Alexandra David-Neel

by Michael Lee Johnson

She edits her life from a room made dark
against a desert dropping summer sun.
A daring travelling Parisian adventurer,
ultimate princess turning toad with age,
snowdrops of white in her hair, tiny fingers,
thumb joints osteoarthritis,
corrects proofs at 100, pours whiskey,
pours over what she wrote
scribbles notes directed to the future,
applies for a new passport.

With this mount of macular degeneration
near, monster of writers’ approach,
she wears no spectacles.
Her mind teeters between Himalayas,
distant Gobi Desert, but subjectively warm.
Running reason through her head for living,
yet dancing with the youthful word of Cinderella,
she plunges deeper near death into Tibetan mysticism,
trekking across snow-covered mountains to Lhasa, Tibet.

Nighttime rest, sleepy face, peeking out that window crack
into the nest, those quiet villages below
tasting that reality beyond all her years’
vastness of dreams.


Copyright © 2017 by Michael Lee Johnson

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