Sighting Tsering with Tsundue’s “Horizon”



Sighting Tsering ?


Tenzin Tsundue’s  “Horizon”

From home you have reached

the Horizon here.

From here to another

here you go.

From there to the next

next to the next

horizon to horizon

every step is a horizon.

Count the steps

and keep the number.

Pick the white pebbles

and the funny strange leaves.

Mark the curves

and cliffs around

for you may need

to come home again.

     Reproduced here with permission as stated in Kora, a story and eleven  poems by Tenzin Tsundue

“waiting” and “space-bar A PROPOSAL”



eva’s energy-scape   @eva wojcik

Poem by Tenzin Tsundue from his book, Kora, a story and eleven poems

 (printed via persmission statement in Kora)



pull your ceiling half-way down

and you can create a mezzanine for me

your walls open into cupboards

is there an empty shelf for me

let me grow in your garden

with your roses and  prickly pears

i’ll sleep under your bed

and watch TV in the mirror

do you have an ear on your balcony

i am singing from your window

open your door

let me in

i am resting at your doorstep

call me when you are awake


Tenzin Tsundue’s “Exile House”

Our tiled roof dripped

and the four walls threatened to fall apart

but we were to go home soon,


we grew papyas

in front of our house

chillies in our garden

and changmas for our fences,

then pumpkins rolled down the cowshed thatch

calves trotted out of the manger,


grass on the roof,

beans sprouted and

climbed dwon the vines,

money plants crept in through the window,

our house seems to have grown roots.


The fences have grown into a jungle,

now how can I tell my children

where we came from?


Poem presented as it appears in Kora

copyright Tenzin Tsundue, 2002

My Tibetanness by Tenzin Tsundue

Thirty-nine years in exile.

Yet no nation supports us.

Not a single bloody nation!


We are refugees here.

People of a lost country.

Citizen to no nation.

Tibetans: the world’s sympathy stock.

Serene monks and bubbly traditionalists;

one lakh and several thousand odd,

nicely mixed, steeped

in various assimilating cultural hegemonies.


At every check-post and office,

I am an “Indian-Tibetan”,

My Registration Certificate,

I renew every year, with a salaam.

A foreigner born in India.


I am more of an Indian.

Except for my Chinky Tibetan face.

“Nepali?” “Thai?”  “Japanese?”

“Chinese?” “Naga?” “Manipuri?”

but never the question—“Tibetan?”


I am Tibetan.

But not from Tibet.

Never been there.

Yet I dream

of dying there. 


printed with persmission given in KORA by Tenzin Tsundue @ 2002

poetry’s powers or Tsundue’s trespasses

While collecting my thoughts for a little glib yapping about favorite poems a certain slight volume of poetry came to mind, Kora, a story and eleven poems by Tenzin Tsundue and I decided glib could wait a while. 

The Olympic games and this last infamous torch run have come and gone like birds’ nests in harsh winter winds.  One highlight was the attention on the plight of Tibet.

Tenzin’s poetry speaks for itself–and him–better than I can prattle–so, without further ado here are two:

Desperate Age

Kill my Dalai Lama

that I can believe no more.

Bury my head

beat  it

disrobe me

chain it.

But don’t let me free.


Within the prison

this body is yours

But within the body

my belief is only mine.


You want to do it?

Kill me here–silently.

Make sure no breath remains.

But don’t let me free.


If you want,

do it again.

Right from the beginning:

Discipline me

Re-educate me

Indoctrinate me

show me your communist gimmicks.

But don’t let me free.


Kill my Dalai Lama

and I will

believe no more.


Prattling:  Odd how the lines “Discipline me/Re-educate me/Indoctrinate me” recall the subject of the new Wes Studi film, The Only Good Indian, as it portrays the infamous boarding school experience of a multitiude of Native Americans from tribes across the United States. Winter Fox Frank could have delievered these lines of poetry written by a Tibetan on the other side of the world. Okay, okay, I promised another poem instead of yapping (these are reproduced with persmission according to note in book).

A Personal Reconnaissance

From Ladakh

Tibet is just a gaze away.

They said:

from that black knoll

at Dumise, it’s Tibet.

For the first time I saw

my country Tibet.


In a hurried trip,

I was there, at the mound.


I sniffed the soil,

scratched the ground

listened to the dry wind

and the wild old cranes.


I didn’t see the border,

I swear there wasn’t anything

different, there.


I didn’t know,

if I was there or here.

I didn’t know,

If I was here or there.


They say the kyangs

come here every winter.

They say the Kyangs

go there every summer.


A kyang is a wild Tibetan ass.

Click the link below for photos of the poetry nite featuring Tenzin Tsundue’s poems:


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