Saturday, January 7, 2017

AN IMPERFECT PILGRIMAGE

google image


Step upon step,
spinning the prayer wheels,
mumbled prayers rising,
pilgrims, we are making
our imperfect pilgrimage.

Come with me
once around the sacred mountain,
and erase the karma 

of the errors of a lifetime.
Take me to the mountain,
holy one.
Make me clean.

The prayer flags flutter
on the precipice.
The search for the snow leopard
remains elusive.
Step upon step 

up the slippery slope,
each step on the path 

to enlightenment
icy, precarious.

The winds howl down the mountain
like ravening ghosts
and shake the candlelit tent
till it almost takes flight.

I'm tethered here,
but only for want 

of a perfect rhyme.
I hear the message
in those shrieking winds.
I feel the hoarfrost
on the hand of time.

When I die, holy one,
lay me on the plateau
for a sky burial.
Let the big birds come
and pick my bones clean.
Let the leopard gather them
and carry them off,
so I become
one with the mountain,
the air, the sky,
no more pondering how
or wondering why.

Return me to the mountain
of past lifetimes,
I beg you,
and let me
begin again.




One from December, 2011, my friends, re-posted for the Poetry Pantry.

31 comments:

  1. Oh that we might...begin again...and in spring we will have our chance once again...death is but an illusion.

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  2. I really would like to share that belief... but to have my bones picked sounds like a perfect end, even if it's not a beginning for me.

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  3. This is a wonder-filled song of the heart. (the mountain is waiting)

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  4. a heartfelt prayer.
    oh, to be connected to nature..

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  5. Return me to the mountain
    of past lifetimes,
    I beg you,
    and let me
    begin again.

    Such power and desire in a redo. nice write and happy new year!

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  6. Nice!!! Intense yearnings

    Much love...

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  7. Oh Sherry this brought tears of awe in my eyes! Such a very beautiful poem ❤️

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  8. I admire the devotion that religion requires in those who put it into practice. Also, I find this very appealing:
    When I die, holy one,
    lay me on the plateau
    for a sky burial.

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  9. Your poems read like prayers or ceremonial incantations. I love the hoarfrost on the hands of time. The candlelit tent reminds me of releasing prayer lanterns. Aho!

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  10. I feel the pull here Sherry--for me, this is a prayer of life and death and rebirth--and it might be the ocean instead of the mountain--a wonderful write!

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  11. Beautiful:

    "Come with me
    once around the sacred mountain,
    and erase the karma"

    "The search for the snow leopard"

    "I'm tethered here,
    but only for want"

    "I feel the hoarfrost
    on the hand"

    "When I die, holy one,
    lay me on the plateau"

    "so I become
    one with the mountain,
    the air, the sky,
    no more pondering how
    or wondering why"

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  12. I have met the snow leopard. Your prayer makes me grateful for the possibilities of renewal,

    Elizabeth

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  13. Each to their own belief and longing. How well you have described yours to be always part of the this world you love.

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  14. A sacred write, Sherry. And spoke deeply to me especially these words:
    I'm tethered here,
    but only for want
    of a perfect rhyme.
    Beautiful.

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  15. The imperfect pilgrimage..wow...love this one Sherry.

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  16. It's a wonderful thing to feel the whole poem of another. This is perfect - a beautiful song in time. Every image is so impactful. This is truly beautiful. Hugs . . . .

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  17. So powerful. Transcendent in both words and feeling. Love it.

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  18. Profound and powerful. Transcendent ... filled with love and reverence for this earth. Beautiful writing, Sherry.

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  19. Return me to the mountain
    and let me begin again.

    One craves to start anew so taht it will present a better organised response to many past mistakes

    Hank

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  20. One of your more Powerful pieces.
    Happy New Year Sherry.
    ZQ

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  21. Very nice Sherry. I can envision this mountain and the coolness of the plateau the sky sky burial and return to life. Stay warm up there on the island...bkm

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  22. https://ladyleemanilablog.wordpress.com/2017/01/09/blogger-recognition-award/ I've just nominated you for this award. have a great week!

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  23. I loved both Nepal, on my 1998 visit, and THE SNOW LEOPARD which I read some time later. Which makes this poem all the more striking and meaningful for me.

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  24. I love the ending, like a fervent prayer Sherry ~ The whole poem is beautiful ~

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  25. I think we're something like 11,000 years into the Hindu great cycle - and near the bottom.

    Which makes sense, even if it means 11,000 more years of prayer (which, of course, I don't quite cotton to - but suppose it can't hurt) ~

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Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!