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About the Owl

Kuchuk Ngonmo
Born in Rebkong in eastern Tibet,Kuchuk Ngonmo (Lusham Gyal) graduated from Qinghai Nationalities University in 2007. His first book of poetry is titled “Poems by the Side of Tsong River.” He received the “Light Rain” literary award and has published in different magazines inside Tibet. He teaches at Tsikug county in Malho prefecture and is a member of the Third Generation group in Tibet.

About the Owl
By Kuchuk Ngonmo

At night, at night when all falls into the mud of dreams,
It is only the owl who is now caretaker of the night.
He hoots again and again into the deep of the darkness.
He hoots for our tomorrow,
For the warm sun of tomorrow.

But you can’t see,
You really can’t see,
A high and majestic snow mountain stands tall in the owl’s mind,
A clear and pure lake laps the shores of the owl’s mind.

For the kingdom beneath the blue sky,
Long ago the owl lost his happiness,
Long ago forgot his attachment.
Each morning that the green grasses are refused sunlight,
The owl tortures himself with intent.

The owl sleeping in his bed each morning
Is not due to his blindness or any other cause
But the fulfillment of his wishes.
Do we not have sunlight?
Do we not have an environment saturated with sunlight?

The host of stars that shine blurrily are the owl’s friends in sorrow.
When the owl lands high up the mountain
And spends the night with the stars,
Even in winter, the cold that settles cannot chill him,
Even in summer, the hurricane rises but cannot carry him.

Even though the owl has no flight skills like the eagle’s,
When he flies, he flies on suffering,
With anguish from the ashes of wild yaks scattered on the edges of his wings.
But he has been cursed and spat on for some time now.

Even though magpies who only know how to make nests,
Woodpeckers who only know how to peck at trees
And eagles who only know how to guard cliffs
May claim themselves to be divine and great birds,
Who can live in the night besides the owl?

If it is not possible for the universal darkness that covers earth and space to disappear,
It is also not possible for the owl to age, for his dreams to age.
Isn’t that because the owl can see darkness
While you can see only the light and nothing else?

The original link: http://www.gdqpzhx.com/bo/html/literature/2009/05/12/108/

(Translated by Tenzin Dickyi and Dhondup Tashi Rekjong)

2 comments on “About the Owl

  1. Unjyn Park on said:

    Hi Dhondup, the original link above takes me to WordPress login page. Is there any other way to get the original Tibetan poem?
    It’s lovely. Currently I am working on my PhD dissertation which looks into individual spiritual crisis within the context of political crisis. This poem resonate some of my participants’ stories very poignantly.

  2. Cielo Gebilaguin on said:

    Hi! I’m researching for a book for senior high school students on Asian Literature. Was this poem published after the 2000s? Thank you!

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