Pasadena, California

ORGANIZER: Teresa Dowell

CONTACT: teresa.dowell@goddard.edu

September 24, 2011

LOCATION: Zona Rosa Cafe 15 South El Molina Ave.

TIME: 11:30 to 2:30 p.m and  5:30pm to 8:30pm

A DDITIONAL PASADENA ARCHIVES: http://www.100tpcmedia.org/index.html

We will focus our event on freeing Tibet and the plight of the Tibetan people.

To raise awareness, there will be discussions, poetry readings, Tibetan art, music, Tibetan Buddhism, open mic, and speakers. There will also be a Buddhist prayer/chanting for peace. Om mani padme hum.

Prayer flags in Tibet-Photo by Nancy Victoria Davis

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Pasadena, California — 89 Comments

  1. Spring Night by Wang An-Shih translated by Red Pine (poem written spring of 1069)

    The burner is out of incense the dripping has almost stopped
    the wind comes in gusts the cold in waves
    springtime disturbs me and keeps me from sleep
    the moon casts shadow flowers on the balustrade

  2. “…a birdsong can even, for a moment, make the whole world into a sky within us, because we feel that the bird does not distinguish between its heart and the world’s.” from The Inner Sky by Rainer Maria Rilke selected and translated by Damion Searls

  3. The coming together of people to read and listen to poetry is a wonderful thing. In the picture below are some local poets at a Pasadena Central Library reading: Lynne Thompson, Jeffrey Schultz, Teresa Chuc Dowell, Carol V. Davis, and Thea Gavin.

  4. “Love Me, Ocean” by Gu Cheng

    I have no gills.
    I can’t go to sea.
    – Alberti

    love me, Ocean
    I quietly say
    come to the mountains

    in the curved troughs of waves
    there are only questions
    water drops for an instant
    magnify the setting sun

    love me, Ocean

    my shadow
    is twisted
    I’m hemmed in by the land
    sound paves over
    the glacial scars
    only my gaze
    freely reaches
    the sky
    to find your breath
    the wind, an expanse of pale blue

    love me, Ocean

    the blue gets deeper as
    deep as dreams
    without edges
    without rusting shorelines

    love me, Ocean

    though the stream’s call awakes me
    the treetops keep recalling
    your song
    everything returns to
    the most beautiful moment
    shining scales, rainbows
    on butterfly wings
    autumn leaves drifting into sighs
    green canes and blind snakes
    calmly enwrap me

    love me, Ocean

    who’s that walking in the distance?
    it is the pendulum
    hired by Death
    to measure out life

    love me, Ocean

    the city’s
    countless stubborn shapes
    try to tame me
    with metallic coldness
    laughter and scorn
    bland thoughts
    turn bitter
    salt crystalizes
    in black hair and pupils
    but –

    love me, Ocean

    wrinkles, roots’ footprints
    knit a net
    to ensnare me
    where is the mark of the wave’s kiss?

    love me, Ocean
    a coarse bit of gravel
    murmuring in the mountains

  5. We have a venue for our 100 Thousand Poets for Change event! The event will take place on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at Zona Rosa Cafe (15 South El Molino Avenue
    Pasadena, CA 91101) from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be poetry readings, discussions, music, and much more! Please join us!

    http://www.zonarosacaffe.com/

  6. Our event focuses on the current situation in Tibet and strives to bring awareness to the plight of the people of Tibet through discussions, poetry readings, Tibetan Buddhism, art, music, open mic, and speakers.

  7. “China has been conducting a vicious crackdown on Tibetans who refuse to renounce the Dalai Lama. Hundreds of monks and nuns have been arrested and brutalized. And beyond the immediate repression, Beijing is deliberately flooding Tibet with Han Chinese, suppressing Tibetan culture and religion and conducting a long-range campaign to obliterate Tibetans’ identity. The impolite word for China’s behavior in Tibet is colonialism.” – Alan Berger, Boston Globe, July 18, 2011

  8. Information from Tibet Online http://www.tibet.org/

    Why Tibet?

    An Introduction to the Question of Tibet

    Why is there an outcry about Tibet? Why is a nation larger than Western Europe held captive and tortured by a foreign power, while the world’s leaders stand by or deny responsibility for doing business with the oppressor? Why is Tibet’s situation important right now?

    The pages below tell how Tibet has come to the most perilous moment in its 3,000 year existence. It is a common theme of history; many ancient and peaceful indigenous civilizations have been assaulted by military powers in search of land and booty. Tibet, an independent nation until the Chinese invasion, is now faced with extinction. But it is not yet too late.

    It would be very difficult to oust the Chinese by armed force, and it would go against the Tibetan Buddhist belief in non-violence. Instead, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people have used diplomacy and non-violent activism in the hopes that the People’s Republic of China will be condemned and pressured to withdraw its occupation forces from Tibet.

    It is our belief that anyone who hears of what has happened in Tibet will support its cause. But the Tibetans must be heard. Please read on to find out why Tibet needs and deserves your support. If you are moved to become actively involved, contact a Tibet Support Group near you.

