Following the hooves of yak
We sing a sad song of longing.
Food we have, just enough, the Chinese soldiers take the rest.
My heart turns weak inside me, like the memory of our songs and prayer-flags,
The memory of your song lasts long, longer than occupation, I think.
We have no money and the Chinese close our monasteries and schools, everyday.
The sun sets and we carry on the fight, in our dreams, in our love-making, in our Tibetan children.
In my sleep, the dead give me a thousand kisses, to help me to resist.
I do not envy the Chinese soldiers: thousands of miles from home and hungry.
Sometimes, epecially, when I write or make prayer-flags, I stray far from myself.
Then I look around at the mountains and the plateau and am consoled.
Maybe we would be happier if we faced up to the immense distances that separate us
Even when we share this same bench we see
Ourselves gazing far into the distance;
Like those Russian dolls,
Trapped deep down, layer by layer,
Only to discover again that the lotus-flower
Sits deep in the living centre of what is.
The Chinese government invaded and occupied Tibet in October 1951. The 'International Community' protested, lamely; in contrast Tibetans have resisted in every way they could: through working with the UN, by maintaining a government in exile and Tibetan communities in exile all over India. The Chinese have adopted a policy of ethnic and cultural cleansing, a form of genocide, importing millions of Han Chinese immigrants in an attempt to replace the richly Buddhist culture of Tibet with a degraded form of consumerism.
The struggle continues.