Poetry and Prose by Kyabchen Dedrol

2016 08 31 Kyabchen Dedrol Poetry and Prose

High Peaks Pure Earth presents English translations of three poems and a prose piece by prominent Tibetan poet and essayist Kyabchen Dedrol.
The poetry and prose were written in 2012 and 2013 and published on his blog, hosted on the popular online Tibetan journal for culture and literature “Butter Lamp” which he co-founded in 2005.
Read an essay by Kyabchen Dedrol on Japanese Literature previously posted on High Peaks Pure Earth here: http://highpeakspureearth.com/2016/japanese-people-and-japanese-literature-by-kyabchen-dedrol/
You can read more from Kyabchen Dedrol in English translation over on Words Without Borders.
Thank you to Riga Shakya for the translations.

“One Night”
By Kyabchen Dedrol


One night,
Countless bars glow like countless butter lamps.
The youthfulness of all poets is woven together with melted butter.

One night,
You tell a story and,
Lead me to a desolate valley.
A silent woman from the depths of the land,
Tells me the despair of three past lives.

One night,
In the midst of wolf howls and lamentation of musicians,
I emerge alone,
On my body I wear the snow and the wind.
About to set out afar,
All the love in my heart,
Fuses with the red lightning flashing vividly.

One night,
In the middle of a tempest,
A falsely accused wandering soul,
Sharp bones wound my shoulder blade.
Puncturing even Orion’s Belt.

Written in April 2013, in Lanzhou.

By Kyabchen Dedrol


Whoever created me must have hung me over this space.
My lungs suck my friend’s cigarette smoke,
When I blow out the smoke, it appears colourless.
Like sitting in a meeting full of strangers.
In between the far off trees the cuckoo sings a song.

The sun leaves me in two parts,
The grass lays out a carpet for me,
The ocean increases my desires,
The sky place me in the midst of my dreams,
My blood melts among the snow mountains.

I reverse all appearances, I protect only my life.
Only time remains, like my mother.
There is nothing else.

Like an ants nest on the mountain peak, waiting for a gust a wind,
I too am waiting for the Lord of Death.

“The Poet”
By Kyabchen Dedrol


He is a wild animal within a wall,
A formless being hidden between rays of light,
Like a great bear slyly hurling stones towards the sun.
Writhing insects and ants in the dark shadows.

He is a madman.
And so he is poet.
Everyone can see his heart and lungs through his ribcage,
And in turn he can see their forsaken dreams and loves.

He is a swan swimming in the sky.
With a flap of his wings,
The red moon is saturated with black blood.
All the babes thrown away with the refuse by their bitch mothers, cry out once more.
He plays the piano among the clouds and rain,
Igniting red flames in the cold water.
He waves the the sword of love in all corners,
Cutting the cotton garments of beauties under the cover of night.

You’ve locked the gate of your high castle walls,
But no matter how one fortifies themselves,
Like a zombie residing in the ceilings of one’s abode,
When you suffer from aging,
You will reek of unbearable rot.

Today he fooled a drunk and led him to a remote place,
All the numbers in the drunk’s stomach bled out like intestines.

June 1, 2012

By Kyabchen Dedrol


Written for Datsen Lama Jabb

Moon of the sky. Sleeping wild animal. My soul. Contained in-between. Emerging outwards. Thinking of home. Body’s burden. Very heavy. If I think deeply. Additional sin. Moon, moon. Distracting sky. All people and myself. Crowding together. Analysing, analysing. Head revolving. Although sharp minded. Alcohol dependency. This is tormenting me. Falling into the fog of sleep. Within the steps and staircases. Blossoming grove. Multicoloured. Conflictious relationship. Many butterflies. Beating each other. Moon, moon. A vivid dream. A video game. Without fear. The middle of night. Footsteps clearly sounding. Between the high buildings. Thickening desire. We nomads. Fluttering cowards. The hot concrete. Making noise. Moon, moon. The one with compassion eyes. Affection rays. Creating white cloth. Insects and ants. Death and destruction.Towns and cities. Covered in white clouds. They disperse. Become empty. Others and I. Connect to this. All the machines. Bare their teeth. Roaring sound. Like melted bronze.The drowsy and the sleeping. Mixed together. Food and disease. Seriously suffering. Moon, moon. Mother of magic. Evil eclipse. Ate at once. From the intermediary state. Looking back. Reborn again. Planting flowers. With the light of fruits. Heavy with dew. The bees of eyes. Blinking quickly. Beautiful leaves. Melted in the fountain. This poem. Crooked appearance.


  1. These poems are most beautiful. The english translations seem to have carried on the spirit and the depth of the poems as I can only appreciate it in its english versions. Thank you for giving us such beautiful poetry.

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