Friday, July 27, 2012

The Roof of the World

[image from]

On the roof of the world,
it is always winter.
The yak's breath steams 
beside the hut,
in the early dawn,
when I peek out. 
The children's cheeks are rosy with chill;
their brown eyes snap and sparkle
as they emerge from their fur sleeping robes
and creep close to the fire.

Butter tea is warming;
smoke rises into the thin air of the morning.
My husband comes through the flap in the doorway,
bringing in the cold, and the scent of snow.
"Snow leopard came through close by, 
last night," he says,
drawing near to the fire and waiting for his tea.

We sip and sup, sharing smiles,
and prayers.
Then the children go to collect firewood,
my husband goes about
his outdoor work,
and I have much to do.

But when my duties are done,
the hut tidy, noon meal warming,
I stand looking out
at the mighty peaks
where the gods make their home.

The sunbird's song pierces the stillness, then stops,
as if silenced, embarrassed 
at calling attention to himself.
Then there is only the sound of silence, of the sacred,
the flow of the river, the flapping of the prayer flags,
under the eye of heaven, a moment of perfect peace.

My gaze is on the mountains: no thoughts, no thoughts,
my one prayer, to pierce the pearl of wisdom
in my lifetime, one step, one breath at a time,
by my good works, 
                     my good heart,  
                           to wash my soul clean.

[image from google]

At Real Toads Hannah set us the most interesting challenge for Transforming Fridays :
to write about places that are cold and icy on the planet. She said if we chose to do so as a human, we must do it as a person who inhabits that landscape. The Himalayas always call to me.


  1. Beautifully done, Sherry. Breakfast in the Himalayas, and a housewife's day in her hut.
    Fabulous take on the prompt.

  2. You paint a gorgeous landscape here, Sherry, unforgiving but embracing. That's a tough balance to achieve. Well done.

  3. The voice of a woman echoes strongly from any location in the world. You have given life to the Himalayan wife, and allowed us to see through her eyes.

  4. They live such a simple life, don't they. This is so rich in atmosphere it's as if you are there. The Yak's breath shows how cold it is. Snow leopard outside. I also love the Himalayas and think it is a very spiritual, majestic place.
    Kerry is right the voice of a woman does echo strongly, wherever she is.
    You painted a lovely, heart warming picture here,

  5. What lovely and serene thoughts from her, Sherry as she gazes out in silence, in prayer. Her life is simple, yet she lives in perfect peace ~

  6. Sherry, I hate the cold. Yet your words transported me to a world unknown, yet familiar. So beautiful. What a rich imagination you have to paint such a picture of life in harmony, even if cold.

  7. Sherry~
    I think this would make a wonderful children's book. Will you please illustrate it, too? :-)

  8. Oh my!!! Sherry!! I'm not surprised at the goosebumps rising on my flesh!!! You've expressed your chosen point of view in such a sensory buffet, I feel as if I've dined and gazed at the mountains too!!! I love the detail of the frosty yaks breath on the air.

    This is an amazing piece, Sherry...thank you SO much for writing this!!

  9. Sherry, a beautiful spiritual piece as always. Really enjoyed the tenderness and details. You could have used this for your sound poem:-)

  10. This is so beautiful. Even in an icy home you showed to warmth of the hearts that live there.

  11. Has the smack of truth about it. Cleverly achieved.

  12. You see, this is why Goddess made nice people like Sherry Blue Sky. If this were my poem, the snow leopard would have carried off a kid or two, converted them to being leopards, and come back to terrorize the peaceful peoples of the ice pack. I'm wrong on so many levels.

    By the way, have you ever seen a snow leopard? They are stunningly gorgeous creatures.

  13. your pup poem is so sweet and loving.

  14. Beautifully done ... very real.

  15. Love love LOVE "the roof of the world," especially. Fantastic.


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