Ama

We again had the privilege of hearing Ama Adhe, 88 years old speak. She has lived through trauma of 30 years imprisonment a long life by telling her story. She hopes it will spread widely. It is, for me, a spiritual obligation, having heard and experienced her amazing compassion (she has learned from the Dalai Lama), to help her. I have written poems twice, hearing her. This is the third.

***

Ama

When you danced wildly

under bright stars

under swift wind

lifting prayer flags

whipping the rock

windhorseflutter

20,000 feet

when you drove horses in Shangrila

and rode and rode

wild ly

to Lhasa

dressed in red and brown

abandon

finding Tara

white green red

in her delicatepeace

fought for Tibet

your brother-in-law kneeling beside you

soldiers jeering

as if the Japanese in China

shot twice in the head

pointblank

beside you

jailed with 300 women

ateleather off shoes

1 of 4

who lived

you tell your story

separated from a son who died

your daughter cannot hear

“DANGEOUS MOTHER”

3 grandchildren

two monks a nun

SING YOUR TALE in a High Voice

with your daughter

in mourningsyllables

unseen

your eyes

deep in sad ness

from Kom

how your arms move

almost a dance

88 years

from Kom

to tell

loyal

retell the truth

go to deadly moments

the Dalai Lama’s command

forget not

for a single day

release the hell

in the telling

like clouds

a thousand times

88 years

find compassion even for Chinese

the Dalai Lama’s bidding

you and he

old now

old

so long as

ready to depart

prayer in the single room

up the long stairs

slow slow

with a cane

the Dalai Lama

for Tibetan newcomers

in your heart

returns

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