Shut Your Dog’s Mouth

Shut Your Dog’s Mouth

Shut Your Dog’s Mouth


Chen Metak (གཅན་མེ་སྟག) is a very well-known Tibetan writer from Amdo. The poem “Shut Your Dog’s Mouth” is a sarcastic poem written to criticize a certain unnamed person. It was published in December 2014 on Chodmey (Butter Lamp) online journal, one of the most popular online journals. We have translated the first part of the poem.

Shut Your Dog’s Mouth
By Chen Metak

A Lion Was Born to A Dog

That morning
Out of terror
My hair fell off strand by strand
I put on my head a tattered straw hat
And ran in the bazaar of this trashy universe
I said to the customers from north and south
I said to the scholar Gedun Chopel
Last night my family’s bitch gave
Birth to a black haired lion
A lion not from the snow mountains
Nor from the dark forests
A lion that barked like a dog from its birth
Saying it wanted to go among its own kind of carnivore

Now I wear the straw hat
And argue with other people
As I pick up trash
I want to build him a nice comfortable home
But there’s no hope
I have no idea to what tribe
This lion belongs

(Translated by Tenzin Dickyi & Dhondup Tashi Rekjong)

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