N  a  p a  l  m     H  e  a  l  t  h     S  p  a  :     R  e  p  o  r  t     2  0  0  8









There was an ocean nearby     and a boardwalk from where one night

while sleeping     the boy I was rooming with came limping back

howling     with his ribs smashed by bandits


Having been up most of the night hearing him moan     even after

the ambulance sped him away     I was tired the next day when

Paula Greenland came to visit me, smiling     At sixteen

she might be my first life-long friend, I thought


She walked back home because on this holiday her religion forbid

riding in a vehicle     and she was struck by a truck     dying

on the way to the hospital     covered in blood


I was sweeping piles of dust in the dining room when the call

came and I cried into my stiff, red hotel jacket     All day the

radio played     "Everything is beautiful, in its own way"






This morning is slowly moving away from

the moment which is hard to collect my being in

A series of disappointments led to this day

if looked at would bring me cascading back

to a thick room I used to live in without hands

with relatives and friends none of whom

would take out the garbage

making the urge to travel a kind of grace

in an open place to take off the shirt

to rearrange my looks without anyone noticing

and be healed in the confidence of velvet pockets

The heart wants to go back it

always wants to go back

following the digressions of last night's wine

but thankfully hands are made in front

of the body naturally to snatch from the air

a hat of sky with the faith to wear it






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


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


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