Notes for another poem in progress

photo by Tarabagani, courtesy of WikiCommons

I came across a local website that sells a variation of the whole Tibetan Prayer Flag thing. I’ll quote from their website:

We are currently helping with 2 refugees […] By buying a set of these flags you take the opportunity to give and receive; to participate in the greater tapestry of life. I believe that every act of kindness makes a difference. […]

[…] By providing physical support for these refugees we are not only supporting them in their communities, we are also supporting our wider global community. In doing this we also open ourselves to receive. This is a win, win, win process.

Don’t worry, I’m not planning to have a pro-Tibet/anti-China rant. (Pro-Tibet, for the record.) But seeing this kicked off a memory, and reminded me of a poem I’ve been wanting to write for a while now.

My (estranged) brother spent some time in China. He also did some mountain climbing in the Himalayas – apparently he is/was unusually resistant to altitude sickness. He brought home a set of prayer flags, which still fly at my parents’ place. Beautiful things. [note: I had planned to add a photo he took of prayer flags against the Himalayas, but I can’t find the damn thing. Sigh!]

I’ve had the germ of this poem for a while. About mountains, and family. And the things that happen. Falling apart, holding together. Falling apart while pretending to be still held together. A lot of pain. And resentment. A lot of anger, still. It won’t be a nice poem, but I hope it will be a good one.

Apparently the name for prayer flags that are intended to be hung horizontally is Lung Ta, meaning Wind Horse, (there’s a poem right there), in essence an allegory for the human soul. What’s particularly apt is that Pegasus – the original Wind Horse – eventually became the horse of the muses. And in particular, at the service of poets.

I’ve ordered myself a set of the flags. I know exactly where I’ll put them too. 
Then I’ll just have to sit back and try to find that stillness that poetry demands.

And listen for the wingbeats.

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