Poem: “Today, I Wish to Offer Three Prostrations towards Lhasa” By Theurang

Tashi Rabten and Kalsang Tsultrim

High Peaks Pure Earth presents the English translation of a new poem by writer and poet Tashi Rabten, aka Theurang. 

Tashi Rabten can be seen to the left of the photo above, along with fellow writer Kalsang Tsultrim aka Gyitsang Takmik. The photo has been circulating on social media and attracting attention as their T-shirts say “Greetings to His Holiness on his 80th birthday”.

Both Tashi Rabten and Kalsang Tsultrim have been imprisoned (and subsequently released) in the past for their writings. The new poem, “Today, I Wish to Offer Three Prostrations towards Lhasa” first appeared on social media around 19 March 2015 and the English translation has been kindly provided by exile Tibetan poet Bhuchung D. Sonam.

“Today, I Wish to Offer Three Prostrations towards Lhasa” was read at the event Banned Expression in Tibet in London’s Kings Place on 20 June 2015.

 

Theurang Poem Tonight I want to Cropped

Blurry screenshot of Theurang’s poem from social media

 

“Today, I Wish to Offer Three Prostrations towards Lhasa”
By Theurang aka Tashi Rabten

Translation by Bhuchung D. Sonam

 

My dinner last night was terror and anxiety
When the spies strolled the cafes and streets of Ngaba,
I dreamt of Lhasa dreaming of red blood dripping,
Green footprints appearing underneath the bloodied hands;
Waking up in the morning I remembered myself
I stroked my head with my right hand
My long hair is not cut,
I checked my feet with my left hand
They are not shackled.
This morning affection walks on street number 10,
Affection, the origin of our fathers and mothers,
The tsenpo bod or the kingdom of Tibet
Too is affection,
In short that is who I am.
Food at the D restaurant tasted burned
Like the smouldering of my flesh and bones,
The smile of the waiter resembled an approaching red cliff
From which some guests are tumbling down
Some at the back are being thrown down;
Many chat in Tibetan on QQ
I don’t know each of them by name
But I understand the language they write in,
This proves that we are of the same blood.
Can’t people of same blood be in touch with each other?
It’s not been long since I am holding this Apple,
I am a prisoner.
It’s not been long since I’ve been out of that door,
My friends do not have much knowledge about this
But I think the spies have very good information on it.
I write poetry in the space meant for messages
Because I have so many things to tell,
Because I have joys, sorrows and resentments,
I have feelings that I cannot accommodate inside me.
You have asked me about many issues
I have responded to them honestly.
However,
I alone am the owner of these thoughts.
He who is imbued with power and authority
Is bound to tell others not to think too much,
Yet someone who respects freedom will never say ‘YES’.
I am sorry,
Do you have any other questions?
Did I commit any crime?
Do I get punished for my answers?
If not, let me go.
I am feeling a little cold today,
And very terrified,
I want to get out and offer three prostrations towards Lhasa.

This post is also available in: Tibetan