I Want To Sing A Love Song In Dhardo

I Want To Sing A Love Song In Dhardo

This poem was published on Choemey by Bido Choekyong. He was born in 1989 in Bido in Amdo. Dhardo is the shortened form of Dhartsedo, also called Kanding in present day Sichuan. A town that historically belonged to the Tibetan province of Kham, Dhartsedo was also known as Tachienlu. It was a border town known for its trade—Chinese would bring brick tea from Chengdu to trade with Tibetans for wool. A rushing river runs by the town and is a very prominent feature of the town.

I Want To Sing A Love Song In Dhardo
By Bido Choekyong

Today it rained in Dhardo.
Dhardo is today dissolving in the rain and the crowd,
Dhardo is today submerged in fog,
Dhardo is gripped by Chinese buildings and the Sichuan dialect today.

Dokpo la[1],
Today I not only did not see Dhardo’s past,
I couldn’t even remember it.
I wanted to sing a love song in Dhardo
To the girl with the lively face
Who looks like she could be Chinese,
Whose tongue is used to Chinese,
I want to throw her a glance that is cut off from native tongue and homeland,
I want to sing a love song that is cut off from anxiety and responsibility.

Dhardo la,
Do you mind if,
I bring up the Dhowa horse of the past,
I ask you about yesterday’s years and months
And look for your smell that has now vanished in the fog and cloud?

Yulgyupa la[2],
If I sing a love song in Dhardo
Will you give the name “Love Song of Dhardo”?
Today I have reached Dhardo.
Where has this water that flows in the belly of this land of rock and clay
Taken the Dhardo of years past?
Is it that the water has flowed too long, flowed too wide
And washed away the smell of old Dhardo?
Or was the rain too strong and swallowed Dhardo?

And so Dhardo is no longer the old Dhardo.
And so Dhardo is no longer the Dhardo of history. And so, and so.

Today I want to sing a love song in Dhardo.
Today I want to sing a lament in Dhardo.
It is raining today in Dhardo.
In Dhardo today the fog is settling.

Notes:
[1] Dokpo means “friend”. La is an honorific term of address.
[2] Yulgyupa means “traveler”.

The original link: http://www.tibetcm.com/html/list_22/201210064911.html

(Translated by Dhondup Tashi Rekjong and Tenzin Dickyi)