PEMA SEMMA

Will be sharing a curation of some of my favorite poetry I’ve stumbled upon in the past few weeks. This one is by a famous Tibetan poet named Chögyam Trungpa, dear friend of Allen Ginsberg, from his book First Thought Best Thought, a collection of 108 poems. I’d explain why it is I love it so much, but it’s one you really just have to read for yourself to understand.

How small can you be?
So tiny that you can’t even talk or think.
How big can you be?
So big that you can’t think or talk.
Desert hounds are said to be tough
But, looking at their own ancestral skulls,
They could become painfully wretched.
Come, Come, said the young woman,
Come with me to the mountains
Where the heathers, rhododendrons, tamarisks and snowflakes grow.
Her hair fluttered by the cool mountain air
Which is so fresh,
Her lips and eyelids quivering at the freshness she experiences,
Sunbeam reflecting on the side of her face
Portrays a lady of life.
As she turns her head
From the little irritation of long flowing hair
She says, Mmmm.
But on the other hand she is somewhat perturbed;
Not knowing whether she is glamorous or ugly,
Begging for confirmations right and left,
Stil listening to the distant flute of her past present future.
Is she wretched?
Is she fabulous?
Thundering heartbeat in her chest,
Riding the horse of jealousy at a million miles a minute–
Could someone fall in love with her?
Could she be the world’s monumental femininity?
Is she the possible hag
Who eats living chrysanthemums or dead bees?
Winding highway to the Continental Divide,
Snake coiling for its own purpose,
Tortoise carrying heavy-duty shell with meaningful walk,
Red silk rustled,
Hearty blue-blood aristocracy
With its blue ribbon blown in the wind
From the palace window–
Is this such a woman as deserves a coronation ceremony attended by the galaxies, the stars and the world of yes and no?
Is she such a woman as is never hampered by dirty, greasy, bullfighter, manslaughtering, unworthy man?
I wonder whether she has tasted her blood
Or her nectar.
Glory be to our Queen!
Lust is for everybody, by the gallons;
Envy is for one, who picks and chooses
Like a woodpecker digging after one worm.

However, everybody’s a lover–
Let’s celebrate in love!

7 March 1975

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