Poems by Khando Langri
Posted On 18/10/2020
Tibetan Love Story
Ours is a love which has undergone several displacements
It speaks in many tongues and moves through many limbs.
The Buddha of compassion has a thousand arms
So too do our ancestors who point to things
I seek to understand.
Every movement is an offering.
I know the shape of the things which hurt you
for they look so much like my own.
Tell me of their contours and I will hunt them in your stead
I am bow and quiver both.
Sometimes they ask of us: Where are you from?
As if home is somewhere you can trace on a map.
Some say the body is an ecosystem
I want to tell them there are so many animals in our hearts
so many birds that the soldiers could not kill,
Bodies of water and fire;
Our skin is geographic.
I know that to pitch a tent together is an act of love,
A moment many past lives in the making.
Can you feel my rivers calling to yours,
see how perfectly they move together?
Every embrace is a return.
Tibetan Creation Story
Before they hollowed out mountains
and grasslands became sand
Home was an ocean
In a cave an ogress and a monkey
Found beauty in each other’s shape
Every touch is a surrender
To the possibility of change
In time, all beings lose their tails
What matters is
not form but love.
was a country is a nation is a home is all around me
I think in visas and fears of dying elsewhere
How to constitute ourselves in the fracture?
We take stock of the bodies who are still amongst us (quickly though, there is a gap in the march ahead)
In time the quiet between chants makes space for rest, sometimes we stumble over words and laugh at the absurdity of it all
There is ceremony in movement between embassies and public squares
Grandmothers weep (whole worlds move amongst us)
All the while the children roam with the joy of being again and again and again
amidst the ruins they made home.
The fish know two oceans
(for Khawa Nyingchak)
The sky so blue I could lose myself
within its depths; its open-endedness
So opposite from the fracture of barb wired grasslands.
I am not fooled by the visible
Here, the land itself is restless
(Every stone has a spirit)
(Every mountain has a name)
Tell me, pala, what is that which is immovable across lifetimes?
The earth beneath my fingers feels so heavy.
I look to where the fish are dancing
Oh how they shimmer,
How they move with the lightness of being.
About the author: Khando Langri is a disabled Tibetan of mixed heritage who is from Tio’tia:ke (Montreal). She loves writing on the textures that animates bhoepay life. Currently, she is writing a dissertation on Tibetan Sign Language and the landscapes that inform it.