To Be Held is Not to Live Forever

I cannot help but grieve the death of brilliance.
Something is tethered to my heart
and won’t let go, you pull
that string with you into the unknown never.
I cannot follow it.

Teacher, will you hold me in your heart?
To be held is not to live forever, but to follow,
fearless, the ones who go before.

My comfort is this: to breathe through the tears.
Although I see the unknown stretch before me,
still the empty blackness of your eyes,
the unknown always,
is wrapped around this frightened rabbit like a shawl,
heart beating fast.
“Be still,
still, my darling, sweetheart, shhh…”

Rising Water

When the waters rise, where will you be?
Swept away, or
On high ground, waiting…
The fissure widens between us,

My friends,
My beloved.
Where will we be?
At the end, when my soul cries out…

Can I touch your hand?
It’s all we have now.
Eternities crumble.

I see the mountains falling
Into the sea,
But I must run errands today,
And tomorrow.
Where will I be?

This Protector

I am a demon from Tibet.
I am the bull in the china shop.
I am black and raging
with big paws and long unkempt claws.
My fangs cut my own lips
so that I am always bleeding.
My eyes are red-rimmed and moist,
my face covered in brine.
My chest cavity is open;
everyone can see my heart,
so I always roar to keep people away.
Inside my chest, my heart is a blackened bloody mess,
charred with the constant conflagration of passion and aggression.
Poison drips from my pores.
I am your monster,
I gaze into your eyes,
and I am at peace.
My hand rests over my heart,
and I feel the warmth.
I know who you are:
Dorje Trolo.
Crazier than I could ever be,
manifesting the poisons in their transcendent state.

Open Day



turquoise needles stand out
against the verdant forest
offering their blueness to the sky
dragonflies and houseflies share a kind of lineage
clouds of gnats follow me
their appetite inscrutable

Yeshe Tsogyal greets my wandering
but I do not recognize her
sweet grace and flashing
red and yellow
blade of grass and swaying seed pod
nodding yes, always yes,

stone Buddha reminder
shady tree, sudden coolness
welcome bitter tears
victory cry whispered on the wind
ki ki…