Tiger’s Nest

The cave at Tiger’s Nest once birthed a Llama

guarded now by fortress stone, jagged cliffs

and scores of chanting monks.

We climb the rain slick path,

rutted and rough hewn,

until the last flight of flagged steps

pass beneath a spindrift waterfall

then rise into the blast of horn,

murmured prayers and butter lamp smoke.

Mother and Father Buddha center one chapel

flanked by pairs of tantric lovers

and outside, younger monks,

heads shaved and robed, play

with the aggressive joy of any boys.

Leaving, we head down the slope of slippery clay

to an old toothless woman, barefoot,

who laughs at her captured image

then continues her vertical climb.

As rain and fog decrease

the monastery emerges high above,

speaking through clouds of what endures,

spoken in the sound of prayer,

the pilgrim journey in high places

and amidst the city noise

in the bustle of black smoke,

the day to day life we live

beneath the brow remote and fierce

of Tiger’s Nest.



13 Responses to “Tiger’s Nest”

  1. Michael says:

    The immediacy of the words painted a picture the growing realization, oh! You were there! Good travels!

  2. David Banner says:

    Don….I felt like I was actually there…that is a sign of a great poet!(smile)

  3. David Kyle says:

    It all brings back the time, Chris, a friend and I were in Buhtan 12 years ago. I hope this has been an invigorating experience for you.

  4. Carol Carlson says:

    If I told you what phrases I liked best I would be rewriting the whole poem! Vivid sense of being there. thank you!

  5. Sarah Hanson says:

    It feels exactly and so beautifully like your entire experience……This is a masterful poem, Don. I absolutely love it. The picture of you and the toothless woman is a treasure. Thank you……so heartfelt.

  6. Bill Dare says:

    Thanks for sharing your Journey, Brother.

  7. Lovely description of a place I never thought I knew.
    Till reading this.

  8. Valerie Baker says:

    Your words rekindle evocative images, scents, memories of Nepal and India, and the realization sensed behind them. Thank you, Don.

  9. Tom Wishing says:

    This really captures the feel and spirit of a trip of a lifetime. Thanks, Don

  10. suzy bennett says:

    How remarkable…the poem and…the fact that you were there…I have heard about this place and even dreamt about it…

  11. Tom Walsh says:

    Sounds like a great trip! I just returned from a week in Vail and while there we visited the ranch seeing old friends. Your poem brings our visit to mind… All the best brother.

  12. Xavier Coleman says:

    Wow! Your words are so poignant, I feel like I have been on the journey with you. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  13. Athena Coleman says:

    Your picture and poetry are proof that there is no separation where there is true humanity.

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