    In a world where terrorism gets so much attention, it is important to support those who are willing to brave the path of peace.

    Rangzen!

    HISTORY LEADING UP TO MARCH 10TH 1959
    http://www.tibet.org/Why/march10.html

    MAJOR ALLEGATIONS ON THE CHINESE OCCUPATION
    http://www.tibet.org/Why/occupation.html

  9. It is August 1st today and the day of the 100TPC event is nearing. I am still looking for Tibet speakers for the event. But thanks to serendipity and a kind 100 TPC organizer who introduced me to the works of Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan poet, writer, and activist, I am now armed with his poems and essays for the 100 TPC event in Pasadena. If you are a Tibet speaker or know of one, please message me. This is an event to help bring awareness to the community of the plight of the Tibetan people and what we can do to help. We change lives and raise awareness one person at a time, so every action matters.

  10. Hi Theresa. I had begun to write you on facebook last week and am not sure if my letter got sent. I’m writing you again then, just to be sure.
    I wanted to tell you that the Tibetan cause is one very close to my own heart. Whatever it is in your own life that calls you to help in this way, with the event and all, I would say I feel that same call for our Tibetan teachers. I cannot for the life of me understand this treatment of any of the Holy ones.

    You’re more than welcome to bring your reading to our event at the Wadsworth, if you’re not too settled in that is, to your plans. Unfortunately, the theater will charge time and a half per stage hand after 8 hours , which limits each organizer to an hour, a very skinny hour.

    What I’m really ashamed of is that the ones in power are surely aware of the atrocities against the Tibetans, yet this continues. Bless you Theresa, know that I’m with you in your support for our righteous brothers and sisters in Tibet and those scattered, or now no longer with us. I hope to meet you soon. Sincerely, Yvonne

    • Hi Yvonne,

      Thank you so much for your invitation, but we are pretty settled in our plans for the event in Pasadena. We have six hours blocked out for the event from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. so that gives plenty of time for the performances and readings, etc. And there is a Tibetan community nearby so it is a good spot. I wish you could attend the event! Yes, it is quite tragic what is happening there. I was raised in Tibetan Buddhism and my family had similar experiences of war and exile from Vietnam so the situation in Tibet is especially near and dear to me. Thank you for all your support and love!

      I wish I could be at many places at once and also attend the event in L.A. and so many of the wonderful events happening around the world.

      Best wishes,

      Teresa

  11. Tibetan musican, Techung, will be performing at the Pasadena, California 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event!

    Biography:

    Techung is a Tibetan folk and freedom singer/songwriter living in exile in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is best known for his performances of traditional Tibetan music, dance, and opera under the name Tashi Dhondup Sharzur. He uses his childhood nickname, Techung, when performing as a solo artist. Whether performing in traditional or contemporary styles, Techung’s dual goals are to revive Tibetan music in the Tibetan community and to expose the rich performing cultural tradition of his homeland to the world community.

    Techung grew up in Dharamshala, India, where his family and tens of thousands of other Tibetans resettled from their native Tibet. At the age of 9 he was enrolled in the newly formed Tibetan Dance and Drama School now known as the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). In his 17 years of residency at the Institute, he studied all aspects of the Tibetan performing arts folk, court, and opera – through the oral teaching tradition used by the venerated Tibetan elders with whom he was honored to study. He toured with TIPA in its first international tour as a leading child actor in 1975-76 and for many years afterwards. After emigrating to the U.S., he co-founded the San Francisco-based Chaksampa Tibetan Dance and Opera Company in 1989. From 1995-97 Techung worked for the Milarepa Fund in San Francisco who organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts world wide.

    In addition to being looked up to as one of the key keepers of traditional Tibetan musical traditions, Techung is also respected for the original solo and collaborative music he creates by drawing on both his own heritage and his familiarity with other world music traditions. He collaborated on his first solo album, “Yarlung: Tibetan Songs of Love and Freedom” (1997) with composer/performer Miguel Frasconi, followed by “Sky Treasure” (2001) with Windham Hill jazz keyboardist Kit Walker. His other two solo albums were “Changhay: Traditional Tibetan drinking songs, Vol. 1″ (1999) and “Nyingtop-Courage” (2002). His song “Losar” was chosen as the 2003 best modern traditional Tibetan song at the first annual Tibetan Music Awards held in Dharamshala. His album Techung A Compilation of Tibetan Folk and Freedom Songs won the 2006 Best Asian Album at Just Plain Folks Music Festival http://www.jpfolks.com – one of America’s largest grass root music festivals.

    Techung’s voice and music have been featured on the soundtracks of the IMAX film “Everest,” the feature films: “Windhorse,” (1998) Dreaming Lhasa, (2006) http://www.whitecranefilms.com),. His music is prominently featured on documentary films such as: “Blind Sight,” (2007), http://www.blindsightthemovie.com, “Dalai Lama Renaissance,” (2008) http://www.dalailamafilm.com, “Fire Under the Snow,”(2008) http://www.fireunderthesnow.com. His music has also been used in a DVD titled LIVING WISDOM WITH HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA (2008) http://www.soundstrue.com.

