By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm Tibet you’re firm in the saddle your happiness ached missing even joy you shan’t simply fulfil the long chain of absent Mahayana? Hinayana not exactly gone the storm a past life you shall be more than mystical more than the cypress you shan’t possibly be asleep forever; never to wake up? you shall once more be the cypress of the Northern highlands the prayer the parable you’re illuminated by the five mystical hues of light better to die inside the walls of the monastery staring at the strangers on patches of grass under the oil lamps the blinding smoke listening to the voices of deceit as you self-immolate love once again shan’t wait for reincarnation the living Buddhas How much of your past life? how much wind inside a heart were already dead you’re the coveted diamonds the sparkle in the smiles and the tears the freshness in flowers after it has withered you’re separated after marriage after consummation you’ve ached joy have caused you to break out in tears? through in this dreadful life the despicable the deceitful greedy poets the glutton lustful strangers the arrogant filthy stubbles drooling shrimp sauce and dog meat attached themselves to the rich dreamed of becoming human a kick or a blow to the sternum only make you laugh gives you slight indigestion you move on in the end composed poetry, recall the folklore captured photographs with old cameras sang with strung tunes drawn in watercolours desired Mahayana you’ve returned on horseback arrows flying in meditation you’ve returned painting and praying at every set back on the road not long ago university students like you ran, the tanks and the mechanical people How could you possibly escape into the clouds in time? pass the storm together with many searched for your lover your friends your mastiff no longer afraid you’re on a flight at night, in the clouds you’re drifting amongst the stars until when, Tibet? your fingers have flipped over endless pages of prayers forgetting the thousands of miles in flight your sleeves are the clouds in the sky black shall turn into sound blues as all shall lay with you faceup inhaling more oxygen your cheeks shall be rosy with tiny broken capillaries… you believed, the children of your flesh and blood shall grow up, make love, get married shall close up the missing gap of the past the future of history like the sound of temple bells farewells, at dusk the marking of a diminished day the moment you escaped death in a battle with the King of Demons Tibet never knowing fear you’ve proclaimed: – everyone must love each other must make love Abhisheka embrace the pain…
Lê Vĩnh Tài is a Vietnamese poet, a resident of the West Highlands. A retired medical doctor, currently an acclaimed businessman in Buon Ma Thuot.
The original epic poem was published in 2015, and I had began the translation of Tibet by Lê Vĩnh Tài mid July 2019, it took me more than a year to fully finalised and published the translation on #songngutaitram .