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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Shangri-La

shangri-la-tibet11

– By Sujit Banerjee*

Once upon a far away, where
Heavens touch the mountain snow
Temple bells sent spirits free
To bless the souls of those below

The rolling chants of saffron monks
Were guided to the valley floor
By prayer flags that lit mountain paths
With the glow of those who’d gone before

Beyond the hills a dragon ruled
A textured kingdom, history blessed
Where culture graced its ancient courts
But left its people poor, repressed

The dragon glared at the upstart land
At tranquil grounds with people free
At monks who led with inner strength
And shamed his need for tyranny

One autumn morn the dragon sprang
Across the hill divide
And burned to ash the fairyland
To give back himself his pride

The ghostly chants of saffron monks
Now rise from the valley floor
Prayer flags that blessed mountain paths
Are muted stills of long ago

Upon a soft and blameless land
Ravaged lies the darkened snow
From silenced bells the spirits fled
To mourn alone in the lands below

* Sujit Banerjee grew up in Calcutta and presently lives in the US where he teaches engineering. His published poetry is woven around social themes. He is fascinated by Tibet whose people and vistas reflect the depth and simplicity of Buddhism. He can be reached at s.banerjee@att.net

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