    In recent years, Techung has had the honor to open for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s public speech in Costa Rica, Japan and USA. On February 3, 2009 Techung and his band Lhasa Spirits performed at the Carnegie Hall with prominent artists such as Philip Glass, Patti Smith and others.

  12. Poems by Tenzin Tsundue, Tibetan poet/writer/activist who is living in Dharamshala, will be read by others at the event.

    Here are two poems by Tenzin Tsundue from his book KORA:

    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.

    ~

    LOSAR GREETING

    Tashi Delek!

    Though in a borrowed garden
    you grow, grow well my sister.

    This Losar
    when you attend your Morning Mass,
    say an extra prayer
    that the next Losar
    we can celebrate back in Lhasa.

    When you attend your convent classes,
    learn an extra lesson
    that you can teach children back in Tibet.

    Last year
    on our Happy Losar,
    I had an idli-sambhar breakfast
    and wrote my BA final exams.
    My idlis wouldn’t stand
    on my toothed steely fork,
    but I wrote my exams well.

    Though in a borrowed garden
    you grow, grow well my sister.

    Send your roots
    through the bricks,
    stones, tiles and sand.
    Spread your branches wide
    and rise
    above the hedges high.

    Tashi Delek!

    Find more of Tenzin Tsundue’s writings here:
    http://www.friendsoftibet.org/tenzin/writings.html

  13. I HAVE A TARGET
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    I have a target
    That some day
    Our children will stand atop the plateau of a free Tibet
    And wash away the ravages the Chinese left behind

    I have a target
    That one day
    The Tibetan spirit will be exalted
    And the Chinese power muffled

    I have a target
    That one day
    The children of the Chinese who raped Tibet
    And the children of the Tibetans who suffered under Chinese rule
    Will sit down together at the table of friendship

    I have a target
    Now until our kingdom come
    To make the Chinese leave Tibet
    And to return the Dalai Lama to his rightful throne

    I have a target
    Not a dream

    TSOLTIM N. SHAKABPA is a recognized Tibetan poet and a dedicated political activist for a free Tibet. He is the son of Tsepon Wabgchuk Deden Shakabpa, the eminent Tibetan historian, statesman, freedom fighter and former Finance Minister of independent Tibet.

  14. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2011, ZONA ROSA CAFFE, PASADENA, CA, 11:30 to 1:30 and 5:30 TO 8:30 p.m.

    The 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event will focus on human rights, freeing Tibet, and the plight of the Tibetan people. To raise awareness, there will be discussions, poetry readings, Tibetan art, music, Tibetan Buddhism, open mic, and speakers. Tenzin Tsundue, a Tibetan poet/writer/activist, lives in Dharamsala, so his poetry and essays will be read by others at the event. Tsoltim N. Shakapba, a Tibetan poet living in Los Angeles, will not be able to attend due to health reasons, so his poetry will also be read by others at the event. Tsoltim N. Shakabpa is a recognized Tibetan poet and a dedicated political activist for a free Tibet. He is the son of Tsepon Wabgchuk Deden Shakabpa, the eminent Tibetan historian, statesman, freedom fighter and former Finance Minister of independent Tibet.
    Tibetan musician, Techung, will be performing. There will also be a Buddhist prayer/chanting for peace. Om mani padme hum.

  15. Tibetan musician and dancer, SHERAP WANGMO SANGPO, will also be performing at the Pasadena, CA 100 Thousand Poets for Change Event!!

  16. THE 11th PANCHEN LAMA
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    The fake Panchen, Gyaltsen Norbu
    Might as well be a mapo tofu*
    He is no more than a Gya** Panchen
    Sitting on top of our mighty gangchen***
    For he’s just a simple stooge
    Made to look holy and huge
    While for the true Panchen Choekyi Ngima
    Whose rays spread wide and bright like the ngima****
    The Tibetan people have wept and wept
    As under the carpet he has been swept

    But cry no more, my countrymen
    For Choekyi Ngima I will pen
    A lasting tribute for he who
    Is our true and treasured norbu*****
    To the true Panchen Rinpoche
    I prostrate and say “ka drin che” ******

    * Chinese dish made of chopped pork and bean curd
    ** Chinese (a play on the first 3 letters of his first name)
    *** Snow-capped range
    **** Sun
    ***** Precious gem
    ****** Thank you

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

    TSOLTIM N. SHAKABPA is a recognized Tibetan poet and a dedicated political activist for a free Tibet. He is the son of Tsepon Wabgchuk Deden Shakabpa, the eminent Tibetan historian, statesman, freedom fighter and former Finance Minister of independent Tibet.

