N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 3 :   S p e c i a l   E d i t i o n

L o n g   P o e m   M a s t e r p i e c e s   o f   t h e   P o s t b e a t s

 

 

CLIFF FYMAN

 

 

Photo by Barbara Henning.

 

 

Lines Written in a Remote Area of Nepal

 

 

It’s getting late in the trip

and though I don’t want it to end I

do want to eat food I miss at odd

moments    a crow circling

icy sky’s temple pagoda

Melting snow

is tonight’s drinking water

blank white rectangle

shimmering far down valley

is handmade paper

                  drying in watery light

In a nun’s clean mud cell a blue

curtain casts a blue light from

a snow sun.  Sister Tsering

Chenjom says I remind her of

her brother and I say

she reminds me of my sister

who likes to laugh is tender

toward me and religious too

Will I ever return?

Sister asks.   If I could.

No arguments here

only simple statements

like, “Please come to kitchen

               and eat rice”

Everything sounds distant

8,000 feet in thin air

Children call to each other

through the blue

                          wind

Extinct trees

that used to grow here

are tiny bushes today

Rice won’t grow

but potatoes will

I don’t want to burden

anyone with my questions

but be a man

who dives under ice

and surfaces with clear solutions

Hail!

is pelting my smiling

     upturned face

Where do you go when you

     feel sick

from events no one

can see or touch?

If  I go into myself

     all the way

where do I come out?

 

On Begu Mountain, today

 

 

 

[Originally published in Napalm Health Spa: Report 2008. Used by permission of the author.]

 

 

Poet Marc Olmsted describes C.F. as a "Pacifist Zionist vegetarian PostBeat Objectivist Zenster." Fyman also has poems on-line at The Brooklyn Rail.