Poetry Series: “Flame” Part 4

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 final part of a series of poems all written on the theme of “Flame”, the previous three parts were posted online on High Peaks Pure Earth earlier, you can find them here, 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.
Below are the final poems in the series:

” Three Lamps”
By Kesang Gelek

You lit six lamps in three separate places
Heaven, hell, the human realm
Three lamps for me, three lamps for the world
Just not for yourself

On the road during a past pilgrimage
I encountered covetousness
The first lamp is called the Correct Vision
It solved my problems, I gave up my stubbornness
And safely and smoothly arrived at the sacred place

On my way to beg for alms
I encountered anger
The second lamp is called Benevolence
It solved my problems, I gave up my selfishness
Allowing others to not miss their opportunity to donate

On my way to undergo spiritual cultivation
I encountered infatuation
The third lamp is called Mercy
In the end, love had a way out settling the carnal bonds of this world

Wait for me to return to my homeland and reunite with you
I see–
The subtle flames of three lamps
Swaying slightly, so much like your smile
The gentle happiness of the bright moon surges up into my heart

Not long after, you passed away
I continue to add oil to six lamps
So that the flames become even larger
This time I light the lamps only for the world

September 7, 2013, in a small seaside town

By Shakya

Flirtatious and chaotic
This is the most fashionable of ways to express yearning

Half written on the heart
Half chased by a sordid face

Voluptuous figure
Stripped countless times by crimson heartbeat
I like this sense of repetition
Like fire, drying the water out of my bones again and again

We, carrying with us the most private of sexual feelings
Brazenly walking naked in the forefront
Raising our middle fingers, warning the blinded heavens
My heart and the breasts of my love, are still buried deep in the mountains

Burn then! Flames
No one knows
That we, on the streets of philosophy and neckties
With compassionate eyes and promises like the moans of passion
Have cried time and time again

September 7, 2013, Serthar

“Blazing Heat and Icy Cold, Our Inevitable Destiny”
By Xibu Feiyang*

In the face of history
We are all sinners
It’s understandable
At least on many occasions we use our warmth to melt the cold
On many occasions we extinguish hope with silence

War horses neighing unending sounds of bells and drums
A fire dances on the tip of a knife
Smelling the cold blood
In the night using love and hate to appease the horror

Horses crossing the river returning to the southern mountains
The men drink alcohol the women nurse children
Alcohol can kindle a fire
Breast milk can return the world to silence

In the night, the flames entertain themselves
Tenderness loses its charm
In the night, the crescent moon is like a knife
The steel sits silent

When the birds chirp
The still early colour of the sky
The hearts of men harbour fire
Cold steel removed from sheathes

September 8, 2013, Dongqian Lake

*This pen-name literally means “Flying West”

“Brother, Borrow a Light”
By Dechen Hengmei

On that Friday night, so densely covered by rain, with no pedestrians on the roads
At Flamingo Bar, I ran into that old drunkard Bukowski
Half a lip vaguely exposed under a big thick cigar
Half his face covered by his hair, he whispered softly to himself for a long while before finally speaking a few words
“Brother, let me borrow a light, this premium Cuban cigar of mine has gone out”
I lit the cigar, he took a great puff, held back a few coughs, then looked at me obliquely
He said: “Brother, I’ll definitely write this into my poetry!
Did you know? I’m out of money. My booze money…”

September 8, 2013, Qingtang

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