  17. IMPORTANT NOTICE!!!

    Due to heavy demand for the 2-volume book in Tibetan titled, BOD KYI SRI DON RGYAL RABS, by Tsepon Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa and because we have only 15 copies left out of which we are keeping 5 copies for our family library, we are now selling the remaining books at a price of U.S.$75.00 per 2-volume set plus shipping and handling charges. After that, we book will go out of print.

    For authentic ethnically Tibetan students, who must verify the school they are attending, we are selling the books at a discounted price of U.S.$50.00 per 2-volume set plus shipping and handling charges.

    If interested, please contact Tsoltim N. Shakabpa at: shakabpa@verizon.net

  18. DEFINING A NATION
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    The glory of a nation
    Can be found in its people

    Not in its rulers
    The ruin of a nation
    Can be found in its rulers

    Not in its people
    The wealth of a nation
    Can be found in its values

    Not in its money
    The heart of a nation
    Can be found in its streets

    Not in its citadels of power
    The joy of a nation
    Can be found in its heart

    Not in its celebrations
    The beliefs of a nation
    Can be found in its people’s silent prayers

    Not in its politicians’ loud speeches
    The power of a nation
    Can be found in its beliefs

    Not in its guns
    The future of a nation
    Can be found in its will
    Not in its power

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

  19. Poems from Tibetan poet Tsering Dhompa’s new book, MY RICE TASTES LIKE THE LAKE, will be read at the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Tibet Awareness Event.

    Los Angeles Friends of Tibet will have a table at the event to distribute information to promote awareness about Tibet.

  20. Poems from Tibetan poet Tsering Dhompa’s new book, MY RICE TASTES LIKE THE LAKE, will be read at the 100 Thousand Poets for Change Tibet Awareness Event.

    • I was in the audience Friday Night at the Barnes & Noble in Burbank and wold love to read a poem or two at your event on the 24th. I am a veteran poet of 25 years who has published 24 books, been published in ovr 40 literary journals, antholoies and websites and Featured and Organized Poetry readings all over the Country. I Co-Organize and Host Unbuckled:NOHO POETRYon The First Saturday of each month (Sept. 3rd from 4PM-6PM at T.U. Studios at 10943 Camarillo St. in North Hollywood) and invite you to come by this Saturday and talk about your event.

      But most importantly, I understand what your event stands for and the plight of the Tibetan People as my father fought in the Underground or Resistance in Czechoslovakia during WW II against the Nazis and my grandfather led the Czech Resistance and was murdered by the Germans in 1944. My father dedicated his life as a professor, writer, activist and political leader to freeing the Czech People of Communist rule and was one of the leaders of the Czech Government in abstentia before Communism ended in 1989. I instinctively and fully understand your mission and would love to help by reading a poem or two of mine on Sept. 24th in Pasadena, if you would have me… Radomir Vojtech Luza (818) 762-5866/radluza@sbcglobal.net…

      • Dear Radomir,

        We would be honored to have you join us on September 24th at Zona Rosa Caffe in Pasadena. I look forward to hearing your poems!

        Best wishes,

        Teresa

  21. The Role of English in Poetry by Tibetans
    By Tsoltim Ngima Shakabpa
    ————————————- 

    Languages become universal because of the power of the people who speak those languages. English is one such language as exhibited by the British in the 17th to the early 20th centuries when historically their power and language spread far and wide across the globe. Languages remain alive because of the spirit of the people who speak those languages. The Tibetan language is one such language as exhibited by the Tibetans in their unique culture and quest to maintain their great heritage. To bring the ideas of a people struggling to keep their language alive into a universal language is in itself a difficult task; but to put it in poetry is an even more formidable task. Yet Tibetans are doing exactly that. 

    Tibetans are generally philosophically inclined by the very nature of their upbringing. Buddhism and the philosophy of Buddhism have deeply affected the Tibetan mentality, and by its very power the hearts of the Tibetan people. Bearing this in mind, it is easy to see why generally Tibetans are natural poets. Additionally, the pristine natural environment could have only aesthetically enhanced the philosophical Tibetan mind. 

    In the past, Tibetans used to write poetry in Tibetan with religious themes only. These poems were deep in thought and classic in their genius. They were the pulse of a nation steeped in religion and struggling to find the meaning of life. These poems were much more difficult to translate precisely into English unless one had an impeccable knowledge of the complex mechanisms of the Tibetan religion. Today, the pulse and emphasis are different. Tibetans are suffering immeasurably under the illegal occupation of Tibet by China. They are being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. Their voices stifled; their places of worship demolished; and their true leader, the Dalai Lama, demonized. They are struggling for freedom from 60 gruelling years of brutal and tyrannical Chinese rule; and writing poems in Tibetan alone is not enough. They need to reach a world-wide audience in their fight for liberation and for that they have to use a universal language. 

