The Curse of the Red River
“My body is aching
and my soul is seeking.
I am not myself again.
I want some time to regain,”
confides a lady
to a daddy
who says, “I am sorry
but let me sing you a Lori
through which I can tell you a story
that can make the Red River feel sorry.”
But the Red River keeps on flowing
with no signs of slowing.
The paraphernalia is sort with haste
so that it conveniently goes into the waste
without the world noticing the shame
although it is but the routine same.
Five odd days the Red River flows
till her system automatically mellows,
but for only twenty eight odd moons to follow
when the Red River will but definitely flow.
“He is sick!
He is sick!”
shouts the loafer melancholy
pointing to a stray dog,
his only friend
in a world of billions.
The passers-by are indifferent.
He holds his tummy tight
and clenches his teeth and spares a moan.
The dog wags its tail,
urgently sniffs at the loafer’s body
and licks and kisses his face,
wagging its tail ever more swiftly.
The loafer embraces the dog;
a few drops of tears fall on the dog’s soft coat.
The dog freezes in his arms.
The loafer closes his eyes
and takes a long wanting breathe.
He spares a tired yawn or two
and slowly slumps onto the dusty ground.
A nervous dog wags its tail
and nags and softly barks
at a friend who moves no more.
It withdraws and stands still,
its wet desperate eyes focused on the corpse.
It takes a step forward and another backward
and yelps and frantically runs around.
It yelps at a passerby or two;
one ignores it
and the other shoos it away.
It silently walks back to its friend
and stands guard for the world to take notice
of its dear friend who is gone forever,
someone the town may ignore
but never forget
for the town will never be the same
without the man who once roamed its streets:
to do the odd jobs;
to take the alms;
to tolerate the insults;
to rejoice the festivities;
to smile at the funerals…
Only the stray dog knew it well.
Of Despair and Hope
Yet another birthday has come and gone;
another reminder of my life’s mission sacred
that still remains buried deep
at the bottom of the ocean of samsara.
I tried to shout out my despair,
“Give me some light!
Show me the path!”
in a city of millions
devoid of true senses.
A cacophony of noises from the millions
submerged in a sea of the Three Poisons,
brilliant in mundane conduct yet without divine souls
was an answer too poor to console.
I ran to the Great Stupa (Boudhanath),
the embodiment of all the Buddhas past, present and future.
A thousand butter lamps I offered
And circumambulated it till my body could take no more.
I prayed to the Great Stupa
and to all the Great Beings of the three times
and begged for mercy to heed my prayers
to liberate all sentient beings from the samsaric bondage cruel.
And at long last I felt the light
and sensed the path too.
I was not born to live for myself and mine
but to live for one and all alone.
About the Poet
Dr. Rinzin Rinzin is a writer, poet, freelance management/policy consultant, dedicated scholar and an educationist. He also worked as a lecturer, researcher, manager/administrator, businessman and parliamentarian during the last two decades. His début book was The Talisman of Good Fortune and Other Stories from Rural Bhutan (2002). Depa Bondeypa’s Relatives (2016) was his first novel. He also authored a number of illustrated children’s books. Further, he is a spontaneous poet, and some of his poems were published in Amaravati Poetic Prism 2017 and The Poetry of South Asia. He enjoys delivering inspirational talks to youth and telling stories to children.