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Tibetan Pilgrimage

by Hongping Liu

Coming to the Snowland


Snowland Tibet — the roof of the world — I am not clear why I am approaching you.

Is the reason that the exhausted soul couldn’t carry the shackles imposed by our worldly life?


Across Tibet, my heart takes solace from snowhills and glaciers, deserts and moors, lakes and fields, grassy marshlands and primeval forests.

Twisting a strand of sunlight as a walking stick, with my ear to the pulse of the snowland, I let earthshaking thunder pierce my depression.

Snowland original

Potala Palace

Driven by the mountains’ dare,
you scale layer after layer,
achieving by superpower;
like a beacon you glare.

The rock-like red pillars
project immortal faith.
The dignified lines
Show forth its magnificence.

Your domes are bedecked in gilt
like shooting flames;
you push up into the air
like the wafting snow spirit.

From far away
you are stern,
standing still
in a distant reverie.

Potala Palace original

Da Zhao Temple

You are the door
between the worldly and the sacred.
You are the holy place
spurring yearning into the promised land.

You are the dream
that pilgrims seek.
You are the refuge
where the humble find themselves.

Do lamas recite scriptures
to beseech gods
or look to themselves
to be freed?

In the supreme hall
Sakyamuni bends to the earth,
where he can hear
all the bitter prayers.

Da Zhao Temple,
you rid people of their pain
and extend a hand to the helpless
in their living hells.

Da Zhao Temple original r

Copyright © 2011 by Hongping Liu

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