    In the 1940s and 1950s, only a few Tibetans were fortunate enough to receive an education in English. Today, with thousands of Tibetans forced to live outside Tibet, many are fortunately learning English, some even good enough to write poetry in sterling English–and they are using their poetic gifts to reach out, in a universal language, to the world at large about their struggle for freedom. But there also are Tibetan poets who write, in English, about spirituality, family, illness, nature, love and life, in addition to the plight of their country, that adds abundant dimension to poetry by Tibetans. These Tibetan poets are presently few and far between, but their pioneering labour and leadership will inspire more Tibetans to expand their poetic capabilities. 

    Poetic ability is an inborn gift, and the language of poetry is best employed in the language one is most accustomed to. If Tibetan poets think in Tibetan and translate their poetry into English, there may arise problems in precise translation. But if Tibetan poets think in English, those problems may be surmounted though it may possibly cloud their Tibetan heart. The ideal situation is the ability to think both in English and in Tibetan. That way, the evolution of the two languages inter-mingling with one another in a translucent manner with the heart brings about the best attributes of the poetry in mind. 

    Yet, frankly speaking, there are times when English has no role in poetry by Tibetans as when a Tibetan writer tries to emulate a western thought. In such instances, the Tibetan mind distorts the western thought and jeopardizes the English verse. They become inundated and perplexed with a false perception of the truth, rather than the truth itself. The expression of thought must first come from the heart and then the language can be used as a tool to express what the heart feels. Rather than emulate a foreign thought, it is better for a Tibetan poet to express his thoughts and feelings in a foreign language, even if it be in Mandarin. At least the Chinese will know what is in the Tibetan writer’s mind and heart, such as his diatribe on tyranny and icy disdain of Chinese rule. 

    Since poetry comes from the heart, the manner in which the words are expressed are often not easily comprehensible. Thus, the reader too must read into the heart of the poet in order to understand the language of the poet. The Tibetan poet, therefore, has the added task of expressing in precise English what his Tibetan heart feels. This is a difficult task, if not an impossible one – so long as the Tibetan poet has an excellent comprehension of the English language and an empathic realization of what his heart feels. 

    To summarize, the English language has an enormous universal role to play in poetry authored by Tibetans, but that role must be entwined with the untainted heart of the Tibetan poet as well as the precision and excellence of the language. Poetry by Tibetans in an universal language has an even more crucial role to play now that the Chinese are forcefully suppressing the Tibetan language.  

    Brave is the Tibetan poet
    Who ventures to pen in English
    But write he must from his heart
    For readers his poetry to cherish

    * Tsoltim N. Shakabpa is the author of eight inspiring books of poems, the last one of which is BEING TIBETAN published by Publish America. He is popularly known as “T.N.”, which he says stands for his initials as well as “Tibetan National”.

  22. CHANGE
    by Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    Life is changing
    World is changing
    Change will come
    To all, not some
    No matter what we do
    Only thing we can do
    Is decelerate change
    Or accelerate change
    But change we can’t change
    It is real, though strange
    And though we may try to deny
    We cannot, by nature, defy
    Change is a sure fire determinant
    In our frail lives which are impermanent

  23. NINE ELEVEN
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    Let not nine eleven
    Be the seventh heaven
    For those who would destroy our freedom
    And steal our democracy and kingdom

    We may have cut off the head
    But the tail is still not dead
    Let us make cocksure
    The tail wags no more

    Let not nine eleven
    Be our final coffin
    Let us make them see their folly
    Wave our flag and make them sorry

    Let us show that nine eleven
    Is to us manna from heaven
    That instills in us the fervor
    To love our nation and serve her

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

  24. NATURE’S POWER
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    When the womb of nature
    Gives birth to the splendor of life
    The true grace of nature glows
    As though in a kaleidoscopic vision

    When the ocean of death
    Storms onto the beaches of life
    The true wrath of nature erupts
    As though in a nightmarish dream

    The whims of nature may be unpredictable
    But the power of nature
    Makes us realize the value of life
    And implants in us the meaning of life

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

  25. CHANGE
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    Change for the better
    As you would your clothes
    Change the one thing you can change
    Rather than try to change the five things you cannot
    Be “one in a million”
    Instead of “one of a million”

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

  26. THE POET
    by Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    Swimming in the swift and winding river of lucid words
    He enters the wide ocean of knowledge
    To see vivid images of our mortal world
    And to live the very words that enthrall him

    With the rhythmic beat of his heart
    He guides the entrancing waves of the mighty ocean
    While his fragile body
    Mingles with the urchins of the seas
    Caring not for the diamonds at his feet
    His trenchant mind
    Wonders what wisdom
    The lucent moon reflects from the brilliant sun
    As he imagines dancing with the sparkling stars
    Blithely does he battle and subdue the withering storms
    While his humble soul rests peacefully
    In the welcoming arms of resplendent rainbows

    All in all
    He finds warmth and peace
    In the poetic words that awaken him
    And shelter him from the wild winds
    Or a turbulent and impermanent world

  27. ON THE SUBJECT OF LANGUAGES:
    The Role of English in Poetry by Tibetans
    By Tsoltim Ngima Shakabpa
    ————————————-

    Languages become universal because of the power of the people who speak those languages. English is one such language as exhibited by the British in the 17th to the early 20th centuries when historically their power and language spread far and wide across the globe. Languages remain alive because of the spirit of the people who speak those languages. The Tibetan language is one such language as exhibited by the Tibetans in their unique culture and quest to maintain their great heritage. To bring the ideas of a people struggling to keep their language alive into a universal language is in itself a difficult task; but to put it in poetry is an even more formidable task. Yet Tibetans are doing exactly that.

