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Thursday, 24 May 2012


We raced between flames, the piercing light

melted our bones into the earth, glued

by burned muscle and melted tendons. We could

see the prayer wheels darkening and women knit

while they walk on mountain paths. But our hands

were empty of prayer beads, our prayers were now

hot, red, yellow – screaming as wind. The words

follow soldier machines that stamped on dresses

and school books to forbid the very language

we used to tell stories, to pass on ways to cook,

to herd sheep, and to find steep trails to shepherd

our yak and goat. Our knees no longer felt temple

floors, our arms could not gather barley from fields.

Our lips had been sealed with hot wax. But still

we could leave in flames – even as they throw bitter

water. Wind comes from east and west

until dark comes.

© Lavinia Kumar

China TV blames Dalai Lama for Tibet immolations
Lavinia Kumar lives in New Jersey. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, in the US and UK. She writes a blog for her brother’s seniorsmagazine.org, based in Portsmouth, NH.

1 comment:

  1. I have really come to admire your work and this is no exception. The lines about the language, as well as, "we could leave in flames -- even as they throw bitter water" conjured strong and clear images for me.