Poetry Series: “Flame” Part 3

2013 11 27 Flame Poems

High Peaks Pure Earth has translated poetry that was posted online on a TibetCul blog on September 9, 2013. This is the third part of a series of poems all written on the theme of “Flame”, the first two parts poems were posted online on High Peaks Pure Earth earlier, you can find them here and here.
The poetry series comes from the “Three Provinces of Tibet” poetry group, 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 remaining translations soon.
Below are the next five poems in the series:

“Man and Fire”
By Tsering Samdup

I know not when it began
My familiar city
Became a very strange city
Because, this city of people
Became a city of fire!
Many people are screaming
“There’s a fire here”
“The temple’s on fire!”
“There’s a person on fire!”
Subsequently a question of this type
surfaced in my mind:
“Who is fanning and lighting these fires?”
September 4, 2013

“Fifty Centimetres of Sadness”
By Logya Pema

We sit side by side, the playful night
Jumps from your right shoulder to my left shoulder
Then again from my left shoulder to your right shoulder
We need not speak
All the words dance through mid air
If you wish, you can extend your hand and catch those dragonflies
Their beautiful wings
Through them we can see the flames, spilling down from the moonlight
Lighting every lake in the land
But in actuality, we are sitting face to face
Lifting our glasses and smiling slightly, an old song drifts through the air
You say this song isn’t bad, I say yes it isn’t bad at all
In between lies a fifty centimetre-wide table
In between the sky, the black night and the snowy mountaintops we will never be able to fly over
I am unable to heal your sorrow
Just as you are unable to see my sighs
September 5, 2013, Dartsedo

By Yuchung Dolkar

In the time of one of your cigarettes
Spring jumped into autumn
Those tender buds have been rolled into cigarettes
Inhaled and exhaled by you
In your nasty silence…
I stand on the right side of the square
Using a match
I put an end to a period of silence
You listen
The fallen autumn leaves
Are burning
September 6, 2013, Xining

“Bountiful Harvest of The Flame”
By Konghuo Wangtao (孔伙汪涛)

I, indoors, still bitterly search on behalf of the autumn
for those emaciated adjectives
The autumn rain outside, seems as if it portends more meaning still
Tears cover the golden lotus flower by the window
The sudden sounds of drums
Shuttle in from the banks of Batang river
Pulling on the hapless heartstrings of the old
Drumming up the restless hearts of the young
My heart also falls into
The shade of a willow tent
In just this way, we encounter it in the autumn rains year after year
Look, under a big tent
In front of the peach branches binding the main trunk
A bountiful flame has ignited
September 6, 2013, Batang

By Chungye

Ultimately will we end up together?
Rain falls from all over the sky,
We became estranged, wished one another the best,
Before the grassland disappears,
Strange smells drift in the wind,
The strings of the “dramnyen” suddenly snap,
The cows and sheep flee in all directions…
We light a bonfire,
The creatures of the night prefer this kind of light,
The music of this light,
Rolls towards the neighboring snowcapped mountains,
Let our delicate ears,
From here on out abandon the opportunity for which they wait.
Is it true that taking up a cup of tea
One can then drink snow water in one gulp,
Or leave through this?
When we bathe in the same instant
From then on, our hearts will remain on opposite sides of the sky!
Ultimately will we end up together?
This fire inside my heart,
Belongs to you belongs to me belongs to us,
But where will it become extinguished,
And where will it burn again!!!
Author’s note: Dramnyen: A unique Tibetan hand-made musical instrument. It is colloquially referred to as a six-stringer.

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