    Tibetans are generally philosophically inclined by the very nature of their upbringing. Buddhism and the philosophy of Buddhism have deeply affected the Tibetan mentality, and by its very power the hearts of the Tibetan people. Bearing this in mind, it is easy to see why generally Tibetans are natural poets. Additionally, the pristine natural environment could have only aesthetically enhanced the philosophical Tibetan mind.

    In the past, Tibetans used to write poetry in Tibetan with religious themes only. These poems were deep in thought and classic in their genius. They were the pulse of a nation steeped in religion and struggling to find the meaning of life. These poems were much more difficult to translate precisely into English unless one had an impeccable knowledge of the complex mechanisms of the Tibetan religion. Today, the pulse and emphasis are different. Tibetans are suffering immeasurably under the illegal occupation of Tibet by China. They are being persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and murdered. Their voices stifled; their places of worship demolished; and their true leader, the Dalai Lama, demonized. They are struggling for freedom from 60 gruelling years of brutal and tyrannical Chinese rule; and writing poems in Tibetan alone is not enough. They need to reach a world-wide audience in their fight for liberation and for that they have to use a universal language.

    In the 1940s and 1950s, only a few Tibetans were fortunate enough to receive an education in English. Today, with thousands of Tibetans forced to live outside Tibet, many are fortunately learning English, some even good enough to write poetry in sterling English–and they are using their poetic gifts to reach out, in a universal language, to the world at large about their struggle for freedom. But there also are Tibetan poets who write, in English, about spirituality, family, illness, nature, love and life, in addition to the plight of their country, that adds abundant dimension to poetry by Tibetans. These Tibetan poets are presently few and far between, but their pioneering labour and leadership will inspire more Tibetans to expand their poetic capabilities.

    Poetic ability is an inborn gift, and the language of poetry is best employed in the language one is most accustomed to. If Tibetan poets think in Tibetan and translate their poetry into English, there may arise problems in precise translation. But if Tibetan poets think in English, those problems may be surmounted though it may possibly cloud their Tibetan heart. The ideal situation is the ability to think both in English and in Tibetan. That way, the evolution of the two languages inter-mingling with one another in a translucent manner with the heart brings about the best attributes of the poetry in mind.

    Yet, frankly speaking, there are times when English has no role in poetry by Tibetans as when a Tibetan writer tries to emulate a western thought. In such instances, the Tibetan mind distorts the western thought and jeopardizes the English verse. They become inundated and perplexed with a false perception of the truth, rather than the truth itself. The expression of thought must first come from the heart and then the language can be used as a tool to express what the heart feels. Rather than emulate a foreign thought, it is better for a Tibetan poet to express his thoughts and feelings in a foreign language, even if it be in Mandarin. At least the Chinese will know what is in the Tibetan writer’s mind and heart, such as his diatribe on tyranny and icy disdain of Chinese rule.

    Since poetry comes from the heart, the manner in which the words are expressed are often not easily comprehensible. Thus, the reader too must read into the heart of the poet in order to understand the language of the poet. The Tibetan poet, therefore, has the added task of expressing in precise English what his Tibetan heart feels. This is a difficult task, if not an impossible one – so long as the Tibetan poet has an excellent comprehension of the English language and an empathic realization of what his heart feels.

    To summarize, the English language has an enormous universal role to play in poetry authored by Tibetans, but that role must be entwined with the untainted heart of the Tibetan poet as well as the precision and excellence of the language. Poetry by Tibetans in an universal language has an even more crucial role to play now that the Chinese are forcefully suppressing the Tibetan language.

    Brave is the Tibetan poet
    Who ventures to pen in English
    But write he must from his heart
    For readers his poetry to cherish

    * Tsoltim N. Shakabpa is the author of eight inspiring books of poems, the last one of which is BEING TIBETAN published by Publish America. He is popularly known as “T.N.”, which he says stands for his initials as well as Tibetan National.

