Wednesday, May 6, 2015

My Heart a Tiger's Nest

Tiger's Nest Taksang Monastery in Bhutan
photo by Sushma_KS

My heart yearns towards a monk's cell
perched on the edge of a mountain cliff,
halfway between here and heaven.

Yet here I am, in a gray little town
in the valley,
trying to fashion my unwieldy life
into something
that does not give offence.

My challenge, the cliff-walk
of understanding the distance
between where you are
and where I long to be.

My practice, the lighting of incense
and, sometimes, hearts,
with the weaving of words.

My sorrow, the mantra of my soul:
how to tame
the tiger's nest of
keening for all that was,
all that may never be again,
so it may bed down
in peace. 


  1. The phrase, "yearning toward a monk's cell," speaks volumes about the need for that simplicity, the devotion to... devotion, to peace, the silence. So many of us want the same, and in this chaotic world, peace is so hard to achieve. I love this, the tiger's nest, the "keening for all that was," so wistful. xo Amy

  2. It's a hard life Sherry. In those mountains.

    Trust you doing all well

  3. Oh my goodness! If we only knew how our practice could answer our challenge and our sorrow! It is my wish that the word weaving brings a sense of accomplishment and with it a kind of peace that you are faithful to your calling and ministry. I see you less in a monk's cell than on a sea shore, one specific one to be exact. But maybe you are lending your voice here to another pilgrim living in Bhutan and the persona here is similar to you but not you at all.

  4. I absolutely love this Sherry!!! Finding peace with what was and all the memories both good and bad, can be a big challenge indeed. This is such a wise and beautiful poem. A new favorite for me! :-)

  5. Finding peace..It seems when I think I have life stirs memories with the present and I am reaching for peace once again.

  6. The longing in this is beautiful. The solitude and peace of a spiritual retreat can be very tempting, especially when it is hard to hold on to the things that feed our souls in this busy world.

  7. As always, beautifully written. Yes, there is something so enticing and at the same time daunting about that monastery on the cliffside! I think Amy's comment has nailed it!

  8. This is beautiful Sherry. That cliff monastery is amazing as is your poem. How openly you reveal your heart's mantra. I felt your humanity here, and your spirit yearning.

  9. I have that same yearning at times. But I think it would take a a whole nest of tigers to tame my mind...its not so good to itself when its alone. Great Piece Sherry!!!

  10. I like this, Sherry. It makes me want to hope it gets settled out for the writer. I sometimes think I should work my way (somehow) into an isolated monastery. I am not sure why these thoughts come. Did you know why yours came to you?
    Guess it beats jumping out the window..

  11. I think you do a good job of trying at least, Sherry! You certainly have a conscience! And you write beautifully about your journey. Thanks. k.

  12. I love how you weaved in that distance.. as much physical as mental.. but if anyone will ever achieve this that i know it's you...

  13. Oohh Sherry, the unwieldy life.

  14. I so understand the longing for what is passed, hard to know, it is a land we can never visit again.

  15. This poem is so heartfelt, and written in a way that I can relate to - I sometimes long for a retreat from the world and the kind of peace you describe: halfway between here and heaven...

  16. You had me at Monk's Cell. This is a really cool and authentic piece!

  17. don't think my comment went through....

    this is stunning, Sherry! our hearts often long for people or times from the past. it's difficult to just live in the present.

  18. You will never know peace if you continue to think of the past. Never look in the beauty of the moment , each day a renewal with hope for your future...Fear prevents us from living the way we want tol Loved this poem..One of your best !

  19. you relate this personal sorrow and elevate it to the universal ~

  20. What a peaceful setting!
    We cannot all know this setting, but we I hope we all can find our way to peace.


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