A rose garden at altitude under occupation
Contemplate a rose garden
On this roof-garden of the world,
especially in mid-winter,
I picture this rose garden,
this secret garden of the soul,
where all that is good and all that is fine
are written in the tender-script divine
of the Tibetan Book of the Dead -
some things are better left unsaid.
Here certain black persian berries tantalise us
and dates from Al'Andalus are sent to tempt us;
the figs of all the world are fine, just fine, the wine is just fine, too
but , in a rose garden at altitude, under occupation,
chinese herbs help me see the prayer bells chime;
the tibetan plateau is all around me now and Chinese soldiers show their guns glitter in the sun.
Monks scurry by, hiding their eyes,
where all that was left, of being free, has drained away externally;
secret smiles in this thin air are rare beneath skies so very high
while, underneath the walls, new chinese troops are marching by;
our temple is, now, within us
our deaths hath been foretold.
All is, as it was before,
foorsteps in the snow.