  28. TERRORISM
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    On the 10th anniversary of September 11
    Let us also not forget the others
    Who are being intimidated through terrorism
    Tibetans by China
    Chinese citizens by their autocratic rulers
    Foreigners by China’s central intelligence agency
    Libyans by Gadhafi
    Syrians by Assad
    Burmese by a military junta
    Somalis by war lords
    Afghans by the Taliban
    Iraqis by corruption
    And the world by ignorance

    Rise up! freedom-loving and knowledge-hungry people of the world
    You have nothing to lose but your chains and pains

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

  29. NINE ELEVEN
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    Let not nine eleven
    Be the seventh heaven
    For those who would destroy our freedom
    And steal our democracy and kingdom

    We may have cut off the head
    But the tail is still not dead
    Let us make cocksure
    The tail wags no more

    Though there’s a credible threat
    We need not worry or fret
    Just stay alert and pray
    And go your normal way

    Let them not take down our flag
    And turn it into a rag
    Let them not our way of life harm
    Let us cool our heads and rearm

    Let not nine eleven
    Be our final coffin
    Let us make them see their folly
    Wave our flag and make them sorry

    Let us show that nine eleven
    Is to us manna from heaven
    That instills in us the fervor
    To love our nation and serve her

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

  30. September 11 Revisited
    (10th Anniversary)
    by Chukie Wangdu

    The sky was blue and the sun shone bright
    Not one angry face was in sight

    Or so it seemed…

    Monday’s blues were put to bed
    Tuesday’s promises lay straight ahead

    Or so it seemed…

    In the City that never sleeps
    A normal day of work, school, and cell-phone beeps

    Or so it seemed…

    In the nation’s capitol suspecting none
    About their ways went everyone

    Or so it seemed…

    Into the morning sky those four planes flew
    Hopes and dreams were to soar, not to bid adieu

    Or so it seemed…

    Unbeknownst to all
    Nineteen angry men heeded a call

    Allah taught believers to be kind to one another
    As did Abraham, Buddha, Christ and Krishna, brother to brother

    It is not a sign of weakness
    To practice love and kindness

    Instead those nineteen angry men
    Heeded the words of Osama bin Laden

    With calculated violence in the hearts of this clan
    Death and mayhem was their plan

    Thousands lost their lives that day
    Yet Osama couldn’t hijack our courage away

    What you sow is what you reap
    Incrementally or in one fell sweep

    Sunday, May 1 was D-day for Osama
    Hide he could not from his negative Karma

    Not only did he bring the wrath of the free world upon him
    He caused the vilification of my neighbor — a kind and gentle muslim

    On the 10th anniversary of September 11
    We remember with love and respect the brave and fallen

    A new day is dawning for Allah’s true faithful
    Let us join hands to wash away evil

    Kindle trust and dignity in your home and elsewhere
    Spread respect and fairness everywhere

    Be kind and gentle to nature and to each other
    Planet earth is at stake …. it’s now or never

    copyright: Chukie Wangdu

  31. CHANGE FOR THE BETTER
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    As China’s economy has changed
    From communism to capitalism
    So too China’s autocracy
    Will change to democracy

    Likewise, Tibet’s position
    As an occupied and subjugated country
    Will change
    To an independent and free nation

    So too
    Our brothers and sisters in Myanmar
    Will change their poor and military-ruled country
    Into a rich and democratic nation

    Change will and must come
    To all, not some
    Eventually, change will come for the better
    According to all the saints’ words and letter

  32. THE SOUND OF SILENCE
    By Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    A Japanese nod in silence
    Means neither yes nor no
    A Chinese wave in silence
    Says good riddance to bad rubbish
    A Tibetan prayer in silence
    Is a plea to wish you well
    Nature’s bellow in silence
    Means the calm before a storm

    The sound of silence
    Gives brilliant credence
    To what culture and nature speak
    In sharp and clear, but silent, tweak

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2011

  33. REMEMBER

    Foreign engraved our generation,
    But do work for our country’s restoration.
    Do not forget China’s excavation,
    On our land and people inside our nation.

    Exploiting all our ancestor’s creation,
    Our race is on the verge of deterioration.
    Hold one another’s hand for unification.
    Unity will be the strength for our destination.

    Charter remains charter, unless we make it constitution.
    China in Tibet has massacred 1000 years tradition,
    And we in exile lost in modern addiction.
    Now, I’m stuck with a puzzling question,

    “Are we China’s partisan, in their hideous action?”

    Red with yellow stars, waving since China’s invasion,
    Led to thousands’ evacuation.
    Martyrs from the great revolution,
    Sacrificed their lives for our future evolution.

    Five decades of martyrdom in Tibetan nation,
    We rose from obscurity to universal recognition.
    Men and women, young and old, it’s time for an independent nation.
    Let’s fly like free birds from colonization.

    Gangtok: DAGYAP Jime Dorjee on Tuesday, 16 August 2011

  34. SCHEDULE FOR 100 THOUSAND POETS FOR CHANGE TIBET AWARENESS EVENT happening today!!! Come join us at Zona Rosa in Pasadena!

