl of water to extinguish its heat
To give it peace

I give you fire
For the final cooling

September 2, 2013, Jincheng Xiwu Teahouse

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified)

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