    11:30 – 11:45 am intro & poetry reading (Poems: “The Fear in Lhasa” by Woeser read by Teresa)
    11:45am-12:00pm Radomir (Poems by Tenzin Tsundue read by Radomir)

    MC Introduces Sherap and Techung
    12:00pm-12:30pm Music
    12:30pm-1:00pm- Poetry (Poems: “Torn Between Two Countries,” “Freedom,” “Tribute to His Holiness the Dalai Lama” by Tsoltim N. Shakabpa read by Teresa….Poems: by Radomir on the subject of Tibet)

    1:00pm – 1:30pm music
    1:30pm – 2:00pm Poetry (Poems: “Angel” and “Remember” by Jigme Dorjee DAGYAP read by Michel Tyabi …. Poem: “For Lhasa” and “Snow Lions” by Diana Woodcock read by Ralph Rodriguez…from “Exile an Invitation to Struggle” and section from “Selvage” by Tsering Dhompa ready by Teresa)

    Break

    5:30pm-6:00pm- intro and poetry (Poems: “The Panchen Lama,” “Scream,” “The Illness of Tibet,” “Come Home,” and “The Past” by Woeser read by Rod Bradley…Poems on Buddhism read by Craig Cotter)

    6:00pm-6:30pm music
    6:30pm-7:00 pm poetry (Poems: “A Precious Daughter,” “Like a Tree,” “The 11th Panchen Lama,” “Angel Face,” “Defining a Nation,” “I Have an Aim and a Target,” “Cry For Justice and Freedom, “Dead People Talking,” “The Art of China,” “Do What Animals Do” by Tsoltim N. Shakabpa.)

    7:00pm – 7:30 pm music
    7:00pm – 7:45pm prayer & wrap up
    PRAYERS FOR RANGZEN. TIBET. PALESTINE. FOR EVERY SENTIENT BEING KNOWN AND UNKNOWN

  35. HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA
    by Tsoltim N. Shakabpa

    Whether or not you are a God King
    As the Tibetans describe you
    Or a wolf in sheep’s clothing
    As the communist Chinese describe you
    Or a simple monk
    As you describe yourself
    You bring love and compassion to humanity
    Harmony among all religious and racial creed
    And are a divine inspiration to the world

    We thank you, Your Holiness
    May your voice of harmony
    Spirit of compassion
    And ocean of wisdom
    Embrace our universe
    ‘Till the end of time

    Copyright: Tsoltim N. Shakabpa – 2010

  36. First Annual 100 Thousand Poets for a Free Tibet Poetry Contest
    The mission of this contest is to encourage young Tibetans in Tibet or in exile anywhere in the world to write poetry (must be 19 years old or under). Poems can be written in a language other than English accompanied by an English translation and on any subject matter written in any style. Poems will be judged by renowned Tibetan poet Tsoltim N. Shakabpa.

    Please submit 1 to 4 poems using the contact form. Please include your name and country in the submission. The poems will then be forwarded to the judges.

    First place: $125
    Second place: $50

    Winners will be announced in December 2011.
    The winning poems will also be published on the 100 Thousand Poets for Change website http://www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange/ and in the upcoming anthology of Tibetan poets published by Big Bridge, an online literary journal edited by Michael Rothenberg, forthcoming Spring 2012 (poets retain all rights to their work).

    All poetry submissions will be considered for publication in the anthology of Tibetan poets published by Big Bridge Online Literary Journal
    http://www.bigbridge.org/BB15/index3.html

    About the contest judge:

    Tsoltim Ngima Shakabpa was a former President of the Tibetan Association of Washington, who founded TIBETFEST, which to this day attracts a crowd of 50,000 people in an annual two day festival. Also, a former senior international banker and Chairman & President of an investment bank in Texas when he suffered a debilitating stroke in December 1999. Since then, he has authored 8 books of poems and is a prodigious political activist for a free Tibet. He is the son of Tsepon Wangchuk Deden Shakabpa, the eminent Tibetan historian, statesman, educator, freedom fighter and former Finance Minister of independent Tibet.

    Tsoltim Ngima is popularly known as “T.N.”, which he says are his initials that also stand for “Tibetan National”.

  37. Anthology of Tibetan Poets in Exile
    Picture
    We are reading poetry submissions by Tibetan poets in exile for an online anthology to be published by Big Bridge Press in Spring 2012. http://www.bigbridge.org/BB15/index3.html

    Submissions are open to any Tibetan living in Tibet or in exile anywhere in the world. Poems can be written in free verse, formal verse, or in any form. Poets can be of any age or profession. We encourage all interested Tibetans to submit. Submissions may be in a language other than English accompanied by a translation or we will help with translation. Poems in translation will be published in the original language along with its translation. Poets retain all rights to their work.

    Please send 1-5 poems using the contact form at this link http://100tpcfreetibet.weebly.com/contact.html

    Please include the following with your submission:
    1. Name (pen names are fine) – Anthology Submission
    2. Language in which the poem/s are written if other than English
    3. Country in which you live

    Deadline for submissions is February 15, 2012.

    Big Bridge is edited by renowned American poet and activist, Michael Rothenberg.

  38. POEMS BY TSOLTIM N. SHAKABPA
    [file]http://www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/TsoltimNShakabpaPoems.pdf[/file]

  39. TENZIN TSUNDUE’S POEMS
    [file]http://www.bigbridge.org/100thousandpoetsforchange/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/kora.pdf[/file]

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